SPORT: Amuneke takes over Super Eagles from Eguavoen
The Nigeria Football Federation on Monday announced the reconstitution of the technical crew of the Senior Men National Team, Super Eagles, with Augustine Eguavoen staying as Interim Technical Adviser while former Nigeria World Cup star and former U20 Boys’ Head Coach, Emmanuel Amuneke drafted in as immediate assistant to Eguavoen.
One of the most garlanded footballers to have come out of Nigeria, Amuneke scored both goals that won Nigeria the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations final match against Zambia in Tunis, scored the goal that won Nigeria and Africa’s first Olympic football gold medal in 1996 and played in the 1994 and 1996 FIFA World Cup finals, scoring two goals in USA ’94.
As coach, the electrifying winger qualified Tanzania for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt and led the Taifa Stars in the finals. He is a member of both the FIFA and CAF Technical Study Groups.
“The NFF Board has approved a recommendation of the Technical and Development Committee retaining Augustine Eguavoen as Technical Director/Technical Adviser (interim) while Emmanuel Amuneke becomes the Chief Coach of the Super Eagles. Salisu Yusuf will be the 2nd Assistant Coach/Chief Coach of the CHAN team and Joseph Yobo will be 3rd Assistant while Aloysius Agu remains the Goalkeepers’ Trainer,” NFF General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi announced.
The reconstitution comes after the Super Eagles’ outing at the 33rd Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon, and ahead of the potentially –explosive FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 play-off round against the Black Stars of Ghana next month.
Sanusi added: “We acknowledge and appreciate the interest that Mr Jose Peseiro has shown in Nigeria Football during our very cordial discussions and have absolutely no doubt about his capacity. We believe that perhaps in the future, there could be an opportunity to work with him.
However, in view of the positive performance of the Super Eagles at the just-concluded Africa Cup of Nations which has given hope to Nigerians and boosted our confidence in the present coaching crew to qualify us for the World Cup in Qatar, we have decided to accept the recommendation of the Technical and Development Committee to retain the Eguavoen-led coaching crew and strengthen it with the addition of Emmanuel Amuneke.”
NEW SUPER EAGLES COACHING CREW
Augustine Eguavoen – Technical Director/Technical Adviser (interim)
Emmanuel Amuneke – Chief Coach/1st Assistant
Joseph Yobo – 3rd Assistant
Aloysius Agu – Goalkeepers’ Trainer
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How Arsenal missed signing Osimhen for free
According to The Mirror, Arsenal missed out on a golden opportunity to sign prolific striker Victor Osimhen in 2016 and yet failed to get him for free in January 2017, when he left Nigeria to join Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg.
The 24-year-old Nigerian striker has been making headlines for his outstanding performances with Napoli since joining the Serie A side in 2020.
Osimhen made headlines in 2015 when he scored 10 goals to help Nigeria win the U-17 World Cup for a record fifth time. The young striker claimed the Golden Boot for his efforts, with Wolfsburg and Arsenal battling for his signature.
Wolfsburg won that battle in January 2016, as they agreed to a pre-contract deal with Osimhen. The move was finalised in January 2017. Arsenal were left to pay for not acting on time. Osimhen explained that he was actually invited to the Emirates by the English giants in February 2016.
“It’s true that a big team like Arsenal wanted me and I feel honoured to be invited over,” Osimhen told BBC Sport. “But personally I feel Wolfsburg is a ladder for me to reach my professional goals.
“Yes Arsenal is a good team for young players but Wolfsburg is the best club for me. This is the best place for me to learn and develop because my heart is here with Wolfsburg… The club’s plan for my career is very encouraging and I believe with God on my side I can grow to become one of the best players in the world.”
Osimhen did not register a senior goal for Wolfsburg, but he’s flourished since leaving the German club, initially on loan, in the summer of 2018. The forward has scored goals for fun at Belgian side Charleroi, French outfit Lille and Champions League hopefuls Napoli.
Now Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea are both expected to enter the transfer market this summer to sign a striker
Reports in Italy earlier this month suggested Premier League giants United were the favourites to sign the talent, but he won’t come cheap, as they might have to pay €150m to grab the in-form striker.
Messi is football’s greatest player — Pep Guardiola
Manchester United manager and former Barcelona coach, Pep Guardiola, has said that Argentina star and latest World Cup winner, Lionel Messi, is the greatest footballer of all time.
In an interview seen on Sky Sports on Wednesday, Guardiola said Messi’s World Cup triumph confirms he’s the best footballer in history. He added that the World Cup win is the “final achievement of an incredible career” for Messi.
The coach admitted that even if Messi hadn’t won the World Cup he would still rate him as the best.
Guardiola also congratulated Argentine player Julian Alvarez, who is also a Manchester City player, saying “one of our own is a world champion,” as well as Nicolas Otamendi, who was also a former City player.
The Man City boss said, “Everyone has an opinion but nobody can doubt that he is there, with the greatest of all time. For me I said many times, he is the best, but it will be difficult to understand.
“A player can appear and compete with what he has done in the last 50 years to 70 years, but the people who saw Pele or Di Stefano or Maradona, they can say their favourite.
“In their opinions they are sentimental, you know? But on the other side, if he (Messi) had not won the World Cup, my opinion about what he has done for world football, it wouldn’t have changed absolutely anything. Of course, for him it’s the final achievement of an incredible career.
“Do you know why Messi is the best player I’ve ever seen in my life, because he is a competitor. He’s an animal.”
Congratulating Alvarez, Guardiola said, “We are incredibly happy for him (Alvarez), congratulations to him and Nicolas Otamendi, and personally to Lionel Messi.
“For Argentina as a country, they are a well-deserved champion. For Julian, he is with us and we are delighted because he played a lot.
“His contribution was amazing for the team and the way they played. We have a world champion in our team.”
Okocha Reveals Senegal’s Strength At The World Cup (See What He Said)
Nigerian legend, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, has hailed the Teranga Lions of Senegal for their ‘heart’.
According to Okocha, Aliou Cissé’s side are fearless, and believe they can beat any team at the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Senegal booked their place in the World Cup Round of 16 on Tuesday night after beating Ecuador 2-1.
The AFCON champions will face England in the knockout stage this weekend.
Speaking on SuperSport, Okocha said,
“One good thing that this Senegalese team has got right from years back is heart. They are fearless and they believe they can beat anybody.
“Also, the character of their manager has been passed on to this team. I managed to play with him, he was not the most brilliant player, but he had heart.
“You can see from this Senegalese team that what they’ve going for them now is team spirit because they’re missing crucial individual players like [Sadio] Mane, who finished second in the Ballon d’Or.”
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