Joey Barton has labelled the Brazilian and PSG forward the Kim Kardashian of football.

Neymar has been a subject of ridicule following his World Cup performance – where he was criticised for play acting.

An outspoken Barton said Neymar’s display was an evident of the fact that the former Barcelona player is not the best player in the world – and his far away from being compared to the duo of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

“I think he is the Kim Kardashian of football,” Barton, as quoted by AS.

“Neymar is not the best player in the world, we saw that again in Russia. He is not at the level of Ronaldo and Messi, and there are many other players in front of him.

“Neymar, more than a football phenomenon, is an advertising like the Kardashians.”

Barton, one-time capped English international, now manager of English third tier side Fleetwood, also revealed he hoped he could manage French side, Marseille later in the future.

The 36-year-old who represented Marseille in the 2012-13 season, said he could cope with the pressure of managing the Ligue 1 side.

He added, “I would love to coach Marseille one day. Honestly, I could train Marseille without any problem.

“I know the club from top to bottom. I understand the people, the culture, I know the Velodrome and I know what the club means to people.

“Many Marseille coaches did not know the club. If my trips bring me back there, fantastic.”  

Published in International Watch

 

Moses might represent Nigeria in Qatar, says Odegbami

 

Victor Moses, last Wednesday, shocked Nigerians when he abruptly announced his retirement from international football.

 

The 27-year-old, who scored 12 goals in 37 appearances for Nigeria was said to be unhappy at the last World Cup, and had told his team mates of his plans to end his international engagement.

 

Though Moses cited focusing on his club football was the reason for calling the shots, Segun Odegbami said the enormous task attached to be the next captain of the Super Eagles was why Moses retired from international football.

 

The ex-international wrote on CompleteSports that the scrutiny, heinous responsibility and a possible infringement that might come along Moses being the new face of Nigerian football might have been the reason the Chelsea player decided to face his club football.

 

He wrote: “He is 27 years old. Under normal circumstances no player voluntarily retires from international football at an age that he is at his very best – experienced, mature, exposed, comfortable and at the peak of his physical fitness. So, to retire at 27 means something is not right somewhere.”

 

The mathematician has fondly called continued: “Moses may be afraid of the enormity of the weight of responsibility he has to carry should he be its captain. It may take a psychoanalysis of his situation to understand his motivation for announcing his retirement from the national team this week.

 

“In the line of hierarchical succession Victor Moses should naturally become the Super Eagles’next captain and the heart of a new assembly of players that shall emerge from the debris of the 2018 World Cup campaign.

 

“Victor Moses has always been on the quiet side, hardly speaking to the press, hardly seen in public places outside the field of play, especially in Nigeria.

 

“Whenever he comes to Nigeria he stays away from the limelight of the media. He never stays in the country for long, breezing in at the last minute before matches and heading out with the earliest flight available.

 

“For some reason, Victor Moses always carefully selected his appearances for the national team. He also avoided interviews about his personal life like a plague, feeling more comfortable playing, living and identifying with his foreign clubs in Europe.

 

“Now, fate has brought him closest to Nigeria. He is in the hierarchical line to become the next captain that a new Super Eagles assembly needs.

 

Ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, Odegbami believes Moses Moses would come out of retirement to represent Nigeria, so long a new captain has been named for the team.

 

“…Finally, I believe that this retirement is temporary, all things considered.

 

“We shall soon see him (Moses) again in a new Super Eagles assembly that will take the country to Qatar 2022.

 

“The big deal will be that Victor Moses will not be its captain!” Odegbami concluded.

 

Published in Awa Football

Mbappe is an alien, says Varane.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018 16:50

Kylian Mbappe having had a remarkable season with PSG, where he scored 21 goals in 44 appearances, capped it up with a World Cup triumph with the Les Blues of France.

The 19-year old forward contributed four goals in the quest to France conquering the footballing world on Sunday, and one of the goals came in the final of the Mundial.

Raphael Varane, who was in the heart of the defence, in the France conquest when asked about Mbappe, described him as “a young alien."

Varane said the World Cup Golden Boy comprehension of football was unbelievable.

"I have known some aliens, I think this is the first time I have met a young alien.” Varane, as quoted by Spanish Daily AS.

"Normally I meet extraterrestrials when they are 25, 30 years old. At the World Cup, I met one under the age of 20.

"With him, everything goes faster. When I talk tactically with him before the matches, I do not have time to finish my sentences before he has already understood and assimilated what I'm saying."

The Real Madrid, who has a World Cup, four Champions League titles, two leagues titles, amongst others to his bags said he used his performances at the World Cup to shrug off criticisms.

As well as giving him the chance to marvel at Mbappe, the World Cup allowed Varane the opportunity to make his own mark on football's most famous competition.

The 25-year-old also emphasised the need to be himself, and said he would never be forced to play like someone else.

"Since I was seven years old, they say 'he's nice, he's nice'. Yes, I'm nice, but that's not all I am," He said.

"You cannot have the career I'm having, staying at Real Madrid for seven years, without character.

"Sometimes, I was asked to play like [Sergio] Ramos, to play like any other, to be more aggressive, to be more this, more that.

"I have my style of play; it has not done too badly until now. People have wanted me to change and it annoys me.

"Do we ask Ramos to be someone else? We take him as he is; take me as I am. I'm proud that, at this World Cup, I have – in quotation marks – 'accepted myself as I am’,” he concluded.

 

 

 

Published in International Watch

 

Stefan Effenberg considers the Croatian striker to be among the top three players in the World.

Mandzukic scored the goal that saw his side booked a World Cup final game against France, where they lost by 4-2.

Effenberg said he would pick Mario Mandzukic over PSG and Brazilian star Neymar – as he believed that the Juventus striker “is one of the best three strikers in the world.”

The former Germany international, who also questioned Bayern Munich for selling Mandzukic in 2014 said, “Mandzukic is one of three three best strikers in the world for me.

“He is working for the team and also scored the goal against England. “I never understood why Bayern sold him.

“If he were not so old, he would have a market value of €200m. I would prefer him 10 times better than a Neymar.” Effenberg concluded.

Published in International Watch

Luka Modric has been pivotal for the Croatia in their run to the final of the World Cup.

The Real Madrid midfielder has scored two goals in the World Cup so far, and has won the man of the match on three different occasions.

Modric, former teammate at Real Madrid, Kaka said the 31-year-old midfielder made football looked so easy.

The duo played together for Real Madrid in 2012 before Kaka rejoined former side AC Milan in 2013.

Kaka, who believed football was not easy playing said Modric “shows us it’s easy to play.”

The Brazilian midfielder was quoted by AS to have said, “Luka Modric shows us that it’s easy to play. Believe me it’s really really hard to play football.

“To play the World Cup it’s even harder. And he plays like it’s normal. It’s like a dance for him.

And now he’s this amazing player at a high level. Four Champions League, a World Cup final and being the captain of his team.

“So it’s really nice and he deserves that because he’s a nice guy, always humble, so congratulation to Modric.

Published in International Watch

Will Modric work-rate Croatia to the final?

Wednesday, 11 July 2018 13:35

By Oluwaseun Aleshinloye

Davor Suker was the hero 20 years ago, scoring six goals the last time The Blazers got to the semi-finals of the World Cup.

Suker’s goal against France in the Semi-Final in 1998 gave the Croatian team hope of reaching their first FIFA World Cup final until a double from unlikely Lilian Thuram sent them to the third Place fixture, where they defeated the Netherlands 2 goals to 1 – thanks to a 35 minutes winner scored by Suker.

Back in 1998, Luka Modric was only 12, with nobody nor him thinking he will be the one to make the Croatians dream again. Though with fierce relationship with his people in recent years, El Pajaro has fondly called by the Spanish media, no doubt will go down as one of the greatest to ever donned The Blazers colours.

No iota of disrespect to the likes of Ivan Rakitic, Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic, who have been phenomena at the Mundial, Modric by miles has stood himself out – with his work rate and resistance spirit the first point of call.

El pajaro has played a total of 485 minutes at the World Cup, covering 50.8km, and a total of 28 midfield recoveries. In addition to that, Modric has scored two goals created 12 chances and has won the Most Valuable Player on three occasions.

A more soothing question will now be: Will a Modric led Blazers stop the Waistcoat inspired Three Lions side from righting their generational wrongs? For the records, Modric is one of those that announced to the whole world that there were so many things wrong with English football.

After an ignominious showdown at the 2006 World Cup, there came a cold rainy Wednesday at the Wembley Stadium in 2007 – a night where Croatia and Modric ended England’s Euro 2008 qualification hopes. Modric on the stage upstage and ran riot on the Three Lions midfield that had the trio of Steven Gerard, Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry.

Things have taken new shape for English football in the last two years – their U-17 and U-21 both winning the World Cup in the 2016 is an evident to this. With the rollercoaster journey of the Three Lions in Russia coupled with how well their youth teams had faired, there comes rekindled fire all over the British press, reminding everyone where modern football started from.

The talking is on the field - not in the media nor the fans, and the field is where the real champions are made.

After 20 years, The Blazers will once again play in the semis of a World Cup. Suker made the Croatians dream in 1998: Luka Modric will lead them all out in 2018; El Pajaro, did not only give the Croatians a dream but accompanied the dream with hope.

 

 

Published in International Watch

The Three Lions are in the semi-finals of a World Cup, there first in 28 years and Paul scholes has said Pep Guardiola deserved some accolades for the team’s success.

The former Manchester United man, who represented the English national team on 66 occasions, with 14 goals said Guardiola was the brainstorm behind England’s feat at the Russia 2018 World Cup.

Guardiola played three at the back last season, a style Gareth Southgate has been working with during the Mundial.

Scholes poured out praises on Guardiola, telling Bein Sports, “He is definitely an influence on England.

“Especially when you see the way they’ve got the back three, the way they’ve got the goalkeeper playing.

“I don’t think Gareth has made any secret of that. He’s been to see Pep and he’s picked his brain.

“He wants to know how he produces that type of football. As ab England fan and ex-England player, we want to see the best possible football.

“Spain played the best football, Manchester City played the best football, so why not try and copy that type of play?”

 

Published in International Watch

Algeria are considering a possible joint North African bid along with their neighbours

Algeria’s interest to organise the 2030 tournament comes barely a month after Morocco lost its quest to host the 2026 Fifa World Cup to a combined bid between the United States, Canada and Mexico.

With Morocco emerging lightweight against a strong United bid, a joint North African submission could strengthen Africa's case for an expanded 48-team tournament.

Morocco have already expressed interest to go for the 2030 edition, and now Algeria is raising up their hand to bring the World Cup to the Maghreb region. Tunisia have been drawn into the mix.

Mohamed Hattab, the Algerian Sports Minister proposed co-hosting of the only other World Cup to be held on African soil after South Africa 2010.

“With the sports facilities that were built as part of the program of the President of the Republic for the benefit of youth and sports, Algeria is ready to study a possible joint application with Morocco and Tunisia for the organisation of the football World Cup. Algeria is open to submit a joint bid with Tunisia and Morocco to host the World Cup in 2030,” Hattab told El Khabar newspaper.

Tunisia are yet to confirm their position on whether they would go ahead with joining Morocco's bid. The trio could receive competition by a joint South American bid of Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay, as the only other interest in 2030 so far.

(Goal)

 

 

 

Published in International Watch

The former Super Eagles captain said that the Nigerian players gave their best, but admitted their best was not enough on the night.

According to Okocha, inexperience in the Nigerian team was pivotal to the team lost to the La Albiceleste.

Gernot Rohr boys were on the verge of booking a place in the next round of the World Cup, after Moses had cancelled out from the spot Messi’s first half opener, but an 87th close range finish from an unmarked Marcus Rojo dashed all hopes of such dream.

Okocha, who represented Nigeria at the 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cup said that the Nigerian players never capitalised on their chances – saying the La Albiceleste deserved their place in the next round of the competition.

“If you want to be harsh on the Nigeria team, is that we didn’t capitalise,” Okocha as quoted by Goal. “We didn’t keep two or three players up there to hurt them. We were limited in terms of experience.

 “Credit to Argentina, they threw the kitchen sink at it, and they deserved to win.”

Read Also

Maradona hospitalised after Argentina’s victory

On the second goal Nigeria conceded on the night, the former Bolton Wanderers man added, “Poor defending there. We should have recognised to come in a good position at the time the cross came in.

“Moses acted late there. I can’t fault the effort of the players, they gave their all, but at the end of the day, it was not good enough.”

On the VAR call not to award Nigeria a second penalty, as Rojo was seen on replay to have headed a Musa’s cross to his arm, Okocha rather put off the blame from the VAR call – saying Ighalo should have converted the resulting effort.

He said further, “Ighalo should’ve scored or he should’ve at least worked the keeper.”

Published in Awa Football

The Argentine great has been reported to have been hospitalized after the La Albiceleste 2-1 victory over Nigeria on Thursday.

Goals from Messi and Marcus Rojo saw the two time World Champions through to the next stage of the World Cup – where they will be meeting France.

Read More

Argentina are a disgrace - Maradona

Maradona, was seen acting erratically during the match -dancing with a Nigerian female fan before the match commenced, shown to have fallen asleep at the halftime break, and also seen on screen pointing his middle finger while celebrating Marcus Rojo 86th minute winner, according to New York Post have been reported to have been hospitalized.

According to the reports, Reason the football great was hospitalised remains unclear.

Published in International Watch

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