The former Manchester United and England striker has described Ruud Van Nistelrooy as the best finisher he had seen in the Premier League and chose Argentine international, Carlos Tevez as his favourite strike partner.

Wayne Rooney played with Van Nistelrooy for two seasons (2004 – 2006) with the former Netherland international recording 95 Premier League goals in 150 appearances – he also played alongside his ‘favourite’ from 2007-2009 with the two {Rooney and Tevez} sharing over 40 goals between each other in the League from 2007-2009.

Rooney alongside Ruud Van Nistelrooy
Rooney alongside Ruud Van Nistelrooy

 

Rooney with Carlos Tevez
Rooney with Carlos Tevez

 

Speaking on Monday Night Football, Rooney, who was not short of quality strikers In his 13-year stints at Old Trafford – as he played alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Louis Saha, Dimitri Berbatov, Robin Van Persie to mention a few, described Ruud Van Nistel Rooy as the best finisher he had seen in the Premier League and said Carlos Tevez was his favourite strike-partner.

“We suited each other’s {himself and Tevez} games.

“We worked off each other. It must have been horrible for defenders to have faced us, because we were just in their faces.

“When he signed, there was talk we wouldn’t have been able to play together, but we hit it off,” Rooney, who adds that Nistelrooy is the best finisher he has seen in the EPL said on MNF.

“Ruud Van Nistelrooy was the best finisher I have seen in the Premier League. Even if we won by four or five goals, he would just sit there on his own, gutted. He was fantastic.

The United great also picked the overhead kick against rival Manchester City at Old Trafford as the best goal of his career.

Rooney with the overhead kick goal that condemned City to a 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford in 2011
Rooney with the overhead kick goal that condemned City to a 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford in 2011

 

“The size of the game, City were going for the league it was one of the worst games I have played to be fair.

“The ball takes a bit of deflection, I have realised I was a bit of a space and tried it, and normally I might miss that, but caught it perfectly. It was surreal after I scored.

“In the dressing room after the game, all the staff were in shock. To be honest, I am sick of it.

“The amount of people who come up to me and talk about it. Still it is rightly the best,” Rooney submitted.

The England and Manchester United ended his 13-year-old association with Manchester United after he was allowed to join boyhood club Everton in the summer for free.

He has registered 10 goals in 20 appearances in the league this season but was good only for the substitute in Everton’s 5-1 loss in the hands of Arsenal last Saturday.

 

 

Published in International Watch

Adult fans to pay £18 while Junior fans are to pay £10

The Nigeria Football Federation ( NFF )has confirmed that fans will pay between £10 to £18 for the friendly match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Serbian national team billed for March 27 of this year.

The friendly match has been scheduled to take place in London, but a specific venue has not been announced yet

According to a tweet on the NFF verified Twitter account, tickets for adults will go for £18 (around 9,200) while that of the juniors will go for £10 (around 5,200).

The tweet read, “The road to the 2018 FIFA World Cup continues: join the @NG Super Eagles in London on March 27th for the game against Serbian National team. Tickets start from £18 for adults and £10 for juniors.#SoarSuperEagles #NGASRB.”

Spotkick reported that the 2013 African champion will also lock horns with the three Lions of England in a friendly match scheduled for June 2. 

The friendly game against the Gareth Southgate led boys was reported to be the last of the friendly games the NFF has set aside to prepare the Super Eagles for the World Cup, where they will meet the trio of Argentina, Croatia and Iceland in the group stage.

Other friendly games lined up for the Super Eagles ahead of the World Cup are against Poland, DR Congo and Czech Republic.

 

Published in Awa Football

Neville Rates Wilshere as England's best midfielder

The United legend has branded the 26-year-old Jack Wilshere as the best English Central midfielder.

Wilshere, who came through the Arsenal’s Youth Academy has suffered various degrees of injuries which has hampered in growth at Arsenal.

The midfielder spent last season on loan at Bournemouth and he is in the final six months of his contracts at Arsenal though reports are having it that the England international has been offered a new pay cut deal at the club.

With Arsenal’s recent awful showings of late, Wilshere has been one of the few bright points to talk about – and that made Gary Neville to describe him as the best English midfielder – saying he could feature for any team when fully fit.

Both Neville and Wilshere worked together from 2012-2016, when Neville was the assistant to Roy Hodgson, who was then the England Manager.

Garry Neville believes Wilshere is the best English midfield player (Getty Image)

 

And talking about Wilshere, who last featured for England in 2016 on Monday Night Football, Neville said there was no other midfielder in the country than Wilshere.

“He’s the best English midfielder by a street,” Neville said. “I worked with all of the English midfield players for four years and he could play in any single team in this country and live in that team or any single team in Europe, he’s that good.

“He takes the ball on the half-turn and hes the only English central midfield player (like that). Dele Alli yes and Ross Barkley Yes, but I class them as being more forward.

“I’ve worked with him and I’ve got no allegiance to Jack Wilshere or Arsenal Football Club and this is a fantastic player and talent, who is a must for England if he’s fit and playing well.”

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Though a fan of Wilshere’s talents, Neville conceded that injury has made the midfielder not to be reliable.

 

Neville says injury has hampered Wilshere's progress (Getty Image)

“Every time he goes to into a challenge or over-runs the ball a little bit, I think ‘broken leg.’ I know that sounds really bad.

“That is the only problem with him. His performance levels are high, but the reliability is not good enough. You need him to play three, four or five seasons on the bounce.

“The talent is unquestionable. For me, he is the best midfield player that I saw with England in my time there. Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard were coming to the end in my first year, but I overall in that four-year period, for me he was the best of the bunch,” he added.

 

 

Published in International Watch

NFF confirms Super Eagles, England friendly

Wednesday, 10 January 2018 18:54

Eagles to face England at Wembley on June 2

The Nigeria Football Federation ( NFF ) has confirmed that the Super Eagles will lock horns with the Three Lions of England at the Wembley Stadium on June 2 of this year.

The match will be the last of the four friendly matches the NFF had set aside to prepare the team for the World Cup.

The two sides have met three times in the past - with a win a piece and a draw for the two sides.

NFF 1st Vice President on the NFF official website confirmed the meeting between the two sides (Nigeria and England).

Akinwunmi told thenff.com: “Now, we are happy to say that it is all sealed. Certainly, it is going to be a big match, between two countries of remarkable historical affinity and similarities.

“We have other matches and programs for the team, and we will soon roll out the entire plan for matches, camping sites and training camps.”

Akinwunmi added that the choice of England was as a result of the NFF trying to be strategic to get the best preparation for the three-time African Champions.

“We decided to be strategic in our choice of opponents for the Super Eagles leading to the World Cup, and in total agreement with the preferences of the Technical Adviser.That is why we opted for England. We played Argentina (in November 2017) without even knowing we were going to be in the same group at the Finals,” He added.

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Meanwhile, The Technical Adviser of the team, Gernot Rohr has revealed that England would give the Eagles a good test.

The Franco-German said the game would be a good conduit to test the Eagles for the World Cup.

“This is good news for myself and the entire team,” Rohr said.

“England is a very strong team presently and I believe they will give us a very good match. We will be able to test our readiness for the World Cup when we meet the Three Lions at Wembley.”

The Super Eagles will also face Poland on the 23rd of March

Also 27th of March and 27th of May had been slated for friendly matches with countries, whose identities had not been disclosed by the NFF.

 

 

 

Published in Awa Football

The 2013 African champion has been grouped together with the Albiceleste of Argentina for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

 The two sides were in the same group at the 2002, 2010, and 2014 World Cup – with the Argentines coming victorious on the three occasions.

Nigeria, who defeated Argentina 4-2 in a friendly match in Russia last month were placed in Group D alongside Croatia, Iceland and Argentina.

The Super Eagles will be playing Argentina last in the group as they will need to slug it out first with Croatia, followed by Iceland

Meanwhile, another African representative at the World Cup, Egypt will battle host Russia, Saudi Arabia and maiden champion of the World Cup, Uruguay as they were all placed in Group A.

2010 World Cup winner Spain will do battle with European Champion, Portugal, Iran and Morocco.

Full group:

Group A

Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay

 

 Group B

Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran

 

Group c

France, Peru, Australia, Denmark

 

Group D

Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria

 

Group E

Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia

 

Group F

Germany, Mexico, Korea Republic, Sweeden

 

Group G

Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England

 

Group H

Poland , Senegal, Japan, Colombia

 

 

 

 

 

Published in Awa Football

 

Former Manchester United defender has revealed that obsession for winning strained his relationship with old friend, Frank Lampard.

 

The duo were products of West Ham United Academy product and both went on to feature for the West Ham senior team before Ferdinand, who later had over 500 appearances for Manchester United joined Leeds United in 2000 and Lampard moving to Chelsea in 2001.

 

According to Ferdinand in a video shared by BBC Football on Twitter, the strained relationship as a result of playing for rival clubs  (Man United and Chelsea), also had a ripple effect performance wise on the said ‘Golden Generation of English football.’

 

Ferdinad said, “We did everything together from 16 to 21. Roomed together, travelled together, did everything together. We grew up together at West Ham, then we went our separate ways.

 

 

“When I went to Man Utd and he went to Chelsea, we stopped talking, never spoke about it. Just stopped talking.

 

 “In terms of …, we didn’t hate each other but I didn’t want to give him anything that he might take back to Chelsea. I didn’t really like him anymore because he played for Chelsea. He was getting his hands on a trophy that I wanted.

 

“The obsession with winning, we just grew up apart and didn’t speak.”

 

 On how it affected them in the national team, Ferdinand explained, “We had a generation that were nicknamed the golden generation, Ferdinand said. “ Expectation were huge for us as a national team to go out and win something.

 

“And that is what held us back. Not being able to separate our club ties and international ties.

 

The 39-year old former England defender revealed that he got along well with Lampard now but said Sports had a way of destroying relationships.

 

Ferdinand added: “And now we speak, He was at my birthday the other day, just chilling. What sports can do to a personal relationship is nuts. It’s mad for the obsession of winning.”

Read Also: Magician Messi Denied Man United Two Champions League - Ferdinand

 

 

Published in International Watch

Hurricane Irma -Heskey Fears for Missing Family

Wednesday, 13 September 2017 16:58

Former England footballer Emile Heskey has revealed some of his family have been missing since Hurricane Irma struck the Caribbean.

The ex-Liverpool striker said his parents in Antigua were safe, but his mother has had no contact with relatives in Barbuda for almost a week.

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne said Barbuda had been left "barely habitable" .

"My mum can't get hold of them," Heskey said.

"My mum and dad were fortunately lucky. They caught the tail end of it," he continued.

"But my mum's family is from Barbuda and they were basically wiped out. Everything is gone."

Hurricane Irma destroyed an estimated 95% of buildings on the island of Barbuda, according to the prime minister.

Most of the island's population of just over 1,600 live in the town of Codrington, where an initial assessment using satellite images appears to show most of the buildings have been damaged.

Many buildings have been completely destroyed and debris litters the town.

Heskey said his family were still awaiting news.

The retired footballer, who lives in Cheshire and also played for Bolton Wanderers and Leicester City, added that he was supporting the Peter Virdee Foundation, which is helping with the relief effort.

But he said: "We can't commit to anything because I believe there is another hurricane on its way towards Barbuda and Antigua.

"We don't know how much damage that is going to cause and what is going to be the final aid bill."

(BBC News)

Published in International Watch

Rooney Retires from International Football

Wednesday, 23 August 2017 14:14

 

Rooney Retires from International Football
 
By Olatosimi Fadahunsi
 
 
The England record goal scorer has put an end to a glittering 14- year outing with the Three Lions of England by announcing his retirement from International Football.
 
The Former Manchester United forward was said to have been called up for England's forthcoming World Cup Qualifiers clashes against Malta and Slovakia but opted at putting an end to his international career.

Rooney who has 109 appearances for England scoring 53 goals in process, informed the team manager, Gareth Southgate of his decision on Tuesday

 
In a statement released on the English FA official website, the Everton forward said, "It is a really tough decision and one I have discussed with my family, my manager at Everton and those closest to me.
 
"Playing for England has always been special to me. Every time I was selected as a player or captain was a real privilege and I thank everyone who helped me.
 
"But I believe now is the time to bow out.
 
"Leaving Manchester United was a tough call but I know I made the right decision in coming home to Everton. Now I want to focus all my energies on helping them be successful."
 
Rooney, who had stated initially that he will be retiring after the 2018 World Cup in Germany said he will take another role as a supporter and give the new crops of Southgate's players the necessary backings to succeed.
 
"I will always remain a passionate England fan," Rooney added.
 
"One of my very few regrets is not to have been part of a successful England tournament side.
 
"Hopefully the exciting players Gareth is bringing through can take that ambition further and I hope everyone will get behind the team."
 
"One day the dream will come true and I look forward to being there as a fan - or in any capacity."

 

Published in International Watch