Kevin-Prince Boateng admits surprise over Barcelona move

Former Ghana international Kevin-Prince Boateng has admitted that he was surprised when he received the offer from Barcelona. The forward had initially thought that he was off to Catalonia with Espanyol but to his surprise, he was approached by the Blaugrana during the winter transfer window.

Speaking to Goal.com, Boateng hailed his agent while admitting his surprise at the sequence of events leading to the Camp Nou switch, he said: “[The transfer to Barcelona] went also very fast for me. I just have the best agent in the world. He called me one day and said, ‘You have to play well against Inter, someone is watching.’ But he didn’t tell me who is watching. But under pressure I play best. I was the best man on the pitch and after the game my agent came to me and said, ‘We’re going to Barcelona!’ “I thought he meant Espanyol. But he immediately said, ‘No, the right ones.’ That was incredible. I could not believe it until the sporting director called me.”
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Samuel Chukwueze determined to fulfil his international dreams

Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze has spoken about the ambition of featuring for Nigeria at big tournaments after receiving the country’s Young Player of the Year accolade. The 19-year-old has been making a name for himself with Villarreal during the current campaign and he was recently involved in a thrilling 4-4 draw with Barcelona.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Chukwueze acknowledged that he is honoured as being named as the country’s best youngster for the calendar year and he is hopeful of making the cut with the Super Eagles for the big tournaments in the future, he told BBC Sport: “It serves as a motivation to keep working hard for more success. I’m very motivated and inspired by this, because it is unbelievable. Everything happening still seems like a dream. I have dreams of playing for my country in big tournaments and this shows that if I put more effort into my career, personal and team rewards will follow.”
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Liverpool manager leaps into the defence of Mohamed Salah

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has leapt into the defence of Mohamed Salah amid his six-match scoring drought for the club. The Egypt international has been the Reds’ standout performer since joining them in 2017 but he has experienced a rare scoring drought in the past month where he has been both unlucky and poor with his finishing.

Speaking in a press conference, Klopp said that Salah has been getting into good positions but he has not been lucky in terms of the scoring. He added that the attacker’s drought could be considered as a good sign, given the likes of Sadio Mane have turned up to make the difference, he quipped: “It is good that we split the goals a little bit, absolutely it’s good. We have 73 points and each goal we scored brought us there, and from time to time it’s clicking for the one [player] more. To explain the situation of Mo a little bit because I think he is in outstanding shape, but the situation he had in the last second [against Bayern] when Sule came – that’s a goal if Sule would switch off. Mo did everything right and nobody can know if Sule is there to put his foot in.”
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ISMAILY RETURNS TO CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Egyptian football league outfit Ismaily SC have been reinstated with immediate effect to the African Champions League following their expulsion from the continental club competition.

Just last month, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) banned Ismaily SC from participating any further in this year’s Champions League following tantrums from the club’s fans during a home game against Tunisian club side Club Africain.
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Chelsea confirm Victor Moses’ loan switch to Fenerbahce

Chelsea have confirmed the loan departure of Victor Moses to Turkish giants Fenerbahce. The Nigeria international had struggled for game time following the arrival of Maurizio Sarri at the helm during the summer and this has eventually urged him to pursue a fresh challenge with Fenerbahce in Istanbul.

“Victor Moses has today joined Fenerbahce on loan until the end of the 2019/20 season. Moses, who joined the Blues from Wigan Athletic in 2012, was a key member of the Chelsea team which lifted the Premier League in 2017 and FA Cup in 2018, operating primarily as a right wing-back in a 3-4-3 formation. We wish Victor, a popular member of the squad, all the best on his loan deal in Turkey,” a statement on the club’s official website read.
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Cote d’Ivoire denies hosting rights being taken away

The Football association of Cote d’Ivoire has rubbished the stories doing rounds in the African media that the 2021 edition of the AFCON is not going to take place in the country and is rather going to take place in Cameroon.

There was an interview published of the chairman of caf, which is the governing body of the game in Africa, where he had said that the confederation had assessed the situation in Cote d’Ivoire and they felt that they were not going to be in a position to fulfill all the criteria to be able to organize the tournament in 2021, so a decision has been made that the 2021 edition is given to Cameroon and the next edition after that will be given to Cote d’Ivoire. But the next edition; that is of 2023, has already been given to Guinea. So it’s all confusing at the moment.
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Isaac Success pens new long-term contract with Watford

Nigerian forward Isaac Success has been rewarded with a fresh long-term contract to keep him at Watford until the summer of 2023. The 22-year-old had struggled to make a notable impression during the backend of the previous season under manager Javi Gracia but the current campaign has fared much better for him with gametime in each of the opening 13 league matches.

Owing to this, the Hornets appeared to have no second thoughts about committing him for the long-term and they have now confirmed the extension via their official website. Shortly after the announcement, Chairman & CEO Scott Duxbury said: “This is a just reward for Isaac’s continued hard work and application this season. We look forward to seeing him develop further over the coming years.”
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Alex Iwobi – Arsenal work much harder under Unai Emery

Nigeria international Alex Iwobi has indicated that the team are going through a stiffer training regime under the tutelage of new head coach Unai Emery. The Gunners begun the season with back-to-back losses in the Premier League but they have since built up a six-match winning streak across all competitions which has included four-straight Premier League wins.

As such, there has been plenty of positivity around the north London club after a rather frustrating 2017/18 season and Iwobi has now spoken about the demands of the new manager in training. Speaking to reporters, he said: “He demands a lot, we are working a lot harder in training, running a bit more. As you can see, we are buying into his ideas and we are enjoying our time with him. We are not going to dwell on the past, we are always looking forward to the next game. We learn from out mistakes, like we have done. We have got four wins on the bounce now so we have just got to keep on going keep this momentum going and try to get as many wins as we can, like I’m saying.”
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CAF PRESIDENT WANTS MORE COMMITMENT TO ANTI-CORRUPTION

Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Ahmad Ahmad has asked that the member associations increase their commitment to anti-corruption. He said corruption was one of the major issues bedeviling the work of governing bodies.

“Football association leaders should run football well in their respective countries and avoid corruption because it remains one of the challenges,” he said. One way to battle this menace of corruption was for governments to invest more in football, he added.
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Moyes: Wigan Athletic Were Too Good

West Ham manager David Moyes has admitted that Wigan Athletic were too good for them when they met in the FA Cup. Wigan knocked out the Premier League side in the fourth round of the FA Cup over the weekend, further compounding the woes of the Hammers this term.

Moyes was shocked by the Wigan side who outplayed them to continue in the tournament. The Latics are through to the next round courtesy of a Will Grigg double. The player netted a goal in each half at the DW with Arthur Masuaku sent off for spitting at Nick Powell. The move by Masuaku will get him an expected six game ban and further worsen his relationship with his manager and the rest of the team. Continue reading “Moyes: Wigan Athletic Were Too Good”