AFCON Qualifiers: Peseiro lists 4 home-based players for Sierra Leone – Newstrends
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AFCON Qualifiers: Peseiro lists 4 home-based players for Sierra Leone

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Super Eagles players

AFCON Qualifiers: Peseiro lists 4 home-based players for Sierra Leone

Super Eagles’ Head Coach José Peseiro has invited to camp four home-based players alongside 19 foreign-based others for next weekend’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Sierra Leone.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Super Eagles will take on the Leone Stars in an AFCON Group A qualifier on June 18 in Monrovia.

Ademola Olajire, Director of Communications at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), in a statement on Friday said forward Victor Osimhen topped the list of strikers called up.

Osimhen has scored 31 goals in all competitions for SSC Napoli this season to help the Italian side to their first Serie A title in 33 years.

He was recently honoured with a National Award as Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) by the Government of Nigeria.

Osimhen also received a special ball and jersey from world football-ruling body FIFA for his magnificent season.

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Peseiro also invited four home-based players to the squad.

These are goalkeepers Victor Sochima of Rivers United, Olorunleke Ojo of Enyimba International, Rivers United defender Ebube Duru and Bendel Insurance midfielder Divine Nwachukwu.

Goalkeeper Adebayo Adeleye, defender William Ekong, midfielder Alex Iwobi and forward Moses Simon are among others invited for the qualifying match.

Also in the 23-man list are: Kenneth Omeruo, Zaidu Sanusi, Calvin Bassey, Oluwasemilogo Ajayi and Bright Osayi-Samuel.

Others in the list are: midfielders Wilfred Ndidi and Frank Onyeka, and forwards Samuel Chukwueze, Taiwo Awoniyi and Kelechi Iheanacho.

The Super Eagles are top in their qualification group with nine points from four matches, followed by Guinea Bissau’s Wild Dogs who have seven points.

Leone Stars, who gave the Eagles a tough run in Abuja on Day One of the qualification series before succumbing 2-1, are on five points.

Sao Tome and Principe, who play the Super Eagles on the final day of the series in September, are bottom with only one point.

Nigeria and Sierra Leone will clash at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium in Monrovia from 5 p.m. on June 18.

Sierra Leone are hosting their matches now in Liberia as they do not have any stadium approved for international matches.

ALL THE INVITED PLAYERS:

Goalkeepers: Adebayo Adeleye (Hapoel Jerusalem, Israel); Victor Sochima (Rivers United); Olorunleke Ojo (Enyimba FC)

Defenders: William Ekong (Watford FC, UK); Calvin Bassey (Ajax FC, The Netherlands); Kevin Akpoguma (TSG Hoffenheim, Germany); Chidiebube Duru (Rivers United).

Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, UK); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey)

Midfielders: Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Southampton FC, UK); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, UK); Divine Nwachukwu (Bendel Insurance); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, UK); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, UK)

Forwards: Moses Simon (Nantes FC, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy).

Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli, Italy); Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest, UK); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, UK); Ahmed Musa (Sivasspor K, Turkey).

AFCON Qualifiers: Peseiro lists 4 home-based players for Sierra Leone

(NAN)

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Lionel Messi’s napkin contract sells for £762,400

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Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi’s napkin contract sells for £762,400

The napkin on which Barcelona agreed to sign 13-year-old Lionel Messi was sold in an auction for £762,400.

The beginning price was £300,000 for the ‘standard Spanish waxy napkin’, which measures 16.5 x 16.5cm and is laminated and framed.

The serviette, written in blue ink in December 2000, contains a vow from ex-Barcelona director Carles Rexach to sign Messi.

It was also signed by Josep Minguella, the Spanish club’s transfer adviser, and agency Horacio Gaggioli, who recommended the Argentine teenager.

On Gaggioli’s behalf, London-based Bonhams held an online auction for the blue-ink serviette.

Messi joined Barcelona a month after the purchase was agreed upon and went on to become the club’s all-time leading goalscorer, with many considering him the greatest player in history.

He made his first-team debut at the age of 16 and went on to score a club record 672 goals in 778 games for Barcelona. Messi won ten La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues with Barcelona before moving to Paris St-Germain in 2021; the 36-year-old World Cup winner now plays for Inter Miami.

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The serviette was signed during a meeting arranged by Rexach, who brought Messi’s father Jorge to lunch after the Messi family expressed worries about Barcelona’s lack of responsiveness following the teenager’s initial trial.

Translated into English, it reads: “In Barcelona, on December 14, 2000, and in the presence of Messrs.

“Minguella and Horacio, Carles Rexach, FC Barcelona’s sporting director, hereby agrees, under his responsibility and regardless of any dissenting opinions, to sign the player Lionel Messi, provided that we keep to the amounts agreed upon.”

Ian Ehling, head of fine books and manuscripts at Bonhams New York, said: “Since the sale was first announced, it has captured international attention, and fans all over the world have anticipated this day.

“What a wonderful result for one of the most thrilling items I have ever handled. Yes, it’s a paper napkin, but it’s the famous napkin that was at the inception of Lionel Messi’s career.

“It changed the life of Messi, the future of FC Barcelona, and was instrumental in giving some of the most glorious moments of football to billions of fans around the globe.”

Bonhams mentioned that “allegations concerning the ownership of the napkin were raised in March but have not been substantiated and appear from recent press comments to have been retracted.”.

The auction house adds, “The consignor of the napkin has received a legal opinion that confirms to them that they have clear title and the right to sell the napkin under Spanish law, and the seller gives a full warranty of title with the sale.”

Lionel Messi’s napkin contract sells for £762,400

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Referee saved Fury from knock-out in Round 9, says Usyk’s promoter

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Referee saved Fury from knock-out in Round 9, says Usyk’s promoter

Oleksandr Usyk’s promoter, Alexander Krassyuk believes the victory should have come earlier than it did as the fight didn’t have to go past the ninth round.

Fury was saved by the ropes, and then the bell after a flurry of punches from Usyk almost sent him to the canvas.

“I am exhausted. I was cheering and backing Usyk the whole fight. No disrespect to the referee but he stole the KO. That’s my opinion. It was a tremendous performance.” Krassyuk told DAZN.

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Usyk, however, did enough at the end of 12 Rounds to earn a split decision victory.

Two judges scored in his favour – 115-113 and 114-113 with the other giving it to Fury at 114-113.

Referee saved Fury from knock-out in Round 9, says Usyk’s promoter

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Ronaldo tops Forbes, earning twice as much as Messi

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Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo tops Forbes, earning twice as much as Messi

Portuguese football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has topped Forbes’s global list of highest-paid athletes, earning $260 million in the past 12 months, twice as much as his rival Lionel Messi.

Ronaldo became the highest-paid athlete after moving to Al Nassr in the Saudi Pro League. The 39-year-old star’s earnings include a $200 million fixed salary and $60 million from sponsorship deals, thanks to his massive social media following.

In contrast, Messi, who moved to Inter Miami in the MLS, earned $135 million, placing him third on the list. This includes $65 million in salary and $70 million from sponsorships with brands like Adidas and Apple.

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Golfer Jon Rahm is second on the list, earning $218 million after joining the Saudi Public Investment Fund’s tournament system.

The top five also include NBA stars LeBron James ($128.2 million) and Giannis Antetokounmpo ($111 million). Other notable athletes include Kylian Mbappe ($110 million), Neymar ($108 million), Karim Benzema ($106 million), Steph Curry, and Lamar Jackson (both $100.5 million).

Overall, the 50 highest-paid athletes earned $3.88 billion over the past year, with the NBA contributing the most athletes to the list. The earnings highlight a generational shift, with many long-time top earners retiring or nearing the end of their careers.

Ronaldo tops Forbes, earning twice as much as Messi

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