Morocco stun Brazil in int’l friendly – Newstrends
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Morocco stun Brazil in int’l friendly

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Morocco stunned Brazil 2-1 in a friendly international on Saturday as the north African side recorded a first ever win over the five-time world champions.

Midfielder Sofiane Boufal, a former Southampton star, but now playing with Al Rayyan in Qatar, gave Morocco the lead after 29 minutes, scoring with a powerful turn and drive from a pass by Bilal El Khannous.

Brazil skipper Casemiro levelled in the 67th minute when his weak shot was fumbled by goalkeeper Yassine Bounou.

But on-loan Sampdoria midfielder Abdelhamid Sabiri struck the winner with a volley in the 79th minute as Morocco showed that becoming the first Arab or African nation to reach the World Cup semi-finals last year was no fluke.

“I wouldn’t say we lacked understanding, it’s about putting into practice the ideas of a new coach,” said Manchester United’s Casemiro.

“I think we played a good game and did everything as far as possible to win.”

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Only 10 of the 23-man squad that took Brazil to a disappointing quarter-final exit at the World Cup made the trip to Morocco for the game.

The injured Neymar was again missing with his number 10 shirt passing to Real Madrid youngster Rodrygo.

Brazil also had a new manager in the dugout with interim coach Ramon Menezes having replaced Tite who stepped down after the World Cup last-eight exit at the hands of Croatia.

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) hopes to be able to announce the name of its new coach before the start of qualifying for the 2026 World Cup in September.

According to Brazilian media, the CBF’s first choice is Carlo Ancelotti, currently in charge of Real Madrid.

However, he is not expected to make a decision on his future before the end of the European season.

Before kick-off at the Ibn Batouta stadium, both teams paid tribute to Pele, who died last December at the age of 82.

Until Saturday, Morocco had suffered defeats in their only two other meetings with Brazil — 2-0 in a 1997 friendly and 3-0 in the group stages of the 1998 World Cup in France.

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Aston Villa opens offers for Fiorentina’s Kayode

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Michael Kayode

Aston Villa opens offers for Fiorentina’s Kayode

Aston Villa have tabled an opening bid for Fiorentina full-back Michael Kayode, the 19-year-old Nigerian descent  who exploded onto the scene last season in Serie A.

Transfer expert Alfredo Pedulla  was  quoted as  saying that the Premier League club will use the funds collected in the sale of Douglas Luiz to Juventus, to help finance the deal.

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Villa sporting Director, Monchi, is thought to be a huge fan of the player and Pedulla claimed that the Birmingham club has made an initial offer of €15M plus bonuses. Fiorentina are understood to be ready to sell for a fee in the region of €20M with the two parties now close to an agreement.

Kayode grew up in the youth ranks at Juventus before making the switch to La Viola’s under-19 squad in the summer of 2021. Last season, the Italy Under-21 international made 26 Serie A appearances for the club and six in the UEFA Conference League, which Fiorentina ultimately lost to Olympiacos.

Aston Villa opens offers for Fiorentina’s Kayode

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Napoli plans to slash asking price for Victor Osimhen

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Victor Osimhen

Napoli plans to slash asking price for Victor Osimhen

Italian club, Napoli is reportedly set to reduce their asking price for Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen.The Nigerian international currently has a €150 million release clause in his contract, which has put off some of his potential buyers.

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Italian reports have claimed that Napoli will lessen their release clause stance on the Nigerian, with Calciomercato stating the Partenopei may lower their initial valuation to €100 million.Napoli’s new coach, Antonio Conte is said to be aiming to bring in Romelu Lukaku as his replacement, with the pair interested in being reunited after working together at Inter for two seasons before the manager’s resignation after claiming the 2020-21 Scudetto.

Napoli plans to slash asking price for Victor Osimhen

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Super Eagles Coach: NFF divided over Minister’s choice of Amuneke

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Emmanuel Amuneke

Super Eagles Coach: NFF divided over Minister’s choice of Amuneke

There are serious indications that some members of the  Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) are grumbling about the latest development by the Sports Ministry to allow former U-17 coach, Emmanuel Amuneke to oversee the remaining games of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

ThePAPERS reports that the  Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) axed Finidi George‘s tenure as  Super Eagles coach and announced plans to hire a foreign technical adviser in the wake of the team’s shambolic 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign so far.

A reliable source from the Glass House told ThePAPERS that there are rumours from the Sport Ministry that the rejected Emmanuel Amuneke could eventually be appointed as interim coach of  the Super Eagles Super Eagles for the remainder of the World Cup qualifiers before appointing a foreign coach.

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This development, according to the source, will not be welcomed by the top executive members of the NFF, while some are already grumbling to decline the approach of the Sports Ministry whenever it comes up.

The PAPERS had earlier reported that former Tanzania national team coach, Emmanuel Amuneke was the anointed candidate of the Honourable Minister of Sports and Youth Development, John Enoh before NFF appointed Finidi George for the top job.

It is yet to be confirmed if the speculations could amount to the announcement of Amuneke as interim  Super Eagles coach.

Super Eagles Coach: NFF divided over Minister’s choice of Amuneke

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