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Team Nigeria finishes 4th in Africa at Tokyo Paralympics

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Team Nigeria finished in the 33rd position in the world and fourth in Africa on the overall medals table as the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics Games came to a close on Sunday.

Team Nigeri won a total number of ten medals, which include four gold, a silver and five bronze, and emerged the fourth best African team behind Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

Represented by only 22 athletes, the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics had one of Team Nigeria’s smallest contingents to an international competition.

However, Team Nigeria’s 10 medals were just two short of twelve, Nigeria’s record number of medals won at a Paralympics Games.Team Nigeria’s best performance in Paralympics came at Rio 2016 when the team won 8 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze

Team Nigeria’s Chef de Mission, Peter Nelson who is also the Director of Planning, Monitoring and Information in the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, said considering the number that competed at the Tokyo Paralympics, the athletes made Nigeria proud.

“It is awesome and quite remarkable what we have achieved at this Paralympics Games.

“We want to use this medium to appreciate the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, for his enormous support, in making sure that Team Nigeria recorded huge successes. Our dreams and plans came to reality.

“In all, I give glory to God and specially appreciate the athletes, who are the gladiators, not forgetting their coaches and support staff.

“They all made it possible for the Nigerian anthem to be heard at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Games,” said Nelson.

China topped the medals table with 96 gold, 60 silver, 51 bronze medals, followed by Great Britain with 41 gold, 38 silver and 45 bronze medals and the United States of America in third with 37 gold, 36 silver and 31 bronze.

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Man United contact Napoli for Osimhen

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Victor Osimhen

Undergoing a massive rebuild and in desperate need of a goal scorer, Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen this summer.

According to Corriere dello Sport (via thefaithfulmufc), the Red Devils have contacted the Partonopei to discuss a potential move for the Nigerian forward. After enduring a disappointing 2021/22 campaign, United are looking at a fresh approach this summer under new manager Erik ten Hag.

Last season, the 13-time Premier League champions scored just 57 goals in 38 Premier League games. 37-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo was the club’s most impressive forward as he scored 18 goals in 30 games, but the five-time Ballon d’Or winner wasn’t supported by his teammates. Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Edinson Cavani scored just nine league goals between them.

Furthermore, the club are set to part ways with Cavani, Jesse Lingard, and Juan Mata after the expiration of their contracts at the end of the month. They are therefore expected to prioritize signing a top-quality forward.

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Victor Osimhen who joined Napoli from Lille in the summer of 2020 for a club-record fee of €70 million might just be the answer to their prayers and provide the support a veteran Ronaldo needs.

The striker, who scored 18 times and made six assists in 32 games last season, is also on the radar of other top English clubs including Arsenal and Newcastle.

Labelled a ‘phenomenal‘ player for his performances in the past, Osimhen has already scored 15 goals and provided 8 assists in just 23 games for Nigeria. He scored four goals as the Super Eagles thrashed Sao Tome and Principe 10-0 in a match-day two fixture of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match.

He was also on target on match-day one for the Eagles as they rallied back from a goal down to beat Sierra Leone 2-1 at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.

The Italian side’s president, Aurelie De Laurentiis, is renowned for being a tough negotiator and is reportedly reluctant to entertain the idea of selling Osimhen for less than £86m.

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Chelsea, Man United tussle over Neymar

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Neymar

Chelsea, Newcastle, and Manchester United could make a move for PSG winger Neymar this summer.

Neymar is highly regarded as one of the best players to have ever graced a football pitch, and the Brazilian has won countless trophies during his time at Barcelona and PSG.

His time at the French champions could be over, however, with RMC Sport reporting that he is considering looking for a move away from the club this summer.

The report also claimed that three Premier League clubs could make a move, naming Newcastle, Chelsea, and Manchester United.

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Due to the likely astronomical wages that come with signing Neymar, not many clubs will be able to afford the Brazilian winger.

Although the report doesn’t suggest the trio of clubs are seriously considering signing Neymar, there’s no doubt there would be interest from all three clubs, simply due to what he can offer to their side.

Neymar has managed 342 goals during his whole career, but that is only a small percentage of what he can provide. His creativity and dribbling ability mean he’s such a handful for opposition defenders, and the prospect of him playing in the Premier League is an exciting one.

A move to Manchester United and Newcastle seems unlikely due to their Champions League status, but linking up with former manager Thomas Tuchel and former teammate Thiago Silva could be on the cards.

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Okoye: My ambition is the Premier League

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Super Eagles goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye

Super Eagles goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye is preparing ahead of the new season and has indicated his desire to help the club gain promotion back to the top flight.

Okoye, 22, was a £5m signing from Dutch side, Sparta Rotterdam in January.

He only joined up with the Hornets at the off season having been on loan at Sparta Rotterdam since January.

“I think in every player’s head is going back up to the Premier League,” the former Fortuna Düsseldorf goalkeeper said. Okoye was quoted by Watford Observer as saying;“ It’s important to have ambition.

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“On a personal level, I just want to help fulfill that ambition for the other players and the club. The more playing time the better, but most of all I want to see myself grow as a person and a goalkeeper.”

The German-born goalkeeper said English football has always been a dream and he will work hard to make it come true.

”If I can get playing time and improve then that is fantastic. I grew up watching English football and it was always a dream to play in this country.

“As a kid, it was English football I wanted to play in and now I’m going to put the work in to make that happen.”

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