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Unbeaten Quadri cruises into 2023 WTT Singapore round of 16

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Quadri Aruna

Nigeria’s tennis superstar, Quadri Aruna, yesterday surpassed his 2022 World Table Tennis, WTT tournament Singapore Smash record as he defeated youngster Alexis Lebrun of France, 3-2 in the men’s singles to qualify for the round of 16 of the ongoing 2023 WTT edition in Singapore.

Quadri who exited the 2022 edition in round of 32 scaled the hurdles this year as he won his round of 32 clash 3-2 (8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 7-11 and 11-7) at the Singapore Sports hub, to move to the round of 16 at the ongoing tournament.

After the victory against the French tennis star, the African tennis champion will slug out against world-ranked No 4 Tomokazu Harimoto of Japan on Thursday for a place in the next round.

The Nigerian table tennis sensation who is yet to record any win against the Japanese player is hoping for a favourable result as he assured that he would deploy all the arsenal in his armoury to break the jinx.

“It is always difficult playing against Harimoto because he is a very fast player but having played him twice at a big stage like this, I think I will try my best to bring him down this time. This is a 50-50 match for both of us as anybody can win.

“In this tournament, every player has an equal chance to win the title because we are all at the same level regardless of your world ranking. I am happy with my performance and I hope I can do more,” he said.

Quadri is the ‘last man standing’ as he is the only surviving African in the competition following the early exit of Egypt’s quartet of Omar Assar, Dina Meshref, Hana Goda and Mariam Alhodaby.

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Ronaldo breaks another record, grabs brace in Euro qualifier

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Cristiano Ronaldo

Football super star, Cristiano Ronaldo has broken another record, becoming the world’s most capped international football player after featuring in Portugal’s win against Liechtenstein, where grabbed a brace.

Portugal demolished Liechtenstein 4-0 in their first Euro 2024 qualifying match on Thursday at home

Ronaldo has appeared for Portugal 197th time in international match to become the only man to have done that.

The Portuguese star had moved level with Kuwait forward Bader Al-Mutawa on 196 caps at the World Cup but there were question marks over his international future after Portugal’s elimination by Morocco at the quarter-final stage.

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Ronaldo has now scored 120 international goals with his brace on Thursday.

However, Portugal began their Euro 2024 qualifier campaign with a ruthless performance against Liechtenstein.

The homers opened scoring in eight minutes. The had ball rebounded and arrived at the feet of Joao Cancelo just outside the box. He fired a daisy-cutter into the middle of the goal.

Bernardo Silva made it 2-0 for Portugal two minutes after the break, tapping home from close range after the rebound fell into his path.

Ronaldo scored four minutes later from the penalty spot to make it 3-0. He put the ball into the bottom left corner past the outstretched arm of Benjamin Buchel.

The Portugese star got his brace on 63 minutes, shooting from the free kick just outside the box, hitting the top right corner.

Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info). PM

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Ex-Arsenal player, Mesut Ozil announces retirement

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Mesut Ozil

The former Real Madrid and Arsenal player, Mesut Ozil announced his retirement from football on Wednesday after an illustrious international career with Germany.

The 34-year-old helped Germany to glory in Brazil in 2014 but bitterly quit the international scene after the Germans crashed out of the 2018 tournament in Russia.

A statement on social media said: “Hello everyone, After thoughtful consideration, I’m announcing my immediate retirement from professional football.

“I’ve had the privilege to be a professional football player for almost 17 years now and I feel incredibly thankful for the opportunity. But in recent weeks and months, having also suffered some injuries, it’s become more and more clear that it’s time to leave the big stage of football.

“It has been an amazing journey filled with unforgettable moments and emotions. I want to thank my clubs – Schalke 04, Werder Bremen, Real Madrid, Arsenal FC, Fenerbahce, Basaksehir and the coaches who supported me, plus team-mates who have become friends.”

Ozil, born in the German city of Gelsenkirchen but of Turkish descent, played on some of football’s biggest stages but also became embroiled in international politics and accusations of racism.

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When Germany were knocked out of the 2018 World Cup at the group stage, a wounded Ozil accused the German public of “racist” attacks.

His club career blossomed when his deft passing and vision helped secure his move from the Bundesliga to Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid side in 2010.

He soon led La Liga in assists while helping the Spanish club to their 32nd league title in 2012.

His big-money move to Arsenal in 2013 helped the London club end their FA Cup drought the following year.

In 2014, Ozil started the final as Germany beat Lionel Messi’s Argentina 1-0 in the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro thanks to Mario Goetze’s extra-time goal.

His statement continued: “Special thanks must go to my family members and my closest friends. They have been a part of my journey from day one and have given me so much love and support, through the good times and the bad.

“Thank you to all my fans who have shown me so much love no matter the circumstances and no matter which club I was representing.

“Now I’m looking forward to everything that is in front of me with my beautiful wife, Amine, and my two beautiful daughters, Eda and Ela – but you can be sure that you will hear from me from time to time on my social media channels.

“See you soon, Mesut!”

Ozil was repeatedly shortlisted for the Ballon d’Or but the later stages of his career were troubled by disputes over playing time and his close personal friendship with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan was the best man at Ozil’s Istanbul wedding to former Miss Turkey and actress Amine in 2019.

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Ex-Arsenal & Man City striker Emmanuel Adebayor retires aged 39

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Emmanuel Adebayor

Former Premier League striker Emmanuel Adebayor has announced his retirement from football aged 39.

Adebayor enjoyed a 22-year professional career, which saw him play in France, England, Spain, Turkey, Paraguay and his native Togo. He scored 97 goals in 241 appearances in the Premier League, playing for Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham and Crystal Palace.

That record places him 35th on the list of the league’s all-time top scorers, between Tottenham forward Son Heung-min and Nigerian striker Yakubu. While he spent most of his career in the Premier League, he also turned out for Metz and Monaco in France, Real Madrid in Spain and Istanbul Basaksehir in Turkey.

He has now announced his decision to hang up his boots. “SEA, from the highs to the lows, my career as a professional athlete has been an incredible journey,” he wrote on Instagram.

“Thank you to my fans for being there every step of the way. I’m feeling so grateful for everything, and excited for what’s to come!”

Adebayor made his name at Arsenal, who signed him from Monaco for £3million in January 2006. He stayed for three years in Arsene Wenger ’s side and exploded onto the scene by scoring 30 times in the 2007/08 season.

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