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Veteran Coach Gernot Rohr makes World Cup bow with Nigeria

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With more than 45 years in the game both as a player and as a coach, Franco-German Gernot Rohr will be at the World Cup for the first time after he qualified Nigeria for the finals against the odds.

After coaching Niger, Gabon and Burkina Faso, Rohr took up a much more daunting job with the Super Eagles in August 2016.

This happened after the three-time African champions had failed to qualify for a second straight Africa Cup of Nations and had been drawn in a tough group along with reigning African champions Cameroon, Algeria and Zambia for a place in Russia.

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Rohr had promised Nigeria World Cup qualification after he signed a two-year contract.

“I am enthusiastic to get to work. This is a big challenge because Nigeria has big players everywhere and have the ability to do well internationally,” he declared.

A 2-1 win in Ndola, Zambia, in October 2016 set the tone for a successful qualifying campaign as the Eagles recorded crucial home wins over Algeria and Cameroon before wrapping up qualification with a late Alex Iwobi winner against the Zambians in front of a home crowd in October 2017.

Runaway group winners Nigeria were not troubled even after FIFA docked them three points for fielding the ineligible Shehu Abdullahi in a final qualifier in Algeria which finished in a 1-1 draw in November.

The highlight of Rohr’s coaching career was leading Bordeaux to the final of the UEFA Cup in 1996 when they lost both legs to his former club Bayern Munich.

Rohr, now 64, restored self-belief, introduced several young players and brought tactical organization for Nigeria to reach a sixth World Cup.

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“He’s a great and wonderful coach,” said Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi.

“First thing (with him) is the solidarity of the group and that is really helping the team,” he said.

“I can see that everybody is trying to bond, you don’t just think about yourself, but the whole team. We are like a family.”

Source: The Punch

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Premier League! Sarri Identifies First Signing For Chelsea (SEE)

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Maurizio Sarri has identified Belgian midfielder, Dries Mertens as his first signing when he becomes Chelsea boss.

Chelsea are expected to announce their decision on a new manager soon with Sarri making much of the headlines as Antonio Conte’s replacement.

Conte is expected to leave Stamford Bridge despite leading the club to the FA Cup title last season.

The Mirror UK reports that Sarri wants to make Mertens his first signing as Chelsea manager.

The former Napoli boss is closing in on a move to take over at Stamford Bridge, and wants the 31-year-old to come to London along with him.

Maurizio Sarri has identified Belgian midfielder, Dries Mertens as his first signing when he becomes Chelsea boss.

Mertens scored 22 goals under Sarri at Napoli last season, as Napoli finished second in Serie A.

 

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“Mikel Obi Is A Bad Number 10 For Super Eagles” – Mourinho

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Sequel to the opening Group D World Cup match of the Super Eagles against Croatia on Saturday which ended with a 2-0 victory in favour to the Crotian team, Manchester United boss, Jose Mourinho has disclosed that Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi is a bad number 10.

Mourinho stated this after Nigeria’s loss to Croatia on Saturday. The Portuguese gaffer, who signed Mikel for Chelsea in 2006 and converted him from an attacking midfielder to a defensive midfield, said Nigeria has lost a good defensive midfielder in the person of Mikel.

Speaking as a World Cup pundit on the Russian TV station, RT, Mourinho said, referring to Mikel: “Nigeria lost a good No.6 to get a bad No.10.”

Mikel has often played an advanced role for the Eagles, while he played a much deeper role for Chelsea successfully for close to 11 years.

The Eagles will face Iceland on Friday needing a win to keep hope alive.

 

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Cristiano Ronaldo and Co touch down in Russia ahead of World Cup after Real Madrid star leaves young Portugal fan ‘crying with happiness’ in Lisbon

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  • Portugal arrived  Lisbon airport on Saturday morning ahead of flying out
  • European champions are jetting out to Russia six days before opening game
  • Cristiano Ronaldo and Co face Spain in Sochi in Group B clash on Friday
  • The squad then arrived on their plane in Moscow on Saturday afternoon 

According to reports a young Portugal fan gave his national side heroes and Cristiano Ronaldo an emotional send off as they jetted out to Russia for the World Cup on Saturday.

C. Ronaldo was leading the European champions through Humberto Delgado Airport in the Portuguese capital Lisbon when he was approached by a youngster wearing his shirt.

The Real Madrid star stopped to embrace the kid, posed for pictures and then left him ‘crying with happiness’ after giving him an autograph before heading for the departure lounge.

A young Portugal fan ran up to greet Cristiano Ronaldo as he arrived at Lisbon airport

A young Portugal fan ran up to greet Cristiano Ronaldo as he arrived at Lisbon

Ronaldo shares an embrace with the young fan as he got ready to fly out to Russia

Ronaldo led the youngster inside and left him 'crying with happiness' according to the mother

Ronaldo led the youngster inside and left him ‘crying with happiness’ according to the mother

The Real Madrid star gave the child an autograph before heading into the departure lounge

The Real Madrid star gave the child an autograph before heading into the departure lounge

Ronaldo gives a thumbs up to the camera as he prepares to jet off to Russia

Ronaldo gives a thumbs up to the camera as he prepares to jet off to Russia

The 33-year-old smiles and waves to the camera as he gets set to arrive at the World Cup

The 33-year-old smiles and waves to the camera as he gets set to arrive at the World Cup

The Real Madrid star led the European champions as they departed for the World Cup

The Real Madrid star led the European champions as they departed for the World Cup

The Portugal plane lands in Moscow as the players arrive for the World Cup later this month

The Portugal plane lands in Moscow as the players arrive for the World Cup later this month

Ronaldo then arrived with his Portugal team-mates at the Zhukovsky International Airport

Ronaldo then arrived with his Portugal team-mates at the Zhukovsky International Airport

The Portugal players disembark from the plane after arriving at the airport in Moscow

His mother told reporters: ‘He loves the national team so he is now very happy. He managed to get an autograph from Cristiano Ronaldo and now he is crying with happiness.’

The Real Madrid stars and his team-mates arrived in Moscow on Saturday afternoon, looking as well-groomed as they did before they left their home country.

They wore Portugal flags on their lapels to show their spirit ahead of the highly-anticipated tournament in Russia.

Credit: dailymail

 

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