La Liga’s El Clásico on Saturday promises to be a significant game in the title race. Messi’s Barça go into the clash just a point off the top spot, and two points ahead of a Real Madrid that just beat Liverpool in the Champions League.
Saturday’s match is no doubt the highlight of the weekend’s global football calendar and fans will miss none of the action as the game will be televised live and in HD on the StarTimes’ Sport Premium channel at 8 pm, as Africa’s leading digital-TV operator broadcasts La Liga matches throughout the continent as well as Bundesliga, UEFA Europa League, FA Cup and the coming UEFA Euro 2020.
Saturday’s home side, Real Madrid have a slight advantage in the statistics, having won 74 of the 181 previous matches, while Barcelona won 72, with 35 ending in a draw.
Due to COVID regulations, the match will be played in the Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium, which normally hosts games of the Real Madrid reserve side that campaigns in the Segunda División B, which is the third tier of Spanish football.
Both sides have several injury worries ahead of their 182nd La Liga clash.
Against Liverpool, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane had to make do without captain Sergio Ramos, who has played in more El Clásico matches – 45 – than any other player.
Ramos’ central defensive partner Raphael Varane will definitely be out of the game as he has tested positive for the Covid virus and will be forced to quarantine.
Dani Carvajal and Eden Hazard were also unavailable against Liverpool and are likely to miss the clash against Barcelona.
Barcelona, who needed a last-gasp goal from Ousmane Dembele to beat lowly Valladolid 1-0 on Monday will probably be without inspirational Gerard Pique on Saturday.
But despite all the absences, there are still plenty of stars that will feature in the game, with Barcelona having the likes of Lionel Messi, Frenkie De Jong, Jordi Alba, Antoine Griezmann and young American Sergino Dest, while Real can count on Toni Kroos, Karim Benzema and Luca Modric – amongst others.
Oleksandr Usyk Defeats Anthony Joshua to Emerge the New Heavyweight Champion of the World
Oleksandr Usyk, Ukrainian undefeated unified Cruiserweight of the world, defeated Anthony Joshua in a largely one sided fight in Tottenham, United Kingdom.
The Ukrainian won unanimously on the three scorecards, 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113, to emerge the new heavyweight champion of the world.
Anthony Joshua was outboxed and outclassed from the very first round to the 12th round. Flat footed in the first half of the fight and seems confused and lost with Usyk’s classic movements, jab and the aggressiveness expected from Anthony Joshua.
Usyk was the one that imposed himself on Anthony Joshua and consistently push the former champion back while touching him with jabs.
Joshua was slower – although clearly more powerful – and he did hurt Usyk at times but not enough to break the Ukrainian confidence.
Usyk, in the final round, looks bouncier, more mobile, while Joshua seems to know that he needs to try and unload a big shot or two and knock this man out to have any chance. But it was Usyk who keeps coming forward and forces the former champion on to the back foot.
Joshua ducks and dives as Usyk, who is such an awkward figher, keeps coming forward and keeps throwing shots. Joshua winds up a big right hand but misses. The two trade blows before the bell and Joshua is rocked! Joshua was nearly knocked out in round 12.
Anthony Joshua’s manager, Eddie Hearn, who spoke after the fight said: “I spoke to him … obviously it was a tough fight, a gruelling fight … a devastating defeat. Congrats to Usyk, what a fighter, the better man won. The danger was you overthink it and try and be too technical and don’t use your attributes … it was all the things you worry about against a fighter like Usyk. No complaints from AJ, he’ll get up, and he’ll go again. This was just being beat by a better man on the night.”
Chris Eubank Jr, who works as Skysport pundit for the fight, said “I’m gobsmacked, flabbergasted … I didn’t see the fight going that way at all. It’s only his [Usyk’s] third heavyweight fight. It was a masterclass. One of the biggest statements in boxing for a very long time. Full credit to the guy.”
“It was just a boxing clinic,” adds another pundit.
Delighted former Ukrainian world’s heavyweight champion, Vitali Klitschko, told Sky: “Excellent fight … very clever. I’m very happy. Actually he did a perfect job.” Usyk then arrives on the scene during the interview and Klitschko congratulates him heartily.
Anthony Joshua is now had 26 fights with 24 wins (22 KO) and 2 losses.
NFF, Premier Lotto Sign $972,053 Partnership Agreement
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has signed a N400 million deal, about $972,053 with Premier Lotto also known as Baba Ijebu, the latest in the past couple of weeks.
President of the NFF, Amaju Pinnick stated this on Monday when he featured on ARISE News’ The Morning Show. The partnership will run for an initial renewable three years.
Mr. Pinnick said the deals have been made possible because of the integrity posture of Nigeria football. He had also led the federation in sealing deals with the leading airline, Air Peace as the Official Airline of Nigerian National Teams, and with MTN as the Official Communications Partner of the Super Eagles and the National Teams.
Lionel Messi Join Paris Saint-Germain On A Two-Year Contract After Leaving Barcelona
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is traveling to Paris on Tuesday afternoon to seal his move to the French club on a deal worth £25m per year after tax, plus bonuses.
Messi had two other options after leaving Barcelona last week but has opted to move to PSG, who will have the option of extending his stay in the French capital by the third year
Lionel Messi to sign a two-year deal worth £25m per year after tax with PSG; 34-year-old will have the option to extend the deal by a third-year and will receive a £25m signing-on fee; Messi was set to sign a new five-year contract at Barcelona but the club was unable to complete the deal
Messi was set to extend his 21-year stay at Barcelona by signing a new five-year deal this summer.
However, the club announced on Thursday that “financial and structural obstacles” meant the deal could not be completed, meaning Messi left as a free agent.
The 34-year-old said he wanted to stay at Barcelona and “did everything” he could to remain at the club, including agreeing to a 50-per-cent wage cut.
However, Barcelona is hamstrung by La Liga’s rules on club spending and even halving Messi’s pay was not enough to ensure he remained at the Nou Camp.
Messi is now set to join PSG, with their potential to compete for major trophies – including the Champions League – understood to be a key factor in his decision to move to France.
Messi is also believed to be keen to reunite with Neymar, with whom he won two La Liga titles, three Copa del Reys and the Champions League during their time together at Barcelona.
Asked about a move to PSG at his farewell press conference last weekend, Messi said: “That is one possibility, to reach those heights.
“I had a lot of calls, a lot of interested clubs. At the moment, nothing is closed, but we are talking about a lot of things.”
Messi said he did not want to leave Barcelona in an emotional farewell news conference on Sunday.
Messi was in tears as he received a standing ovation in his final Barcelona press conference to announce the end of his 21 years with the club.
News2 weeks ago
Taliban Says Men and Women to Study Separately in Gender-Segregated Universities
Naira3 weeks ago
Naira Plunges Further, Exchanges at N530 to U.S Dollar
News2 weeks ago
Terrorism Sponsors: UAE Names Six Nigerians, 47 Others
Economy2 weeks ago
Senate Receives Buhari’s Request For $4.054B, €710M, $125M External Borrowing Approval
News4 weeks ago
Buhari Terminates Appointment of Power and Agriculture Ministers
Appointments4 weeks ago
CBN Appoints Six New Directors, Confirms Nwanisobi Spokesman
Company News4 weeks ago
FirstBank Sponsors Duke of Shomolu Production; As Awo and Aremu Hits The Stage
Cryptocurrency4 weeks ago
Top U.S. Regulator Is Right, Crypto Needs Regulation: deVere CEO