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FA Cup Semi-Finals, Copa del Rey Final Live on StarTimes

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Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristia

Top-flight European football awaits sports fans this weekend on StarTimes.  

Barcelona will seek their first glory this season as they battle Athletic Club in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday at 8:30 pm

The FA Cup semi-final clash between Tuchel’s Chelsea and Guardiola’s Manchester City will take place Saturday in Wembley at 5:30 pm. Leicester City will face Southampton on Sunday at 6:30 pm.

All matches will be aired live and in HD on StarTimes World Football Channel, currently sitting on its Basic for N1700 monthly and Smart Bouquet for N2200 monthly.

Tuchel has been a perennial trophy-winner with PSG and last season won the double with the club from the French capital.

Like Tuchel, his Manchester City counterpart, Pep Guardiola has made winning trophies his business. He seems on track to win his third league title with the club this season and would love to emulate the 2018/19 season, when they won the double.

Guardiola has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to team-selection, with Ilkay Gündogan and Portuguese centre back Ruben Dias arguably being the stand-out players for the side in the last few weeks.

Despite being a midfielder, Gündogan is the club’s top scorer this season so far and Chelsea will be hard-pressed to keep the German international at bay.

Sunday’s semi-final sees Leicester City take on Southampton and like the Chelsea v Manchester City game, the match will be played at Wembley.

The biggest problem Leicester face is that they are very dependent on the goals of Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho, and if the two fail to score, Leicester struggle to win.

For Southampton, appearing in the semi-final is presumably, already a huge success, especially as they had to beat Arsenal to get there.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s Dominance Forces Ban from YouTube and TikTok

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Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristia

Cristiano Ronaldo, the iconic Portuguese footballer known for breaking records on the field, is now facing an unusual restriction off the field as he cannot open official accounts on YouTube and TikTok.

Sources familiar with the situation reveal that the unprecedented ban stems from concerns over the extraordinary number of subscribers and views Ronaldo could attract, potentially overwhelming the platforms and disrupting their ecosystems.

Ronaldo’s immense popularity is well-documented. His presence on social media has always drawn millions of followers, and his videos consistently garner high engagement.

According to experts, allowing Ronaldo to create a YouTube channel could lead to unsustainable costs for both YouTube and other content creators on the platform.

For context, it took Mr. Beast, currently the YouTuber with the most subscribers, about 13 years to amass 200 million subscribers. Projections indicate that Ronaldo could reach this milestone in less than three years, thanks to his global fanbase and widespread appeal.

This rapid growth could strain YouTube’s infrastructure and financial resources to manage such an influx.

In 2023, Ronaldo briefly opened an official TikTok account. Within a single day, his account skyrocketed to 4 million followers and received 10 million likes, earning verification almost instantly.

The overwhelming response caused significant disruptions on TikTok, prompting the platform to ban his account and suggesting that TikTok could not handle the financial and operational challenges posed by Ronaldo’s massive viewership.

He already has more than 630 million followers on Instagram and 111.7M Followers on X.com.

The decision to prohibit Ronaldo from these platforms highlights the unique challenges posed by mega-celebrities in the digital age.

While their presence can bring enormous traffic and engagement, it also poses significant logistical and financial challenges for social media companies.

Ronaldo’s situation revealed the delicate balance platforms must maintain between leveraging star power for growth and ensuring sustainable operations for all users.

As social media continues to evolve, this case may prompt platforms to rethink how they manage the accounts of exceptionally influential figures.

In the meantime, Ronaldo remains active on other social media channels, where he continues to connect with his fans and share glimpses of his life and career. Despite the bans, his influence and popularity show no signs of waning, reaffirming his status as one of the most celebrated athletes in the world.

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Arsenal Prepares €100M Bid for Napoli’s Victor Osimhen

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Victor Osimhen

Arsenal is gearing up to make a significant splash in the summer transfer market, with plans to submit a formal €100 million bid for Napoli’s prolific striker Victor Osimhen in the coming days.

This move underscores the Gunners’ determination to bolster their attacking options ahead of the new Premier League season.

The news, reported by Italian journalist Ciro Venerato, highlights Arsenal’s ambition to secure a world-class forward who can enhance their offensive prowess.

“Arsenal will make an attempt with Napoli in the next few days after many rumors,” Venerato stated, confirming the North London club’s interest in the Nigerian international.

Victor Osimhen, who has been a standout performer for Napoli, has a release clause set at €130 million (approximately £110 million).

If Arsenal were to meet this clause, it would make Osimhen the club’s most expensive signing, surpassing the £105 million paid for Declan Rice last year.

However, reports suggest that Arsenal is hoping to negotiate a lower fee, with an initial bid of around €100 million (£85 million) being prepared.

Osimhen has made no secret of his desire to play in the Premier League, and Arsenal’s interest aligns with his aspirations.

Despite missing 11 matches due to injuries and his participation in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, Osimhen managed to score 15 goals in 23 Serie A appearances in the recently concluded 2023/24 season.

Arsenal’s pursuit of Osimhen is part of a broader strategy to strengthen their squad after narrowly missing out on a top-four finish last season.

The club’s management is keen to add depth and quality to their roster, ensuring they can compete at the highest level domestically and in European competitions.

In addition to Arsenal, other top clubs have shown interest in Osimhen. Chelsea is reportedly monitoring the situation, while Paris Saint-Germain has also been linked with the striker as a potential replacement for Kylian Mbappe, who recently joined Real Madrid.

The potential acquisition of Osimhen would be a significant coup for Arsenal, signaling their intent to compete with the best in the Premier League.

The Nigerian striker’s blend of pace, power, and finishing ability would add a new dimension to Arsenal’s attack, complementing the talents of players like Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka, and Martin Ødegaard.

As the summer transfer window progresses, Arsenal fans will be eagerly awaiting further developments. The club’s willingness to invest heavily in a player of Osimhen’s caliber demonstrates their commitment to returning to the pinnacle of English football.

If successful, this move could be a game-changer for the Gunners, providing the firepower needed to challenge for major honors in the upcoming season.

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Finidi George Resigns from Super Eagles Role, Confirms Toyin Ibitoye

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Finidi George

Finidi George has resigned from his position as the head coach of Nigeria’s national football team, the Super Eagles.

This news was confirmed by former Super Eagles media officer, Toyin Ibitoye, who announced the resignation on his social media account.

“News just in: Finidi George @FinidiGeorge_FG has resigned from his @NGSuperEagles manager position,” Ibitoye posted, causing a ripple of reactions among fans and football analysts.

Finidi’s resignation comes just days after the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) disclosed plans to appoint a foreign technical adviser, a move seen by many as a shake-up intended to bolster the team’s performance.

This strategic decision by the NFF likely influenced Finidi’s choice to step down.

Appointed on April 29, 2024, Finidi’s tenure was notably brief. He succeeded Jose Peseiro, whose contract expired in February.

During his short spell, Finidi managed two World Cup qualifying matches, leading the Super Eagles to a 1-1 draw with South Africa and a 2-1 defeat to Benin Republic.

Despite the less-than-stellar results, Finidi’s appointment had initially been met with enthusiasm, with many hoping his extensive experience as a former international player and successful coach of Enyimba FC would translate into success for the national team.

The NFF’s decision to bring in foreign expertise highlights its commitment to enhancing the Super Eagles’ competitive edge on the international stage.

However, the timing of this announcement and Finidi’s subsequent resignation have sparked discussions about the stability and future direction of the team.

In response to the resignation, the NFF will need to expedite its search for a new head coach. This transition period is critical, especially with the ongoing World Cup qualifiers and other international fixtures looming.

Fans and stakeholders are watching closely, hoping that the new direction will bring positive changes and improved performances.

The NFF now faces the challenge of not only finding a suitable replacement but also ensuring that the transition is seamless to maintain team morale and focus.

The next few weeks will be crucial as the Super Eagles prepare under new guidance, aiming to meet the high expectations of their supporters and the nation.

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