Ways to be a FOOTBALL girlfriend

Well ladies, I know the football season is here and you can no longer enjoy the dates, outings and attention you always get because the boyfriend, husband or partner is always busy going to watch the game. Now am here to save you from getting mad at him and threatening him because you feel he loves football and football is taking your attention and everything else that’s meant to be yours away from you.

Dating a football diehard fan means you have to negotiate a relationship around all the games. So since as ladies the bible and our society has called on us to submit, you will have to do so by;

1.) Show him that you care about what he cares about, and support him the whole way

I know this is not easy, but relationships come with sacrifices.The more you keep making those negative comments about his games, the less he will bother watching a single game from home. So please try and be positive and support his team. Don’t be nasty as to you loving a soap opera or reality show or inspirational stories is similar to him loving the foot ball match. Trust me once he knows you support him and he can enjoy a football match with you, he’ll consider watching a few matches in the house even when his friends think it’s not fun to watch football in the house and you will at least have his attention and company. So just try and not be mean and silly with your comments about football and you just might win a football girlfriend award and so much more.

2.) Participating at the game

Get the game schedule and make sure you have a history of the last game. I know it’s a lot of work, yeah? But you want the man, so again this is another sacrifice. Even if you have no idea, google can be your friend in finding out or get an app that can keep you up to date with the football matches scheduled for the week or month and since you know his favourite team, make a bet on it. Again second gold medal for the best football girlfriend will be awarded to you as you keep up to tabs with the next game and so he can count on you to talk about football games lined up.

3.) Watch the game while you are there

Well this is the hardest of them all but you need to do it otherwise the game will be boring when watched at home and Mister will end up going out to watch it which means you won’t have the company you need. Showing up is important, but you must be present too. Even if you start to get bored, do your best to watch the whole game. If he looks at you and sees you staring at your phone or talking the whole time, he won’t feel supported. If you have a hard time staying interested, listen to the announcer while you watch. They describe the main points of action, which helps you know what is important. Another way to stay interested is to pay attention to specific things, like the forward or striker, who makes the most tackles, or how long each play lasts.This is the only way you will earn your third gold medal as a football girlfriend.

4.) Ask him to invite his friend with their girlfriends over to watch the match

I know with them shouting and talking and making all manner of murmurs as the game continues can be boring, but you know what, that’s why you are the better half, so stop complaining and play your role in his life. You will have him watching the game where you can see him and it at times feels good to stare at him enjoy the game and see his baby side. Then you getting to meet the friends’ girlfriends can make you have fun doing your own girl stuff with them and so you won’t have to watch BORING football on that day. Especially if the girls are good company. After they all leave, you can earn yourself another football girlfriend award.

5.) Cheer up with him during games

Start by wearing a jersey with his favourite number on it and from his favourite team. You can even get two, his with your name on it and yours with his name on it. No one can celebrate his team with him better than you. If you can’t get or afford a jersey, paint his number or name on one of your t shirts with the team colors. Ask him to autograph the shirt and it will be the best jersey produced by the two of you. When cheering up since you don’t know what to say as you are still learning,yell things like, “Knock ’em down, or “Let’s go, Hector!”. Try and avoid screaming, you might scare him. You know us ladies can get so emotional thinking it’s a soap opera or reality show and put that same energy to football, well don’t. Your screaming can send him back to the bar or hall where football is fun and there are no women shouting as if it’s a horror or they are fighting.

6.) Get to know the other players in the game

I know most ladies know Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar, Wayne Rooney, Diego Costa and the rest, I’m sure you know them. Well it’s time to up your game and know other players in his favourite team. Learn the names and positions of the starters, or the guys playing in the game, such as offense or defense. Yes it’s not an exam but you know again it’s a test you can take for the love of your life and score that goal for him girl. After this be sure that he will award you with the sixth gold medal of a football girlfriend and each time it’s the football season, you won’t have to worry about bae’s whereabouts as you will sort him out as he sorts you out and no relationship break ups because of football will be experienced.

 

 

 

Radio Africa signs exclusive deal to air EPL matches LIVE and FREE!

Tune your radio to Classic105 because this is it! Radio Africa Group has signed an exclusive three-year agreement to bring live English Premier League audio commentary to fans in Kenya for the next three seasons.

Together with the world’s biggest sports radio station, UK-based talkSPORT, Radio Africa will air matches starting with the remainder of the 2016/17 season. These will be available in English on Classic105.

Patrick Quarcoo, Radio Africa CEO, said on Wednesday, “We are excited to be appointed as talkSPORT’s exclusive broadcast licensee for the English Premier League in Kenya. Now our listeners can access the game whether at home, the office and in their cars on Kenya’s top radio stations.”

“We also plan to deliver the commentaries direct to all mobile phones in Kenya so if you are not near a radio you can still stream the matches of your favorite team in English and Swahili,” he added.

Jimmy Buckland, international director talkSPORT, said: “We’re really excited to bring the passion and excitement of the English Premier League to Kenyan fans through this partnership with Radio Africa Group.”

“Radio has a unique ability to convey all the live drama of a 90-minute football match, and listeners in Kenya can now experience this via talkSPORT’s unique commentary and expert insight”.

talkSPORT

Premier League fans in Kenya will be able to listen to official, live commentary of the EPL in English and Swahili, bringing to life one of the world’s most momentous sporting events for listeners in the country more than ever before.

As global audio partner of the Premier League, talkSPORT controls an exclusive package of international audio rights that allows the station to broadcast official live commentary of all 380 matches in any language to listeners around the world, outside of the UK and Republic of Ireland. The station has the rights until 2019.

Bamba sport which also dedicated to promoting local sport recently signed a deal with Football Kenya Federation to bring live NSL matches every weekend, and also airs two episodes of weekly analysis and preview of the lower tier league.

Guardiola would ‘Pep up’ Premier League, says Gerrard

Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard on Wednesday said “world-class” Pep Guardiola would be a great addition to the Premier League after the much sought-after Bayern Munich boss said he wanted to coach in England.

Guardiola, who will turn 45 this month, said Tuesday that the reason he was leaving the German giants at the end of the season was because he wanted to coach in England.

“Pep Guardiola is a world-class manager,” Gerrard told reporters in Sydney ahead of a Liverpool Legends game on Thursday.

“It’s looking like he is going to be coming to the Premier League which is great for us.”

Gerrard, clearly a fan of the ex-Barcelona boss, is currently reading “Pep Confidential”, a book about Guardiola’s first season at Bayern.

The LA Galaxy midfielder, 35, has his own ambitions in management and is working on his coaching qualifications prior to his expected retirement from playing this year.

He said he had a “positive conversation” with current Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and was keen to remain involved with his hometown club in any capacity.

Gerrard left the English Premier League side for the Los Angeles Galaxy last year, and has been training on Merseyside during the MLS close season.

“I’ve been told I’ve been welcomed back at the club which is great for me because I’ve been at Liverpool since I was eight years of age. I love the club,” he said.

“I certainly had a positive conversation with Jurgen Klopp and he made me feel very welcome when I train with the team.”

But Gerrard added that he was aware of the challenges of transiting from playing to coaching.

“I think you see the reason why a lot of top players don’t make a successful manager because it’s a completely different role,” Gerrard said.

“The exciting thing is no one knows how good I’ll be… we’ll have to wait and see, but I’m certainly going to get as much experience and as much qualifications as I can under me belt and we’ll see whether I’m good enough if one day I take the plunge.”

Photo Credits : AFP

English Premier League 2015-16 line-up

The teams competing in the English Premier League in the 2015-16 season (last season’s position in brackets):

Arsenal (3rd)

Aston Villa (17th)

Bournemouth (1st, Championship)

Chelsea (1st)

Crystal Palace (10th)

Everton (11th)

Leicester City (14th)

Liverpool (6th)

Manchester City (2nd)

Manchester United (4th)

Newcastle United (15th)

Norwich City (3rd, Championship; promoted via play-offs)

Southampton (7th)

Stoke City (9th)

Sunderland (16th)

Swansea City (8th)

Tottenham Hotspur (5th)

Watford (2nd, Championship)

West Bromwich Albion (13th)

West Ham United (12th)

Photo Credits : AFP

Victor Wanyama Recognized For His Effort, Wins Presidential Award

Kenyan football player based in England Victor Wanyama has won the presidential award by his team Southampton.

Southampton Football Club held their awards ceremony on Wednesday night.

Players were recognized for their efforts this season among them  Victor Wanyama, Matt Targett and Shane Long.

Wanyama took home the President’s Choice Award, while Targett was named winner of the Young Player of the Season Award, sponsored by Hampshire Collegiate School. The hotly-contested Vision Accendo Goal of the Season Award was won by Long for his goal against Aston Villa.

The defender started all but one of Southampton’s games in the Premier League, amassing 44 appearances in total for Ronald Koeman’s side this season.

The first award of the night was the Garmin Players’ Player of the Season, which was voted for by every player who has represented the first team this season. Fonte was chosen by his team mates as the most influential player this season.

Southhampton awards
Victor Wanyama and other players-Photo/Saintsfc

-Saintfc

Walcott urges Arsenal to seal top-three finish

Theo Walcott has urged Arsenal to seal their place in next season’s Champions League group stage by keeping Sunderland mired in the relegation dog-fight on Wednesday.

Arsene Wenger’s side will be certain of securing a top-three finish in the Premier League if they defeat the Black Cats at the Emirates Stadium.

Even a draw is likely to be enough to guarantee they finish above fourth placed Manchester United, who remain two points behind the Gunners with a significantly inferior goal difference and only one game remaining.

The reward for finishing in the top three is automatic entry into the group stages of the Champions League, which avoids the inconvenience of having to take part in a two-legged play-off tie to qualify for the competition early next season.

Wenger admits he has found that experience a major headache in the past, but Arsenal winger Walcott, who set up his side’s equaliser in their 1-1 draw against United at Old Trafford on Sunday, is confident his manager won’t have any need to reach for the pain-killers.

“We’ve got a game in hand over United now and it was a crucial point (on Sunday), knowing that. We just need one more point because of goal difference,” Walcott said.

Walcott made a surprisingly honest admission when he revealed that some of Arsenal players lacked the belief they were capable of keeping pace with champions Chelsea this season.

But the England international, who is competing to return to the starting line-up in time for the FA Cup final against Aston Villa after an injury-ravaged campaign, believes Wenger has assembled a squad strong enough to make a serious push for the title next term.

“Third place is a step forward from where we finished last year. But we need to be pushing on now and trying to challenge for the title,” Walcott said.

“There was an opportunity in the season when we were getting close to Chelsea and people were talking about us competing but I sensed throughout the dressing room that we were never quite up there with Chelsea.

“But looking at the squad, the manager has an absolute headache to try and pick his best team and we want that going into next season.

“We are looking very strong and you never know, he might add a few extra players but we need to be pushing for the Premier League now. There is no excuse.”

– Obdurate opponents –

Sitting three points above third bottom Hull, Sunderland need one more point to be certain of staying up, but a defeat on Wednesday would leave them still in danger of the drop given their inferior goal difference to the Tigers.

Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat has collected 11 points from his seven games since replacing sacked predecessor Gus Poyet on a short-term contract in March.

And although a goalless draw against Leicester on Saturday revealed a few signs of nerves in Advocaat’s squad as the denouement to the relegation battle approaches, the Dutchman is convinced they will survive.

“We will stay in (the Premier League), I have no doubt about that,” Advocaat said.

Black Cats striker Connor Wickham is determined not to prolong the agony until the weekend and has set his sights on taking the decisive step to safety against Arsenal.

“They are two tough games away from homes, but they are opportunities for us. We need one point, we all know that,” he said.

“We know what we have got to do now and it’s something we are capable of. There are two opportunities to clinch it and hopefully we can do that on Wednesday.”

Photo Credits : AFP

Chelsea boss Mourinho outraged by Fabregas red card

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho expressed his frustration after Cesc Fabregas was sent off in bizarre fashion as the champions were defeated 3-0 at West Bromwich Albion.

The Spanish midfielder is set to miss the first two matches of next season plus the final game of this campaign at home to Sunderland on Sunday following his first half dismissal after he kicked the ball against Chris Brunt.

Mourinho felt that a more experienced referee than Mike Jones would have resolved the situation with a mere lecture after tempers flared following a Diego Costa and Gareth McAuley off the ball coming together 29 minutes into the action at the Hawthorns.

“I’ve not seen a sending off like that,” said Mourinho.

“I would like to see it again. What is this for a sending off? Where is the danger of the situation to get a red card in a friendly game almost?

“I don’t understand. Darren Fletcher was aggressive yes, he pushed in the chest. He’s experienced. It was much more aggressive than what Fabregas did.

“A top referee with big personality has a few words and controls the game. It’s a bizarre red card.

“Three game ban for this? Jesus Christ. Of course it’s harsh. We lose all the time (when we appeal) but I’ve not spoken to him.

“Diego Costa was targeted, of course. But it’s the same story.

“It depends on the referee. If the referee wants to protect the talent and punish the bully it is easy for him.

“Congratulations to West Brom for the season and this three points. And let’s go home.”

Mourinho felt this first defeat in 19 matches was the net result of claiming the title three games ago as Saido Berahino scored on nine minutes and added a penalty two minutes after the break before Brunt scored a third on the hour.

“The ideal scenario is to be champions and don’t play again, go home and have holidays,” he said.

“When you have three more matches it can happen with Bayern Munich three defeats in three and we claim one point in two.

“When you play since August with motivation and commitment and feeling the pressure, when you are champions you breathe and everything changes.

“It is difficult to play. Let’s blame the players a bit, myself and the top contenders for the title as they were not good enough to fight with us. This is a consequence of being champions so early.”

West Brom manager Tony Pulis insists any criticism of Chelsea is unwarranted.

“It’s a great finish, we will finish 13th in the table but I don’t think anything should be taken away from the team we played,” he said.

“The team we’ve played have been by far the best team in England. They have won the league by a country mile and they have been much better than anyone else.

“Although we have won this game, all the praise should go to Jose, his coaching staff, the people of Chelsea and the players.

“Jose was very good. I’ve managed against him twice and managed to beat him twice with Palace and West Brom.

“He was very gracious in defeat and for all what we have done, they have been worthy champions. They are a fantastic football club with wonderful players and for some people to criticise them is unbelievable.

“We were so on edge after we lost at home to QPR and Leicester but the lads have bounced back.

“The attitude has been wonderful, we got the breaks in this game, we played really well at times and defended well. The discipline was good and we made it very difficult for Chelsea.”

Photo Credits : AFP

Chelsea close Champions League door on Liverpool

Liverpool’s hopes of Champions League qualification were all but ended on Sunday as they drew 1-1 at newly crowned Premier League champions Chelsea in a langourous end-of-season encounter.

Both goals were headers scored by former England captains, with Chelsea skipper John Terry’s fifth-minute opener cancelled out shortly before half-time by his Liverpool counterpart Steven Gerrard.

Gerrard’s goal prevented him from tasting defeat on his last Stamford Bridge appearance, but with Liverpool now six points below Manchester United with six points to play for — and a vastly inferior goal difference — their top-four bid is effectively over.

With the dubious consolation of a Europa League berth awaiting, attention will now turn to next weekend’s visit of Crystal Palace, when Gerrard will make his final Anfield appearance before he leaves for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

There was nothing riding on the game for Chelsea, who secured the title by beating Palace last weekend, but manager Jose Mourinho gave a nod to the future by handing a full debut to 19-year-old Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Liverpool elected to grant Chelsea’s players a guard of honour as they emerged from the tunnel and the hosts, a little gallingly, laid out a length of blue carpet for the purpose.

But expectations of a congenial afternoon evaporated within seconds of kick-off as Cesc Fabregas slid in on Raheem Sterling and caught the Liverpool forward high on the ankle.

The Spaniard was booked, while referee Andre Marriner sowed confusion by appearing to flash a red card in the direction of John Mikel Obi, only to quickly return it to his pocket.

Within five minutes Chelsea led. Fabregas bent a corner from the right towards the back post and Terry eluded Rickie Lambert to plant a downward header past Simon Mignolet.

Mikel was partnered in midfield by Loftus-Cheek and Liverpool sought to exploit the unfamiliarity there by shuffling the ball forward through the middle.

Sterling shot wide and Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois saved with his legs from Philippe Coutinho, while Glen Johnson found the side-netting after wriggling along the byline on the left.

Seemingly determined to play the villain, Fabregas kept Liverpool on alert by springing his side forward at every opportunity.

His pass from deep to Loic Remy forced Mignolet to race from his line and save, and he later saw a shot from a tight angle on the right deflected wide by the Belgian.

Gerrard tumbled while pursuing Fabregas at one point, prompting crowing chants of ‘Steven Gerrard, he slips when he wants!’ in reference to the Liverpool skipper’s infamous slip from last season’s reverse fixture.

But the sight of French centre-back Kurt Zouma hobbling off to be replaced by Gary Cahill in the 34th minute intruded upon the hosts’ harmony and by half-time, Liverpool were level.

After Branislav Ivanovic had been penalised for tugging back Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson clipped a free-kick to the back post and Gerrard headed in.

He eschewed a celebration against the club he twice came close to joining, instead jogging back to his own half unceremoniously.

Liverpool came within a whisker of completing the turnaround early in the second half, Coutinho side-footing wide from Sterling’s cut-back, before Willian twice went close at the other end.

But champions or not, Mourinho was in no mood for charity, as he demonstrated by sending on Nemanja Matic for the promising Loftus-Cheek, who departed having completed all 27 of his attempted passes.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers took the opportunity to showcase two youngsters of his own, sending on 18-year-old Jerome Sinclair for his league debut and 19-year-old Jordon Ibe.

There were openings at either end for Sterling and Fabregas, but neither player tested the goalkeeper and the game faded out in the sunshine.

Photo Credits : AFP

Maina Kageni pays Shaffie Weru 10k for losing a bet (Photos)

Maina placed a ten thousand shilling bet with Kiss fm’s Shaffie Weru for the match between Manchester United and Chelsea played on Saturday 18th April.

Initially the bet was to be five thousand shillings but Maina, an avid Manchester United supporter  increased the amount to ten thousand because he was sure that his team would beat Chelsea.

While collecting the money  Shaffie said that each of the ten notes represented the Chelsea team players.

The game ended Chelsea 1- Manchester 0 with a goal from  Eden Hazard.

DSC_1365
Maina Kageni counting the money
DSC_1366
Shaffie Weru confirms the amount
DSC_1368
Shaffie picks one note after the other while mentioning the players names
DSC_1367
Maina gives away 10k for losing the bet
DSC_1375
Shaffie shows off his winnings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Van Gaal reveals derby desire

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has said it would be a “dream” to add a Manchester derby win to his long list of football achievements, saying his side’s recent poor run of results in the fixture was of no great concern to him.

United have lost their last four matches against bitter rivals Manchester City ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash at Old Trafford, and have never in their history lost five in a row.

However, Van Gaal believes that because three of those defeats pre-date his arrival at United they become less relevant to his cause.

City beat United in their most recent meeting at Eastlands in November thanks to Sergio Aguero’s goal, while the visitors played the majority of that game a man down following Chris Smalling’s red card.

“Of course I dream of it,” former Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Netherlands boss van Gaal said Friday of the prospect of beating City.

“Every player shall dream of the victory.

“The run of four games? It’s not my story. What can I say? We have lost 1-0 — that’s my history. One-nil and we have also a red card,” the Dutchman added.

“What I say always in such games, always you have to control your aggression. And we didn’t do that at that time. So I hope we have learned from that moment.”

Van Gaal believes that a victory over reigning champions City would help cement United’s third place in the Premier League, with the Red Devils currently a point in front of their local rivals, and avoid the need to go through a Champions League play-off next season.

“You want to win because it’s a big step in the table also,” the 63-year-old United manager said.

“When you win, the third place is reachable and a month ago no-one was thinking about that – besides me of course!

“Then the third position is also good because you are certainly qualified for the Champions League.”

The derby is unlikely to feature any players born in Manchester, although van Gaal played down the significance of the statistic, saying the game would lack nothing of its traditional intensity as a result.

“I think at this moment, in our football world, I don’t think it’s an obligation to play always with a player who is out of the youth education.

“When you see it internationally we are not at the exception. I know also a match between derby teams of the same city is always very special. I am always confident, because I always believe in my team.”

United striker Robin van Persie will miss the game as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury, while left-back Luke Shaw will be absent with a hamstring problem.

United centre-back Smalling is expected to be available after he missed the win over Aston Villa through illness.

Van Gaal added: “Most of the players are fit. But fit for me is a different situation so I don’t think every player is fit.

“For example, Robin van Persie is not fit enough to play. I don’t think Luke Shaw is fit enough to play.

“I cannot say they are not fit, but in my opinion they are not fit to play. Fit to play, match rhythm that’s very different.”

Photo Credits : AFP

Chelsea won’t relax says Mourinho

Jose Mourinho insists there is no chance of complacency at Stamford Bridge after Chelsea opened up a six-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

Mourinho’s side extended their advantage over second-placed Manchester City after a 1-1 home draw with Southampton on Sunday and have still played a game less than the chasing pack.

With just nine games remaining, the English title appears destined for the Bridge unless Chelsea make a dramatic collapse.

But while Blues boss Mourinho claims he would have taken his side’s current standing at the start of the season, he maintains the title race is far from over.

“I keep saying our situation is much better than if it was the start of the season. But it’s not easy. Every match is difficult,” Mourinho said.

“Remember our two matches against Southampton. In one game there was one penalty that is not a penalty; in another game, a penalty that was not given.

“So you are speaking about six points and getting two. So the danger is always there. But I keep saying, we are there.

“If someone had told me in August that, at the end of March, we’d be six points in front with a match in hand, I’d have signed for that immediately.

“We are not complacent. It is something I cannot accuse my players of in every game, of being complacent. I’m not afraid of that.”

– Title momentum –

Manchester City’s challenge was dented by the shock defeat at struggling Burnley on Saturday and Manuel Pellegrini’s side now lie just one point ahead of Arsenal in third.

Mourinho accepts Arsene Wenger’s side are contenders but questioned whether the Gunners are the side with momentum given their recent Champions League defeat to Monaco.

“Of course Arsenal are contenders. Seven points behind Chelsea, and one less match to play than Chelsea,” he said.

“I keep thinking our opposition is better than them. Both teams are in the race but who has the momentum?”

Diego Costa gave Chelsea the lead against Southampton before a contentious penalty from Dusan Tadic brought Ronald Koeman’s side level.

Chelsea’s performance improved in the second half but Mourinho admitted to mixed feelings about his side’s display.

“There are two perspectives, and I have both with me. I’m not happy with the result, but I am with the six point lead,” he said.

“I’m not jumping with happiness and not crying in disappointment. I have both these perspectives.”

Mourinho also took the opportunity to deliver another barb in the direction of those television pundits who had criticised his side after the Champions League exit to Paris Saint Germain.

He had previously condemned Graeme Souness, the former Liverpool player and manager, for his comments.

Maintaining the theme, he said: “Pundits are pundits, managers are managers. Pundits are paid to wear my suit, but I’m not paid to wear their suit or comment on their comments.

“If, one day, I become a pundit I will wear a manager’s suit and win every game, because that’s what pundits do. And then I can be critics. I can be phenomenal like they are.”

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman praised the display of goalkeeper Fraser Forster, although he refused to debate whether Forster should replace Joe Hart in the England team.

“I’m very happy and pleased that we have Fraser in our team. Not only today: the expectation for today is much bigger than normal, and he had fantastic saves in the second half, but he has played an unbelievably high level for the team,” he said.

“Goalkeepers are always key players in a team, in a good defence, and that’s one of the qualities we have.

“Hart is a good goalkeeper, Fraser is a good goalkeeper. I’m happy to have him in the team. It’s not my decision to make (who the best English goalkeeper is at present).”

Photo Credits : AFP

Meet the world’s richest footballers

Goal.com released its annual list of the world’s richest footballers from all leagues for the year 2015.

Here is the list of the top ten as released a fortnight ago.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the richest footballer in the world, according to the 2015 annual chart of the game’s wealthiest active players.

The Real Madrid star had topped the list in 2014. His fortune is as a result of bonuses, endorsements, commercial deals and also the sum he received from winning the 2014 Ballon d’Or. He is worth £152.3

christiano
Cristiano Ronaldo Image courtesy of Express.co.uk

Lionel Messi with an overall personal wealth of  is £145m place second. He continues to generate huge amounts off the field through both commercial tie-ins and property moves, which have seen him build up an extensive portfolio.

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Lionel Messi – Image courtesy of op-5.no

Neymar comes in at number three, he’s still benefitting from a huge chunk paid for the forward’s transfer from Santos in 2013. He is worth £97.9m

Neymar
Neymar – Image courtesy of sites.duke.edu

Saint-Germain’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic came in fourth and is worth  £76.1m

Manchester United and England striker  Wayne Rooney is estimated at  £74.6m comes at number five.

Brazilian star Kaka, about to start his career with Orlando City in Major League Soccer, is sixth in the rankings on £69.6m.

Samuel Eto’o the only African footballer at the top ten is worth £63.1m is placed at number seven.

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Samuel Etto – Image courtesy of www.taringa.net

Spanish footballer Raul Gonzales comes in at number eight and is worth £61.6m

Ronaldinho the Brazilian footballer is placed at number nine and is worth £60.2m.

Former England midfielder Frank Lampard, currently playing for Manchester City ahead of his move to New York City in the MLS, is placed at number ten with a personal fortune of £58m.

 

Rapid-fire Gunners see off QPR

Arsenal maintained their push for a Champions League place as two goals in five second-half minutes gave them a 2-1 victory over QPR at Loftus Road on Wednesday.

Arsene Wenger’s men stand on the brink of elimination from Europe’s elite competition after losing their last 16 first leg against Monaco, but they remain on course for a return next season as they clinched their seventh win in eight matches thanks to goals from Oliver Giroud and Alexis Sanchez.

The third placed Gunners, one point ahead of Manchester United, started their first of five games in 17 days in worryingly sluggish form but their attacking weapons eventually came good in the 64th and 69th minute, although Charlie Austin’s drive gave the struggling hosts hope eight minutes from time.

Neither side were able to find any kind of rhythm to their game in the opening exchanges.

QPR’s Brazilian midfielder Sandro returned to action after three and a half months out with a knee injury, and he was instrumental in ensuring Arsenal were not able to maintain fluency in their passing game.

Indeed there was little to entertain in the opening 45 minutes aside from the positive running of Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin and a trio of sweetly-struck shots from Austin.

Gabriel Paulista was making his second Premier League start at the heart of Arsenal’s defence as Wenger looked to use his physicality in nullifying that of Rangers striker Bobby Zamora.

But the former Villarreal defender’s slip on the edge of his area was almost costly, allowing Zamora to tee up Austin for a second stinging drive that Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina held at the second attempt.

Gabriel then limped off to be replaced by Laurent Koscielny, just before Austin inched even closer from distance.

Arsenal finally got their trademark one-touch play going a minute before half-time, with Santi Cazorla jinking his way into the area before forcing a decent save from Robert Green.

But the game did not deserve a goal at half-time and it was difficult to distinguish which side had started the day third from top of the division and which one was third from bottom.

– Creative talents –

Arsenal continued after the break looking alarmingly short on quality for a team possessing the rich creative talents of Sanchez, Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky and Mesut Ozil.

But just as they were looking bereft of ideas they conjured their opening goal on the break.

Sanchez burst into the area and found Gibbs on the overlap, with Clint Hill’s challenge taking enough pace off Kieran Gibbs’ cross for it to drop invitingly for Giroud to crash in his eighth goal in his last ten league appearances.

From then on it was as if Arsenal had forgotten the previous 63 minutes, as Sanchez went close from the edge of the area before they had their second goal five minutes after their first.

It came about partly due to the inexperience of Rangers right-back Darnell Furlong, 19, and partly due to the brilliance of Sanchez, as he twisted and turned his way into a position to beat Green from a tight angle at his near post.

Green then had to palm a deflected Ozil effort onto the post as the Gunners threatened to run away with the game.

But with time running out, Rangers poured forward and got back into the game when a Matt Phillips pass found Austin to fire in his 15th league goal of the season.

Ultimately it proved a mere consolation for the hosts as they slipped to a sixth defeat in seven matches, leaving them three points adrift of safety.

Photo Credits : AFP

Van Gaal frustrated by Manchester United slip-up

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal expressed frustration after his side squandered a chance to avenge their Premier League opening day loss to Swansea City in a 2-1 defeat.

Ander Herrera gave the visitors a 28th-minute lead at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday, but Swansea equalised less than two minutes later through South Korean midfielder Ki Sung-yueng.

The game was won 17 minutes from time when Bafetimbi Gomis inadvertently deflected Jonjo Shelvey’s long-range strike over David de Gea to bring United’s 19-game unbeaten run to a halt.

“It is always frustrating when you dominate a team and lose,” van Gaal told reporters after a result that saw his team slip to fourth place.

“Your disappointment is much bigger because of that. If you think they deserved to win, you have to say.

“The first half, I think, was equal. I counted the number of chances Swansea had and we had the same. We scored one each, so there was no big difference.

“In the second half, there was a big difference. But we were not effective. We dominated the game, even with 10 men, because Robin van Persie could not run anymore after his injury.

“I cannot say anything about my players except that we lost. The disappointment is much bigger. I think you have to see the slow-motion of the match, then you can see which players were not effective.

“Sometimes you can control the ball instead of shooting directly. Normally we are very effective, so it is amazing that we have lost.”

Van Persie left the stadium on crutches after injuring himself late on and his striker partner Wayne Rooney admitted it had been a day to forget.

“We certainly deserved to win the game,” said the United captain. “That’s the disappointing thing. When you play well and can’t get the win. But that’s football.”

– ‘Better lucky than good’ –

Gomis’s fortuitous goal allowed ninth-place Swansea to complete a first ever home-and-away league double over United and victorious manager Garry Monk said he was more than satisfied with the manner of victory.

“I would rather be lucky than good,” he said. “Yes, we had to ride some pressure, but even with the players they have, they only had one shot.

“We scored a very good goal in the first half and responded as you would want your players to respond. We had shots cleared off the line and we more than competed.

“I think we needed to be a bit better in the second half, but we dealt with the pressure they put on us. In the end, we scored a fantastic goal and probably could have had a third.”

Monk also expressed pride in his players’ reaction after a disappointing 2-0 loss at West Bromwich Albion in their previous outing.

“It is the first time in the club’s history that we have got the double against them and I told the players before the game that anything, in terms of creating history, is worth fighting for,” he said.

“To be able to do the double, I think everyone connected with the club should be proud. I have always believed in my team.

“It won’t always go to plan, but we responded well after a disappointing result at West Brom. We stuck together and got the win, which our performance deserved. We have to be pleased.

“I have spoken to the group about an opportunity to create a special season. We might not be winning the league, but we have different things to fight for.

“You have to be remembered for something. We have 13 games left in our season and we have to remain focused on those games.”

Photo Credits : AFP

Squabbling Liverpool seek solace at St Mary’s

The harmony — or lack of it — in Liverpool’s squad will fall under the microscope on Sunday when Brendan Rodgers’s side visit Southampton in a clash of Champions League qualification hopefuls.

Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Besiktas in the Europa League on Thursday was overshadowed by an incident in the build-up to the hosts’ late winner when substitute Mario Balotelli snatched the ball from stand-in captain Jordan Henderson before scoring the penalty that settled the game.

Regular captain Steven Gerrard, analysing the first-leg match for ITV as he convalesces following a hamstring injury, said Balotelli’s behaviour had been “disrespectful” to Henderson.

But Henderson and Balotelli downplayed the altercation after the game — the former in a television interview; the latter, inevitably, on social media — and Rodgers said he would make sure the matter was put to bed.

“That is my job to manage that. It is what I do behind the scenes every day,” the Liverpool manager told his pre-match press conference.

“You see from the way the team has been playing recently the respect and commitment they show for each other.

“The only thing I would say on it is I don’t like the etiquette. You don’t like to see four or five players around a football looking to take it.

“It was maybe more the etiquette which was not as we would have liked, but we got the end result.”

While the incident caused Liverpool embarrassment, there is no denying that they have returned to something approaching their best following a run of one defeat in 17 matches.

The burst of form has taken Rodgers’s side to within sight of the Premier League’s Champions League qualifying places, where Southampton currently occupy the fourth and final berth.

With Liverpool four points back, victory for the visitors on Sunday would fuel belief for players and supporters alike that a testing season could yet end with a return to Europe’s premier club competition.

– Lallana fears jeers –

Liverpool edged Southampton 2-1 on the season’s opening day and won 3-0 at St Mary’s last season.

Southampton have failed to score in their last two home games — losing 1-0 to Swansea City and drawing 0-0 with West Ham United — but coach Ronald Koeman believes Liverpool’s expansive style will give his side more opportunities.

“Swansea and West Ham didn’t come here to play open football and that gives us more difficulties,” he said.

“We didn’t have the quality to break it down, but Sunday’s game will be different. It is all about sharpness in the box.

“I’m surprised they (Liverpool) have four points less than we have. To come closer, they have to win.”

Former Southampton captain Adam Lallana is set to make his first appearance at St Mary’s since leaving for Anfield last year and he has admitted that he expects a hostile reception.

“I’m not stupid enough to think the way I left didn’t leave a sour taste in a few people’s mouths,” he told BBC Radio Solent this week.

But Koeman refused to be drawn on the England midfielder’s remarks, saying: “I don’t talk about players who come back to the club where they played last season because I could do that every week.”

While Gerrard remains sidelined, Raheem Sterling is in contention to start for Liverpool after returning from a foot injury.

Balotelli, meanwhile, will also hope to start after scoring twice and supplying one assist as a substitute in his last three appearances.

Midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin (adductor muscle) and forward Shane Long (fractured ribs) are both available for Southampton, but Ryan Bertrand, Toby Alderweireld, Jay Rodriguez and Emmanuel Mayuka are all out.

Photo Credits : AFP

Chelsea boss Mourinho slams referee Atkinson after Matic sees red

Jose Mourinho blasted referee Martin Atkinson after a series of contentious decisions, including Nemanja Matic’s red card, saw Chelsea held to a shock 1-1 draw against struggling Burnley.

Matic saw red after reacting furiously to a challenge from Ashley Barnes, but Blues boss Mourinho felt the Burnley player should have been sent off for an earlier incident, and that his team should have had at least two penalties at Stamford Bridge.

To add to Mourinho’s angst, Chelsea lost their composure following the midfielder’s 70th-minute dismissal, with Ben Mee heading home an 81st-minute equaliser to cancel out Branislav Ivanovic’s 14th-minute opening goal.

It also ensured that Chelsea’s “Game for Equality”, in which they put forward a strong anti-racism message following Tuesday’s shocking incident on the Paris Metro, which saw a handful of their fans accused of racially abusing a black commuter, ended in more recriminations.

“This game had four crucial moments,” Mourinho said. “Minute 30, minute 33, minute 43, minute 69.”

The Portuguese was referring, in order, to a challenge from Barnes, a handball in the box from Michael Kightly, a shove from Michael Keane on Diego Costa in the area and then Matic’s red card.

“This is the story of the game,” Mourinho said. “You go through these moments and know exactly what happened in this game.

“Minute 69 has a big relation with minute 30 because normally the player, if I can call him a player, was involved in minute 30 and minute 31 should be in the shower.

“No minute 69 if the person in charge does it in a proper way in minute 30.”

Burnley boss Sean Dyche described that challenge as a “coming together”.

Barnes did appear to leave his studs in on Matic, but when it was put to Dyche that Mourinho had said his player should have been sent off for the earlier incident he was involved in, he responded with laughter.

“Involved in what, playing football?” Dyche said. “Have they anything else (to complain about)? Is the grass too short?”

When asked if Chelsea would appeal, Mourinho responded sarcastically.

“Have you ever seen Chelsea win an appeal? I don’t remember,” he said. “I prefer not to comment because if I comment I’m going to use some words.

“A couple of weeks ago when I was here in the press conference after the Liverpool game in the League Cup, I knew already it was going on and on and on, headlines saying ‘Diego (Costa) crimes’. Compare Diego’s ‘crimes’ with what happened today.”

But Dyche was keen to remind Mourinho that it was not just the referee’s decisions that swung the momentum back to Burnley.

“There was more to the game than that, thought we were excellent. I felt we deserved a point,” he said.

That was probably not true on the evidence of the first 69 minutes, as Chelsea were in full control.

It had seemed like they would be in for another easy home win early on, given the nature of the opening goal.

Juan Cuadrado fed Eden Hazard on the right, and the Belgian skipped through the defence before feeding Ivanovic to prod home.

Thereafter, Chelsea had plenty of play, but couldn’t force much beyond the penalty calls.

After the red card, Burnley aggressively pressed and got their reward when Mee headed in a corner.

“We want to attack the game,” Dyche said. “Whatever happens in a season, you don’t want to regret. We’ve had a go in every game bar Arsenal away (a 3-0 defeat in November).”

Burnley could even have won it, only for Danny Ings to blaze over having raced through on goal.

When asked about that, Dyche again laughed and said: “Let’s not get greedy”.

Mourinho wasn’t smiling though.

“Don’t make me laugh because I’m not in a mood to laugh,” he said.

Photo Credits : AFP

Van Persie set to add to United’s firepower at Swansea

Robin van Persie is expected to return to the squad as Manchester United aim to extend their unbeaten run to eight matches in all competitions when they face Swansea on Saturday.

Netherlands striker van Persie missed United’s 3-1 FA Cup fifth round victory over Preston North End with an unspecified minor injury, but manager Louis van Gaal confirmed his compatriot is expected to be fit for the Premier League fixture at the Liberty Stadium.

If van Gaal decides to recall van Persie, who is United’s top scorer with 10 league goals so far this season, it is most likely to be at the expense of Radamel Falcao.

The Colombia forward has struggled to find consistent form since moving to Old Trafford on a season-long loan from Monaco in September.

He was replaced by Ashley Young after 60 minutes during Monday’s match at Preston and United improved significantly after the substitution and tactical switch.

That victory meant United have now lost just once in 19 matches and Young attributes the recent success to a strong bond within the dressing room.

“The club has always had great spirit. I’ve seen that since I’ve been here,” Young said.

“All the boys in the dressing room are fighting for each other and when you have that off the pitch you take it on to the pitch.

“It’s one of the qualities we have as a team. It’s a team sport and we always go out and play as a team.

“We showed that on Monday night from the first minute to the last and in the way we came back into the game and won it.”

– Bloodied nose –

Van Gaal has already had his nose bloodied by Swansea during his brief United career.

The Welsh club enjoyed a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford on the opening day of the season, courtesy of Gylfi Sigurdsson’s goal.

However, the Icelandic midfielder believes van Gaal’s team are a different proposition now.

“While it was a fantastic result at Old Trafford for us, United are different now,” Sigurdsson said.

“They are more settled and are winning games and grinding out results – like we saw at Preston in the FA Cup on Monday.

“They’ve found their rhythm and have some great forward players who can turn games around.

“And at the back they’ve got quality in (goalkeeper) David de Gea, who is having a fantastic season.”

Swansea have won just once in the Premier League since Boxing Day and Garry Monk’s side have slipped to ninth in the table.

But Sigurdsson is available again, having served a three-match ban after being sent off at Blackburn in the FA Cup fourth round.

And the former Tottenham midfielder, 25, is desperate to make amends with a strong performance against third-placed United.

“We have got to get better if we want to get a result against them. We lost a bit of form after Christmas but I’m confident we will bounce back,” Sigurdsson said.

“It has been frustrating for the boys too because we haven’t got the results we wanted. But you go through these types of patches in the season when things don’t go your way.

“We need to turn it around and a win against United would certainly do that.

“We beat them on the opening day of the season and it was a great start for us. We went on a good run after that and we’ll look to do the same this time around.”

Photo Credits : AFP

Arsenal handed potential United showdown in FA Cup

FA Cup holders Arsenal were handed a potential showdown with Manchester United in Monday’s draw for the quarter-finals.

The draw took place shortly before kick-off in United’s fifth round tie at Preston, with the Gunners selected to travel to either Old Trafford or Deepdale for their last eight clash.

Arsenal defeated Hull in last season’s FA Cup final to end their nine-year trophy drought — a barren run which had dated back to their victory over United in the 2005 FA Cup final.

Elsewhere in a draw conducted by England manager Roy Hodgson and Brian Finney, son of the legendary Preston winger Tom Finney, giant-killers Bradford were handed a home tie against second tier team Reading as they look to make the semi-finals to cap a remarkable Cup run that has included a stunning 4-2 win at Premier League leaders Chelsea in the fourth round and a 2-0 success against top-flight side Sunderland in the fifth round on Sunday.

That pairing ensures at least one Football League side will make it to the final four of the competition.

Liverpool’s hopes of giving Steven Gerrard an emotional Wembley send-off on his 35th birthday were boosted as they were drawn to face Championship side Blackburn at Anfield.

Reds captain Gerrard has agreed a deal to leave Liverpool for Los Angeles Galaxy at the end of the season, making the FA Cup final potentially his final match for the club he has served with great distinction since 1998.

The remaining quarter-final pitted Aston Villa, who appointed Tim Sherwood as their new manager this week against local rivals West Bromwich Albion at Villa Park.

Draw for the FA Cup quarter-finals made on Monday:

Liverpool v Blackburn

Bradford v Reading

Preston/Manchester United v Arsenal

Aston Villa v West Brom

Ties to be played on the weekend of March 7/8

Photo Credits : AFP