Max Allegri has admitted he turned down the chance to coach Real Madrid so he could return to Juventus for a second spell.
According to him, he is looking forward to helping the Turin giants return to Serie A’s summit.
Allegri was unveiled as Juve manager for the second time on Tuesday.
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He returns two years after he left, with Maurizio Sarri and Andrea Pirlo both having failed to replace him adequately in the Allianz Stadium dugout.
Madrid were keen to bring Allegri in when Zinedine Zidane stepped down at the end of last season. However, he rejected the chance to move to Spain.
Allegri told his press conference: “I must thank Real Madrid president for the opportunity he gave me.
“I picked Juventus because of my love for this club and because I believe in this young team. It’s going to be amusing to coach these players, but we must win as well. It’s the most important thing.
“I feel thrilled. I’ve had all young players so far, good players who did well on Saturday in the first friendly match of the summer. The first-team players are coming back, they will all be available from Tuesday. Now it’s not time to talk about the past, we need to focus on the future.”
‘We Regret Voting Jonathan Out Of Office,’ Northern Elders Lament
The Northern Elders Forum has said that it regretted that it got rid of then President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 elections to vote in the incumbent, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The group expressed disappointment that Buhari has let down millions of Nigerians including members of the All Progressives Congress who trusted in his leadership prior to the poll six years ago.
NEF, therefore, said that the next President of Nigeria should be one who would act in the “opposite direction” of Buhari, who hails from Katsina, North-West Nigeria.
NEF Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, spoke on Tuesday when he featured on Arise TV’s ‘The Morning Show’ breakfast programme monitored by The PUNCH.
He said, “Is there any Nigerian who is not disappointed in President Buhari including diehard APC people? Is there anybody who would not tell you he wished President Buhari had done much better?
“We raised huge expectations, we told people, ‘Get rid of Jonathan, put Buhari there, he would fix corruption, he would fix insecurity, he would fix the economy’ (but) look at where we are now.
“How can anybody say they are happy with the record of President Buhari, even the people very close to him would tell you that they wished he could have done much better and he could have done much better and he hasn’t.”
The group’s spokesman said Nigeria needs a President who would act in the “opposite direction” of Buhari in terms of economic policies, security, amongst others.
“So, what we need to do now is to get ready to elect another President who would go in the opposite direction, a President who has a vision and a clear idea of what governance involves rather than just being a President. So, I am disappointed and that is why today, I am actively involved in trying to see that a new leader emerges in getting Nigerians a new lease of life,” Baba-Ahmed noted.
With the 2023 elections fast approaching and the clamour for power shift to the South, Jonathan, who has the legal right to one more term as Nigeria’s President as the constitution permits all eligible Nigerians to be in office for two terms of eight years, has been receiving entreaties from the APC.
Many APC chieftains have visited him in recent time, raising the stakes in permutations for the 2023 general elections.
Of late, with the wave of defections swinging in the direction of the ruling party, the National Secretary, APC Caretaker, and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee, John Akpanudoedehe, said Jonathan would be given an opportunity to contest the 2023 presidency on APC platform if he chose to join the ruling party.
However, the former President has not declared any intention to contest in the forthcoming election.
Speaking further, Baba-Ahmed said the north had lived under Southern Presidents — Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan — since Nigeria’s return to democratic rule in 1999.
He, however, said Southern Governors should not make the 2023 Presidency a matter of disagreement amongst Nigerians, noting that they should negotiate rather than demand the number one seat. The 17 Southern Governors at their meetings in Lagos and Enugu lately had insisted that power must return to the South in 2023.
“We have lived under Southern Presidents because we recognise that Nigeria is made up of sections, ethnic groups and interests. We recognise that, we are northerners, pluralism is in our DNA, we accept that, we live with it.
“Don’t make the issue of Presidency a matter over which Nigerians would fight and threaten the country and the democratic process, that is very dangerous for this country,” the NEF spokesman stated.
Baba-Ahmed also insisted that the north has the numerical strength in any election, adding that those doubting the north’s voting power should check the last elections, claiming that millions of southerners voted for northern candidates during the elections.
He, however, said though the north has the numerical strength, neither the north nor the south can solely produce a President without the help of other parts of the country.
‘APC, PDP not answer for 2023’
Also, the NEF spokesman said that Nigeria needs a President who realises the need to rebuild the country, secure Nigerians and boost the economy from the downward slope.
“The nation needs a leader that would do the things that President (Muhammadu) Buhari hasn’t done, create inclusiveness, address resentment and frustration in other parts of the country and in the north and speak and act for everybody,” he added.
The elder statesman, however, regretted that both the ruling APC and the leading opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, have no answers to what Nigerians want in a candidate in 2023.
He noted that the “smaller parties” should be given the opportunity to field candidates with the character and capacity to lead Nigeria from all her current woes.
Messi, Tyrant In Barcelona Training – Koeman
Barcelona manager, Ronald Koeman, has said Lionel Messi was like “a tyrant” during training at the club.
Messi left the Camp Nou this summer to join Paris Saint-German as a free agent.
Koeman has now lifted the lid on the 34-year-old’s behaviour during practices with the team.
According to him, Messi would get very angry if he did not win games during the sessions.
“We always play a rondo before training. If the ball goes around 20 times, the players in the middle must have an extra turn.
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“If that happens three times in a row, the players will form two lines and the two who were in the middle then walk through and get taps on their heads and such.
“I asked Messi if it had happened to him once. ‘Yes, once,’ he said.
“It happened once and Messi was seriously angry about that for a week. Really, a tyrant,” he told Voetbal International.
EPL: Conte Gives Condition To Coach Man Utd
Former Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte, has given a condition to coach Manchester United.
According to Italian transfer expert, Gianluca Di Marzio, Conte has reportedly expressed an interest in managing Man United if called upon by the Red Devils.
This is coming after Man United lost 2-1 to Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
“Conte wants to win so he would only accept a winning project. He wouldn’t accept Arsenal because they’re not immediately strong to win something, that is why he [also] said no to Spurs.
“I think he would consider Manchester United’s call, if it arrived,” Di Marzio told Sky Sports.
Conte is currently out of work, having left Serie A champions, Inter Milan, in the summer after guiding them to their first championship in 11 years.
The 52-year-old has experience of top-flight English Premier League management after taking charge of Chelsea in 2016 and winning the title in his first campaign.