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Europe Watch: Osimhen, Boniface, Payne, Others Shine

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League football across Europe is gradually taking shape for the 2023–24 season, with Nigerian players plying their trade in different leagues across the world.

Victor Osimhen scored the opening goal in Napoli’s 2-0 win over Sassuolo in the Serie A, while German Victor Boniface scored a brace in Leverkusen’s 3-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach in the German Bundesliga.

There were other Nigerian players for their respective clubs across the world.

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Let’s take a look at them.

READ ALSO: Transfer: You Have Time – Osimhen Told Not To Sign More Than Two Years Contract

Saturday

In the Premier League, Taiwo Awoniyi and Ola Aina starred for Nottingham Forest on Saturday. The former scored a goal, while the latter came in later as a substitute.

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Frank Onyeka and Calvin Bassey made it to the squad that played against Arsenal, although the latter saw himself red-carded after a foul on Eddie Nketiah in the 82nd minute of the encounter.

In the Championship, Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Ihenacho started for Leicester City in the 2-1 win against Rotterdam. Ihenacho provided an assist for the opening goal in the clash.

Victor Boniface inspired Bayern Leverkusen to a 3-0 victory versus Borussia Monchengladbach with a superb brace in the Bundesliga.

In Italy, Samuel Chukweze was introduced in the 66th minute of Milan’s 4-1 win over Torino to enjoy a home debut for his new team.

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READ ALSO: PSG Offers Osimhen €50m

Tyrone Ebuehie was all out for Empoli against Monza but could not help the team slip from a 2-goal lead.

Ademola Lookman also could not help his Atalanta side overturn a 2-1 loss to newly promoted Frosinone at home. He was subbed off in the second half of the game.

Super Falcons Michelle Alozie was on target for the Houston Dash in the 1-1 draw against Kansas City in the National Women’s Soccer League.

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Sunday

Chidozie Awaziem was in the centre of defence for Boviasta throughout the entire 90 minutes of the draw against Casa Pia AC.

Akor Adams had a day to forget as he failed to score in Montpellier’s shocking 3-1 loss to Reims. It was the first time Akor Adams didn’t score for his new club after scoring three goals in two games.

Victor Osimhen was on target for Napoli from the penalty spot. His goal was in style, as it was his 100th club career goal and 62nd for Napoli. Osimhen will be hoping he continues his brilliant form from last season.

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Monday

Tony Payne scored the decisive goal for Sevilla when they defeated Recreativo Huelva 1-0 to win the Andalusia Cup in Spain.

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BREAKING: Spain Beat England 2-1 To Win Euro 2024

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The Spanish national team on Sunday night defeated the Three Lions of England 2-1 to lift the Euro 2024 trophy.

Spain’s Mikel Oyarzabal 86th minute goal secured the trophy for a record fourth time.

Nico Williams had earlier in the second half put Spain ahead in Berlin, Germany, before Cole Palmer levelled for England.

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READ ALSO: [BREAKING] PHOTOS: Germany, Denmark Euro 2024 Game Halted Due To Violent Storm

Meanwhile, Marc Guehi’s effort to equalise for the Three Lions at the last minute was frustrated by Dani Olmo to finally sealed the trophy for the Spanish team.

Details later…

 

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VIDEO: Former Liverpool Striker Roberto Firmino Becomes Pastor In Hometown

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Former Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino has embraced a new calling, announcing his ordination as an evangelical pastor at the age of 32.

The Brazilian footballer shared the news on his social media accounts, revealing a significant transition in his life.

Firmino, alongside his wife, was ordained as a pastor at the church they founded three years ago. The dedication ceremony took place last Sunday in his hometown of Maceio.

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In a heartfelt message, Firmino expressed that becoming a pastor was not an initial goal, but a mission that emerged from his encounter with Christ.

READ ALSO: 10 Things To Know About The Samoa Agreement

“Since our encounter with Christ, a longing burns in our hearts… that people may know this love that has reached us. Now we have another responsibility… To be pastors according to the heart of God and to cooperate with the Kingdom,” Firmino stated.

He also extended his gratitude to pastors Jairo and Keila for their belief and encouragement in his spiritual journey.

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Firmino enjoyed a prolific career at Liverpool from 2015 to 2023, during which he secured seven major titles, including the 2019/20 Premier League and the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League.

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One of his standout moments was scoring the decisive goal in the 2019 Club World Cup final, securing the title for the Reds.

Last season, Firmino played 34 games for Al-Ahli, scoring nine goals. He also represented the Brazilian national team, participating in the 2018 World Cup.

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Currently, Roberto Firmino continues his football career with the Saudi Arabian club Al-Ahli, where he played 34 matches in all competitions last season, scoring nine goals and providing seven assists.

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Finidi George Gets New Job

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Former Super Eagles coach Finidi George has taken up another managerial job at Nigeria Premier Football League side, Rivers United, barely three weeks after resigning as the head coach of Nigeria’s men’s senior national team, The PUNCh reports.

Finidi was announced as the head coach of the 2022 NPFL champions on Wednesday with an unveiling set to follow on Thursday.

Rivers United Football Club is pleased to announce the appointment of Finidi George as our new Technical Manager,” the club said in a statement on Wednesday.

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Finidi brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our team, having had a distinguished playing career spanning over fifteen years.

READ ALSO: Knocks For Osimhen After Finidi George Outburst

The statement reads, “His impressive credentials include winning the Africa Cup of Nations with the Super Eagles in 1994, the UEFA Champions League with Ajax in 1995, and the Nigeria Premier Football League with Enyimba International FC in 2023.

“As a coach, Finidi has demonstrated his ability to lead teams to success, and we are confident that he will bring his expertise and passion to our club. We are excited to have him on board and look forward to a successful tenure under his leadership.”

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Finidi left his role as the Super Eagles head coach in June after two games in charge. It was in the wake of the team’s poor performance in two 2026 World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and the Benin Republic which forced the Nigeria Football Federation to resort to hiring a foreign technical adviser for the team.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Finidi George Resigns As Super Eagles Head Coach

Before taking the Super Eagles job, Finidi spent two full seasons and almost completed the third with Enyimba, leading them to their record-ninth NPFL title in 2023.

At Rivers United, he takes over the leadership from head coach Evans Ogenyi, who guided the club until the end of last season after the dismissal of the long-serving Stanley Eguma.

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A native of Port Harcourt, the 53-year-old began his career with Calabar Rovers, Iwanyanwu Nationale and represented local club Sharks FC – which was merged in 2016 with Dolphins to form Rivers United – for two seasons before embarking on a stellar European career.

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