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Who Is Alhassan Yusuf, The Midfielder Replacing Ndidi For AFCON?

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Alhassan Yusuf, the talented Nigerian midfielder, has been making waves in the European football scene and is now set to replace Wilfred Ndidi in the Nigerian squad for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). Born on July 20, 2000, in Kano, Nigeria, Yusuf’s journey in football is both inspiring and remarkable.

Early beginning

Yusuf’s football journey began at FC Hearts in Nigeria. His talent was recognized early by the Tiki Taka Development Group, a Swedish-based academy with operations in Nigeria. This academy played a pivotal role in shaping his career, providing him with the opportunity to showcase his skills in Europe at the prestigious Gothia Cup.

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It was at this tournament in 2017, that Yusuf’s abilities shone, catching the attention of IFK Göteborg. His impressive performance in the Gothia Cup, a tournament known for featuring some of football’s greatest talents like Xabi Alonso and Andrea Pirlo, led to a trial and eventually a permanent move to IFK Göteborg.

READ ALSO: CAF Raises AFCON Winner Prize Money To $7m

Rise to Prominence

Yusuf quickly made a name for himself at IFK Göteborg. His exceptional skills on the field earned him the Allsvenskan Young Player of the Year in 2019, a testament to his remarkable talent and hard work.

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His performances were characterised by his ability to dictate games with accurate and quick passing, as well as his defensive prowess. These skills not only showcased his versatility as a midfielder but also drew comparisons to renowned players like N’Golo Kanté.

A New Chapter at Antwerp

In 2021, Yusuf’s career took a significant leap when he signed with Belgian club Royal Antwerp. The transfer, valued at around €1 million, was a testament to his growing reputation in European football.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: Meet Top 10 Highest Goal Scorers In AFCON History

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At Antwerp, Yusuf continued to impress, becoming a mainstay in the midfield and even capturing the Player of the Month award in one of the seasons. His market value soared, indicating his rising status in the football world.

A Star on the International Stage

While Yusuf has not yet been capped for the Nigerian national team, VANGUARD reports that his inclusion in the provisional list for AFCON speaks volumes about his potential and the expectations placed on him. His performance in the UEFA Champions League, where he scored on his debut, further cements his status as a player of international calibre.

Looking Ahead

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Alhassan Yusuf’s journey from a young talent in Nigeria to a rising star in European football is a story of determination, skill, and passion. As he steps in to replace Ndidi for AFCON, all eyes will be on him to see if he can translate his club’s success to the international stage.

His story is not just about football; it’s about the potential of youth and the boundless opportunities that come with talent and hard work.

VANGUARD

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Knocks For Osimhen After Finidi George Outburst

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Following Victor Osimhen’s outburst on social media, reactions from fans have been pouring in, with many criticizing the Napoli striker for his comments against Finidi George.

Finidi, who is said to have also resigned as the head coach of the Super Eagles on Saturday (although the NFF is yet to confirm), was quoted to have said he can’t beg Osimhen to play for the national team after the player withdrew from their last two 2026 World Cup qualifiers due to injury.

The striker was said to have been ruled out by a four-week injury and was replaced by Enugu Rangers defender, Kenneth Igboke.

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READ ALSO: VIDEO: ‘Eni kure, Ogun kill anyone who doubts my commitment’, Victor Osimhen fumes over non-appearance for Super Eagles

But following the Super Eagles wobbling performances against South Africa and Benin Republic, the narrative of Osimhen’s absence changed as the online medium reported that Finidi used Osimhen’s absence as a poser for the players’ bad attitude towards the national team when he and the Nigeria Football Federation chiefs met with the Sports Minister, John Enoh in Abuja on Wednesday.

Osimhen, who was apparently infuriated by the comments in a live Instagram video on Saturday, said he had lost respect for Finidi and opened up on the circumstances that led to his withdrawal from the Super Eagles last two World Cup qualifiers, adding that Finidi was adequately briefed by him and his doctor.

Jason, using the handle @zieecity, dismissed Osimhen’s actions, stating, “Let him get out, who’s he? As a professional footballer you don’t release a live video swearing and saying nonsense. No player is bigger than the team.”

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READ ALSO:Super Eagles: Osimhen Swipe At Finidi George Over Resignation

Kinq Kudos expressed his disapproval of Osimhen’s approach, saying, “I don’t like Finidi’s style of coaching but Osimhen is not supposed to handle this issue like this. He could have done this on a podcast or interview if he truly wants to address it.”

Ore Eva defended Osimhen, stating, “For years that Osimhen has been on the team, he’s never spoken against any coach. Finidi must have really been terrible.”

Iyke, with the username @drackfel, accused Osimhen of disrespect, commenting, “Osimhen feels he’s richer and bigger than Finidi so he has no right to be in charge of him. It wouldn’t happen if the coach was a white man. He wouldn’t make such comments publicly if one of his managers at Napoli did the same thing. Shame.”

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READ ALSO: 10 Health Tips To Take Against Cholera

Uchenna, with the username @RichDakvng, called out Osimhen’s disrespect, saying, “Anyone that doesn’t see disrespect in this speech is a big hypocrite! When Sancho called out his manager, they said Sancho is disrespectful.”

Uche Mark emphasized that players like Finidi caused Osimhen’s failure, “This is why Finidi did not succeed. Disrespect, just look at how he’s talking to someone old enough to be his dad. They’re calling you Osimhen, your head is swelling. Have you played up to half of what Finidi played? You’re my Edo brother but I don’t support you on this.”

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Super Eagles: NFF Reacts To Finidi George’s Resignation

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The President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Ibrahim Gusau, says he is unaware embattled Super Eagles coach, Finidi George, has tendered his resignation.

This comes amid reports online that the coach resigned after the NFF announced Thursday that it would hire an “expatriate technical adviser” for the Eagles, following their dismal performances in the 2026 World Cup qualifying series.

The Eagles have managed just three points from a possible 12, and sit fifth in the six-team Group C, which has put their qualification hopes in jeopardy.

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The Eagles dismal outings drew the ire of the country’s football-crazy populace, who are still smarting from the disappointment of the team’s non-qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

READ ALSO: Court Sentences Native Doctor To Death For Kidnapping In Akwa Ibom

Mixed reactions trailed the NFF’s announcement on Thursday, with some followers of the team calling on the federation’s board members and Finidi to tender their resignations.

According to reports , Finidi is livid that the NFF leadership met with the sports minister two days ago, but failed to mention that players reported late to the camp and that they (NFF) did nothing to mobilise Nigerians in Ivory Coast to support the Eagles in last Monday’s match with Benin Republic.

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The reports added that Finidi, who’s overseen just two Eagles games since he took charge in April, resigned from his post Tuesday (today) morning.

However, when our correspondent sent a WhatsApp message to Gusau to confirm if Finidi had resigned, he replied, “Not yet aware.”

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VIDEO: ‘Eni kure, Ogun kill anyone who doubts my commitment’, Victor Osimhen fumes over non-appearance for Super Eagles

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Super Eagles and Napoli forward Victor Osimhen has fired back at former Super Eagles manager, Finidi George, and individuals doubting his commitment to the Super Eagles.

Osimhen was ruled out of the Super Eagles games against South Africa and Benin Republic.

However, in a live Instagram video on Saturday, Osimhen reacted angrily to some comments attributed to Finidi, stating that he wanted to stay with the players in camp.

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READ ALSO: Why I Rejected Super Eagles Job — Mosimane

He said, “I knew things like these would happen and that’s why I have the videos and screenshots of when I called Finidi while I was with the doctor in Germany.

“I got injured in our (Napoli’s) last game against Lecce and I went to the MRI scan. And I called Finidi there for him to listen to the doctor too.

“I asked Finidi George to allow me stay with the players in the camp, but Finidi asked me not to bother that I should stay with my family.

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“I’m not addressing anything, everybody knows I play my heart out whenever I’m playing for the club or national team. I’ll share the screenshot and videos of my conversation with Finidi for the sake of those believing what Finidi said.

READ ALSO: Super Eagles: Osimhen Swipe At Finidi George Over Resignation

“I’ve lost respect for that man because before I disrespect anybody, I always respect them.

“Now after two bad games, everybody is now blaming me.

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“I know how many injuries I’ve played with for Nigeria and I played my heart out but after two bad games, everybody is attacking me.”

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