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Africa footballer of the year: CAF shuns Osimhen, lists Moses Simon

Super Eagles forward, Moses Simon was yesterday nominated for CAF’s Player of the Year award, even as Napoli of Italy talisman, Victor Osimhen was shunned by the African football governing body CAF).

The revealed nominees are mainly for the Men’s categories namely Player of the Year, Interclub Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year, National Team of the Year and Club of the Year. The nominees for the Women’s categories will be announced in due course.

A stakeholder panel made up of Technical Experts, CAF Legends and Journalists decided on the list for the various categories taking into the consideration the performance of the nominee from September 2021 till June 2022 at all levels.

Simon, who had a decent African Cup of Nations showing was the only Nigerian nominee in the nominations which looked to have been largely influenced by the African Cup of Nations.

Nigeria got eliminated in the round of 16 of the competition with Simon standing out as one of the best players of the tournament despite the Super Eagles’ early exit.

Nominees for the awards include regular suspects Sadio Mane, Mohammed Salah and Riyad Mahrez.

Surprising nominees are Gambia’s Musa Barrow, Mali’s Hamari Traore and others.

Morocco, Egypt and Senegal have the highest number of nominees with four each for the North African and five for the African champions.

The preliminary nominees are from 13 countries including Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Mali, Gambia, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and others.

The winners of each category will be decided by a voting panel made up of CAF Technical Committee, media professionals, Head Coaches & Captains of Member Associations and clubs involved at the group stage of the Interclub competitions.

he CAF Awards 2022 will be held ahead of the final of Africa’s flagship women’s competitions, TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2022 scheduled to take place between 02 July – 23 July 2022. The event will also coincide with the house two-year anniversary of the launch of the CAF Women’s Football Strategy.

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Osimhen reveals secret behind Eagles’ victory

Victor Osimhen has revealed the secret behind the Super Eagles’ fine performances under Jose Pereiro following an excellent start to life under the Portuguese tactician.

Pereiro’s first two games in charge of the three-time African champions were defeats to Mexico and Ecuador in friendly matches played in the United States.

But the former Sporting Lisbon manager guided the Eagles to beat Sierra Leone 2-1 in Abuja on Friday to claim his first win with the team.

Pereiro made it a 100 per cent win record in competitive matches after guiding Nigeria to hand Sao Tome and Principe a 10-0 hammering on Monday, the country’s biggest-ever win in history.

Osimhen scored four of those goals and added two assists to claim the man-of-the-match award and soar to the top of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying round’s goalscorer’s chart.

The trio of Leicester City’s Ademola Lookman, Watford’s Emmanuel Dennis, and Lorient’s Terem Moffi all bagged their maiden goals for the 2013 AFCON kings, with Moffi netting a brace.

Osimhen is pleased that Peseiro’s style and ideas are yielding goals for the team.

And the Napoli striker is convinced that the Super Eagles will continue to reap the benefits of having togetherness in the team – the one thing Peseiro is trying to instill in the Eagles.

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Victor Osimhen Vows to score more goals for the Eagles

Victor Osimhen has vowed to score more goals for the Super Eagles following his goalscoring heroics in Nigeria’s biggest ever win on Monday.

The Arsenal target proved his worth, scoring four goals for the Eagles, who thrashed Sao Tome and Principe 10-0 in their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations Group A qualifier in Agadir, Morocco.

Osimhen emerged as a leading transfer target for Mikel Arteta’s side and he showed off his attacking prowess for his national side taking his tally to 15 goals in 22 games for the three-time African champions.

According to reports, Osimhen’s agent flew to London for talks with Arsenal about a potential transfer last week. However, the north London club understands Napoli will only consider offers considerably above the £65m that they played for the 23-year-old two years ago.

Speaking after his side’s win, the 23-year-old said he wouldn’t relent on his efforts scoring for the team.

Osimhen said; “First of all, I have to say congratulations to the entire team and also a big kudos to the coach for all the instructions he gave us.

“I believe we carried out 80 to 90 per cent of them and of course I am happy to score four goals and I am happy for my teammates that got their goals as well..

“There is a big solidarity in the team and this is what the coach has taught us. I believe as a group we have the quality to build on this momentum. And yes, I want to score more goals for the team, and of course keep on getting the wins for the team.

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Brighton, Crystal Palace join race for Sanusi

Crystal Palace and Brighton and Hove Albion have been credited with an interest in Super Eagles’ left full-back Zaidu Sanusi following his title-winning campaign with Porto this season.

Another English Premier League side Fulham already closely watches Sanusi, with reports suggesting the Cottagers have had an initial bid rejected for the 25-year-old.

But UOL, quoting the Daily Star, claims that Brighton and Crystal Palace will look to rival Fulham for the attack-minded Nigeria international.

Sanusi scored three times across 40 appearances for Porto, with one of the goals sealing a vital win over Benfica in May and the league title for the Dragons.

Porto are not particularly keen on selling the former Santa Clara defender, and any interested club may have to activate the release clause in his contract to complete the deal.

Sanusi has a release clause valued at around 50 million euros (₦22 billion).

The full-back is currently with the Nigerian national team as they battle for the qualifying ticket to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

Sanusi featured for every minute as the Super Eagles secured a record 10-0 win over Sao Tome and Principe at the Stade d’Agadir in Morocco on Monday.

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Trainer criticises Anthony Joshua game plan in loss to Usyk

Anthony Joshua‘s new trainer, Robert Garcia believes that he did not have the right gameplan going into his defeat to Oleksandr Usyk.

The former IBF super-featherweight world champion suggested that Joshua had lost faith in his former coach Rob McCracken prior to that fight.

Joshua, 32, got rid of his former Team GB coach after he was convincingly beaten on points by the Ukrainian in September, losing the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles in the process.

Speaking to iFL TV, Garcia, who is the older brother of Mikey Garcia, insisted that AJ would benefit from a changing of the guard.

He said: “When you have somebody that’s a obviously lot smaller than you and you have the weight, height, reach and power advantages, then take advantage of that.

“It seemed like they had a different game plan.

“I wouldn’t even want to say it was a ‘game plan’, maybe it was just the wrong instructions. Anthony is the type of fighter who listens to his corner so he did what he was told and it was totally wrong.

“But the way it looks now, he’s listening to us, we have our meetings with him and he’s happy that we’re working together, he’s hungry again and he’s told us personally that he wants to do it for himself, but for us too. He said ‘you are going to deserve this win and I want to do it for you’.

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Bayern makes third offer for Mane

Bayern Munich’s pursuit of Sadio Mane is set to continue with the German giants preparing a third offer for the forward.

Bayern have already seen two offers for the Senegalese star rejected by Liverpool who have placed a £42million price-tag on his head.

But according to Bild, the Bundesliga champions are hoping it’ll be third time lucky as they prepare a £34.6m bid.

Despite still falling £7.4m short of the Reds’ valuation, Bayern hope that their latest package will convince Liverpool to part ways.

The Bavarian outfit will pay £30.3m up front with £4.3m in add-ons – with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp not standing in the way of his departure should both clubs agree a price.

Bild also detail that a three-year contract has already been agreed between Mane and Bayern with the player ‘really wanting to go to Munich’.

After signing Ryan Gravenberch from Ajax on Monday, Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has focused his attentions on bringing Mane to the Allianz Arena.

Having received the Bayern board’s approval to make another bid for Mane, he is hoping to conclude a deal with Liverpool quickly.

Liverpool’s No 10 has just a year left remaining on his contract at Anfield and is believed to be seeking pastures new.

Bild expand on this by detailing that Mane’s agent Bjorn Bezemer met with Salihamidzic in early May to discuss a move.

Liverpool and Bayern have good relations which was strengthened when the former signed Thiago Alcantara from the latter for £25m in September 2020.