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Neymar to stay put at PSG this summer despite transfer rumours

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Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar confirmed he will stay at the club this summer despite continued links to Chelsea.

Speaking in an interview with CazeTVOficial, Neymar addressed the disconnection from the Parisians but admitted that he expects to be with the team.

“I hope it’s at PSG (next season). I have a contract with PSG and no one has informed me of anything. Even if there isn’t much love between the fans & the player, I will be there (at PSG), with love or without love,” the 31-year-old said.

Undergoing surgery on his right ankle in early March of this year, Neymar has returned to the squad amid the start of training camps.

Neymar has been singled out for his lack of performance this year and has faced harsh criticism by French pundits and PSG Ultras.

In May, ultras expressed fury at the South American outside the club’s headquarters and during matches, reportedly telling Neymar to “get lost.”

Sports pundit Daniel Riolo called out Neymar for his lack of effort, describing his transfer to the club as undeserved for the Parisians despite scoring 18 times in 29 games last season.

“[Neymar] had half a good season because he was preparing for the World Cup. He was just in training,” the French journalist said at the beginning of the year.

“Do we realise that Neymar, in terms of recruitment and salary, is the biggest flop in the history of football? I can’t think of a bigger flop for what it cost, it’s horrible,” he said.

A farewell to Neymar was expected to be in order, especially after it was reported that Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly recently met with PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi for a potential trade.

PSG has yet to voice any conversations on Neymar’s future as they have been occupied with the Mbappe contract saga.

However, on his return to the pitch, the team stated, “After participating in individual training on the pitch last week, Neymar is expected to partially participate in collective training this week.”

Qatar World Cup
In the interview with CazeTVOficial, Neymar admitted that he considered retiring from the Brazilian National team after the World Cup in Qatar but ensured that he will return and aspires to play at the 2026 World Cup.

“It was one of the worst weeks of my life. Besides me being hurt, nobody knew it, but, I got really sick. Very, very sick. I did the treatment lying in bed, sleeping the whole day. I only had my foot out of bed, and the physiotherapist was there doing all kinds of treatments. It was bizarre, you know?” Neymar voiced.

“First day, I stayed until 10:30 am doing treatment, and Marquinhos gave me company. It was very intense, I didn’t know how I was going to come back. I came back without any pain, 100%. I wasn’t 100% because I was sick. (..) What hurt was the defeat more than the ankle,” the Brazillian added.

With Carlo Ancelotti becoming the new Brazilian national team head coach starting in June 2024, a partnership with Neymar has left some fans excited.

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They still bully me after 14 years – Aiyegbeni on missing tap-in for Nigeria

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Former Super Eagles striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni has cried out over the bullying he suffers in the hands of Nigerians over the goal he missed 13 to 14 years ago.

Nigerian football fanatics are finding it difficult to forget the events of June 22, 2010 when Aiyegbeni missed a tap-in during a World Cup game between Nigeria and South Korea.

The miss came when Nigeria was trailing the Koreans 2-1 in their final Group A match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, South Africa.

The ‘Yak’ would later score from the penalty spot but Super Eagles fans were, at the time, unable to move past the unbelievable miss.

In a recent interview, the video was shared on social media platform, X, and he cried out that he is still getting messages from angry fans who are demanding an explanation of how he missed the tap-in with the goalkeeper and defenders out of the way.

“I still get messages from people. Different messages. I remember one was sending a message last week and he was like ‘how do you explain that goal missed to you daughter Kayla’ he mentioned my daughter’s name ‘Kayla’. I was like 13 to 14 years ago and people still think about that,” he said.

“I got a message today and someone was like ‘you’re the worst Super Eagles striker’ because of that particular goal I missed. They never think about all the other goals I’ve scored.

“They never think about when I scored goals in Sudan when nobody thought we’d qualify for Korea Japan 2002. We went to Sudan. Nobody ever thought we’d qualify because the weather there was crazy. If we get a draw or lose we’re out.

“There I scored 2 goals. Julius Aghahowa scored one and Jay Jay Okocha, ‘pa Jay’ scored another one. We won 4-0. That gave us the ticket and went to Korea-Japan 2000.

“But people in Nigeria never speak about how I made them qualify but didn’t go to the World Cup. I was shocked. I played 99.9% of every game to qualify Nigeria for Japan/Korea and I was dropped.”

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Inter Miami making Messi work too hard – Coach, Martino

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Inter Miami are expecting too much work from their Argentine star Lionel Messi, coach Gerardo Martino said on Friday, ahead of the team’s Florida derby clash with Orlando City.

Miami are unbeaten in their opening two games, with a home win over Real Salt Lake followed by a draw at the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday.

But with a busy run of fixtures for club and country coming up for Messi this month, Martino says the team need to find a way to reduce the eight-times Ballon d’Or winner’s workload.

“I feel that in these last two matches, he has expended too much energy, and that is also my responsibility to make sure the team operates in a way that we can use him in the best way,” Martino told reporters.

Messi has been playing in a relatively free role, behind former Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez, often floating deep to find the ball and then seeking to drive his team up the field.

It was Messi’s stoppage time goal that earned Miami a point at the Galaxy but Martino says the performance took a lot out of the 36-year-old.

“I’ve been discussing some things with him and what concerns me the most is the day-to-day and how he is recovering game by game. I feel that in these first two matches, we have relied on him too much, which has caused him significant fatigue in both games,” he said.

The former Argentina and Mexico national team coach said the team have to re-find a way to provide Messi service closer to goal.

“In the Leagues Cup game against Orlando (last season), he often found the ball in the final quarter of the field and was able to finish the play, he scored from inside the area. That’s what we need to get back to, the team finding him to make plays and sometimes finding him for the finishes,” he said.

Miami are hoping their latest Argentine signing, midfielder Federico Redondo will have his paperwork resolved in order to make his debut on Saturday.

 

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Lagos FA Cup Kicks Off With No Sponsor, 80 Clubs Eye Star Prize

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Chairman Lagos State Football Association, LSFA, Ogboni Fouad Oki says this year’s Lagos State Challenge Cup popularly known as Lagos FA Cup would go ahead without sponsor.

The much awaited Lagos FA Cup would kick off on Saturday 2 March 2024 across the designated centers.

No fewer than 80 clubs are expected to participate in this year’s edition.

Although Winners Golden Bet, a well known Betting Company has been sponsoring the Lagos FA Cup more than six years, but the company is not part of this year’s edition which gives football stakeholders a lot of concerns.

Oki explained that he is not disturbed that no company or individual has partnered with the association for FA Cup but remained optimistic that the competition would get a sponsor before it gets to the quarter final stage.

“I am not too bothered about the sponsorship of the competition.If you look at the country presently, many companies are still struggling to survive but i want to assure the participating teams and football fans before the tournament reaches quarter final, sponsor would surely come.

“We the organising committee are still working on the possibility to get one or two sponsors on board.Like i said i am not really worried and the most important things is that the competition would kick off on Saturday,”he said.

The Lagos FA boss expressed satisfaction with the number of teams that are participating in this year’s edition.

He disclosed that the state has largest number of entries among the states in the country and charged the teams that would represent the the state to do well in the Federation Cup and possibly win the trophy.

“Lagos has number of entries compare to other states that have less than 10 teams in their state’s FA Cup.If we have such numbers of teams registered and i expect any team that would represent Lagos should make us proud and bring the Federation Cup back to the state,”he said.

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