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Internationsl Friendly: Mexico 4 Nigeria 0

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The Super Eagles of Nigeria were early Sunday morning white – washed 4-0 by their Mexican counterparts in their friendly played at the Los Angeles Memorial Colliseum

The encounter between the two teams was meant to serve as an opportunity for the Super Eagles to get into the best shape ahead of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers, which will commence in September,  while El Tricolor of Mexico also used the match as part of their preparations for the Concacaf Gold Cup set to kick off later in July.

More details later…..

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Brazil legend Pele dies, aged 82

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Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.

He is credited with scoring a world record 1,281 goals in 1,363 appearances during a 21-year career, including 77 goals in 92 matches for his country.

The only player to win the World Cup three times, lifting the trophy in 1958, 1962 and 1970, Pele was named Fifa’s Player of the Century in 2000.

He had been suffering with kidney and prostate problems in recent years.

Pele had surgery to remove a tumour from his colon in September 2021 at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, after the tumour was detected in routine tests. He was readmitted to hospital in late November 2022.

His daughter Kely Nascimento has kept fans updated on her father’s condition with regular social media updates from hospital.

Shortly afte he passed on, she posted a picture of what appeared to be Pele’s family’s hands on his body in hospital and wrote: “Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.

The hospital confirmed that Pele died “due to the failure of multiple organs, a result of the progression of colon cancer associated with his previous clinical condition”.

Pele’s Twitter account posted: “Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pele, who peacefully passed away today. Love, love and love, forever.”

The Brazilian Football Confederation said: “Pele was much more than the greatest sportsperson of all time. “Our king of football was the greatest exponent of a victorious Brazil, who was never afraid when faced with difficulty. He promised his father a World Cup and he presented us with three.

“The King gave us a new Brazil and we are so thankful for his legacy. Thank you, Pele.”

President Jair Bolsonaro has declared three days of national mourning.

Pele’s former club Santos released details of his funeral. On Monday morning his body will be moved from the hospital to the club’s Estadio Urbano Caldeira, where the coffin will be placed in the centre of the pitch for the public to pay respects.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, became a global star when, aged 17, he helped Brazil win the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, forcing his way into the starting line-up by the knockout stages.

He scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Wales in the quarter-finals, a hat-trick against France in the semi-final and two in a 5-2 triumph over the hosts in the final.

What made Pele great:

*Scored a reported 1,281 goals in 1,363 games
*Made 14 appearances at World Cup finals, scoring 12 goals
*Racked up 126 goals in 1959 alone
*Only player to win three World Cups
*Pele had made his debut for club side Santos two years earlier at the age of 15, scoring in a 7-1 win over Corinthians de Santo Andre.
It was the first of 643 goals he would score for the club in official competitions over 19 years, although Santos claim the total is more than 1,000 once exhibition matches – often against high-profile European opposition – are taken into account.

The Brazilian Football Confederation and Santos say Pele scored 1,283 goals in 1,367 matches, while Fifa claims it was 1,281 goals in 1,366 games.

At the 1962 World Cup, Pele, then 21, scored a brilliant individual goal in a 2-0 win over Mexico to open their campaign, but was injured in the next match and watched from the sidelines as his team defended their title.

The final part of his trilogy of World Cup wins was his most iconic. After being fouled out of the 1966 tournament in England, he was the fulcrum of a thrilling attacking team that swept to the title in 1970, scoring the opening goal in a 4-1 win over Italy in the final.

‘Legend’ Pele synonymous with football – Lineker

From his joyful tears on the chest of team-mate Nilton Santos to his embrace with England captain Bobby Moore, Pele’s moments of magic have spanned eras and defined the history of the sport.

He finished his club career as part of a star-studded New York Cosmos side, playing alongside German legend Franz Beckenbauer and fellow 1970 World Cup winner Carlos Alberto.

“In music there is Beethoven and the rest. In football, there is Pele and the rest,” he said in 2000. In a poll conducted by BBC Sport in 2020, Pele was voted the greatest player, ahead of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Maradona and Johan Cruyff.
‘A boy genius, a World Cup hero, a global icon’ – BBC Sport chief football writer Phil McNulty

The image of the shirtless Pele being carried aloft by team-mates and supporters after the World Cup was won in Mexico City in 1970 is seared on the memory, along with that famous picture of another shirtless embrace with England captain Bobby Moore (above), a gesture packed with mutual respect, after Brazil’s 1-0 group game victory in Guadalajara.

His greatness can be measured by the simple fact that he could make football a spectacle of natural grace and beauty when he missed as much as when he scored.

One of the game’s first global personalities, Pele layered his brilliance across a career spanning from a teenager with Santos to a money-spinner at New York Cosmos.

Wherever football is played, the name of Pele will be synonymous with it.
BBC Sports

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Steven Gerrard Sacked as Aston Villa Manager

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Steven Gerrard has been sacked as manager of Aston Villa after just 11 months in charge.
Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino and ex-Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel have been linked with the role, but whether either man could be enticed to Villa Park remains to be seen.

Gerrard’s sacking was announced immediately after his side suffered a comprehensive 3-0 defeat against Fulham at Craven Cottage – Villa’s sixth defeat in just 11 Premier League games.

A statement released after the match read: “Aston Villa Football Club can confirm that head coach Steven Gerrard has left the club with immediate effect.

“We would like to thank Steven for his hard work and commitment and wish him well for the future.”

On Friday, Villa confirmed Gary McAllister, Neil Critchley, Tom Culshaw, Jordan Milsom and Scott Mason have also left the club following the sacking of Gerrard.

First-team coach Aaron Danks will take charge of the team for Sunday’s Premier League match against Brentford at Villa Park.

The former Liverpool midfielder replaced Dean Smith at Villa Park in November 2021 but lasted less than a year before becoming the fourth top-flight manager to lose his job this season, following Scott Parker, Thomas Tuchel and Bruno Lage.

Gerrard admitted he was in a “very difficult position” straight after Villa’s hefty loss in south west London.
The former Rangers manager insisted he would not quit his role but was given no choice in the matter as Villa’s board acted swiftly to remove him.

“I’ve been sending messages to the fans for the last few weeks because I certainly share their frustration and their pain,” said Gerrard in his post-match press conference.

“I’m someone who is honest. I know that they’re not enjoying it at the moment – I’m certainly not – so we’ll see what happens moving forward. But you know and I know I’m in a very difficult position right now.

“The performance was miles away from what I want, expect and stand for. I understand the fans’ frustration and it was so far from how we looked at the weekend. We’re in this situation, I’m in it to face the tough questions because the reality is it’s not good enough for the club.

“Those decisions are out of my control. I have been around the game a long time, I understand the situation and won’t sugar-coat the situation or give anyone false lines. I want to be as honest as I can.

“We’ll see what happens moving forwards. But football is in my DNA and quitting is certainly not, so we’ll see what happens moving forwards.”

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Chelsea Appoint Brighton’s Graham Porter as New Manager

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Chelsea has announced the appointment of erstwhile Brighton and Hove Albion Manager as the new Manager at Stamford Bridge. The appointment follows the recent sacking of Thomas Tuchel after guiding the side for two years.

•Potter handed long-term deal

•Joins Chelsea squad in
disarray

•First game will be derby clash
with Fulham

WHAT HAPPENED?

Chelsea confirmed Potter’s arrival in an official statement on Thursday, with the 47-year-old departing Brighton after three years in charge at the Amex Stadium. Potter has been handed a long-term contract after replacing Tuchel, whose 20-month reign at Stamford Bridge ended following the Blues’ surprise Champions League group stage defeat against Dinamo Zagreb.

THE BIGGER PICTURE:
Potter guided Brighton to their best-ever top-flight finish in 2021-22 as they secured ninth place, and they also made an impressive start to their latest campaign under his stewardship. He leaves Brighton sitting fourth in the Premier League after six matches – three points ahead of his new employers Chelsea.

AND WHAT’S MORE: The Blues’ newest head coach has a huge job on his hands to steady the ship at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea spent more than any other club in the summer transfer window to bring in the likes of Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly and Wesley Fofana, but Tuchel was unable to deliver instant results with a new-look squad. Potter, who also reunites with former Brighton defender Marc Cucurella, will face the same level of pressure as an expectant board continues to set the loftiest of expectations.

WHAT WAS SAID:
‘I am incredibly proud and excited to represent Chelsea FC, this fantastic football club,” Potter said in a statement. “I am very excited to partner with Chelsea’s new ownership group and look forward to meeting and working with the exciting group of players and to develop a team and culture that our amazing fans can be proud of.”
(Goal.com)

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