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Barc Focuses On Retaining Euro Crown

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With Real Madrid crushing virtually all before them and holding a ten-point lead over Barcelona in Spain, the UEFA Champions League has assumed greater importance for the Catalan side, who are on course to reach the quarter-finals.

Barcelona entertain Bayer Leverkusen at the Nou Camp today holding a 3-1 lead from the first leg.

Jose Mourinho has converted Real into a formidable force in his second season in Madrid and they have now won 20 out of 21 games domestically with the only defeat coming against Barcelona at the Bernabeu.

The reigning Champions League and La Liga winners have failed to show the same consistency, dropping too many points away from home but they know that in a one-off match, they are still capable of beating anybody.

“It is going to be very tough for us to win the league but now we must concentrate on Bayer Leverkusen. It has been a difficult season for us with so many injuries which has meant that we have not been able to play at 100 per cent but little by little we have been improving”, said Adriano.

The Brazilian utility player has been involved more than expected recently due to the number of absentees in Pep Guardiola’s squad which has been criticised for being under strength.

In the 3-1 weekend win over Sporting Gijon, he played at left-back with Eric Abidal lying in the treatment room but he has also featured in midfield and in a more attacking role.

“It was an important game for us against Sporting like all of them at the moment as we were able to put the pressure on Madrid, who played afterwards, and we will keep battling in every match until the end of the season trying to pick up as many points as possible.

“In the Champions League now, we play Bayer Leverkusen at home after a good win in Germany but they are a strong side as they showed at the weekend with a victory over a team like Bayern Munich which shows what they are capable of.”

Seydou Keita made a notable return to the team after his participation in the CAF African Cup of Nations, playing a key role in the victory by helping to set up the first goal for Andres Iniesta and then scoring the second himself.

Barcelona played the majority of the second half without Gerard Pique, who was red-carded and there was bad news for Alexis Sanchez, who limped off and is expected to be out of action for over two weeks.

Guardiola heaped praise on Keita, an under-stated member of the squad who can be relied upon when given his chance in the team. “One of the best things that I have experienced since being coach of Barcelona is the possibility to have got to know him and I congratulate him for all that he has done for us,” he said.

“In recent seasons, we have won because we have deserved it. You always have to play well to win and we did so after we were down to ten men and drawing the  Madrid.

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Terony Unity Cup Commences Soon In PH

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Terony Sports Foundation says arrangements have been concluded to commence Unity Cup 2022, at the end of this month.
According to the organizer of the football tournament, AminaTamuno, the registration that started December 2021will end next week Tuesday.
He said the competition was slated to take place at Number six field old Port Harcourt Township.
Tamuno explained that the competition will be on knock out bases, saying that the reason for the one month tournament was basically to foster the existing and unity in the area.
“We are organizing this tournament just to sustain the peace and unity we are enjoying.
Besides, will we use it to discover talents from the grassroots and groom them to stardom” Tamuno said.
He equally uses the forum to appeal to well-meaning individuals, corporation organizations and multi Nationals to Sports grassroots football Competitions so that talents will be discovered.

By: Tonye Orabere

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NWFL: Coach Wants Players To Put More Efforts

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The Head Coach of Rivers Angels FC of Port Harcourt Edwin Okon has tasks his (players) to do more if they want to qualify for the continental game.
He said that the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) is a strong one, adding that for them to make to super six they have to put in extra effort. .
Okon said this on Wednesday in his post-match interview with sports journalists shortly after his player whitewashed Abia Angels FC 4-0 in the match day four of the NWFL at the University of Port Harcourt Sports complex.
According to him, they need to put more effort to ensure that the team qualifies for Super six.
He thanked God for the victory, adding that they want to maintain their position in the league.
“First and foremost I want to thank God for the victory.
The league is a strong one but we want to maintain our position in the league.
We need to put in more effort in the game to ensure we keep to our task” Okon stated.
Despite the four goals scored the number one Female football Coach in the state, said that in every game there are mistakes adding, that he will still go back to the drawing board to perfect those grey area.
Also speaking the head coach of Abia Angels Ann Chiejine, blamed is goalkeeper for the loss, saying that she will go and do more of ball work.
“General my girls played well but we need to go back and do more of technical play,” Chiejine said.

By: Kiadum Edookor

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Open Trials ’ll Create Opportunities For Youths -Hon Wobo

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Port Harcourt based Football Club Sticmaclloyd, in partnership with 433 Football Agency of Ukraine, Germany football academy and Sports Mate 360 football academy of Poland says arrangements have been concluded to hold a two day Port Harcourt City Open Football Trials, between 17 to 24 years.
The open trials is slated to hold 29th -30th of this month at Sharks Football Stadium, Port Harcourt and expected to commence 6:00 am each day.
Speaking with Tidesports in an exclusive interview on Saturday, in Port Harcourt, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sticmaclloyd FC, Hon.Wobo I. Stanley, said the opening trials will create opportunity for talented footballers in the State to play in Europe.
According to Stanley, who was an ex international, selected players will also the have opportunity to enhance their football career in Germany, Poland, Ukraine and Italy.
“My club Sticmaclloyd Fc, is affiliated to 433 football agency, Germany, Poland and Ukraine football academies, besides, we have also signed Memorandum of Understanding ( MoU) haven fulfilled their requirements to ensure that selected players have good contract” Hon. Stanley said.
He further, revealed that players that will go to Poland will combine both studies and football.
“Our foreign representatives have already sent their coaches to do the selection” he stated.
Stanley uses the forum to advice youth in the State to come and show their talents.
“We are sure players that will participate in the trials that selection will be purely on merits. Players who did not make it this time can make it next time” he added.

By: Tonye Orabere

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