Nigeria has one of the best football scenes on the continent. Over the years, some of its clubs have managed to reach iconic status, not only across the country but in the entire world! While football continues to grow as a sport, attracting more and more viewers with each year, the industry standard is also changing.
While around 50 years ago soccer betting was not a huge part of the industry, nowadays you cannot really talk about any major sporting event without mentioning the betting aspect of it. In the long run, new betting sites that offer various sports bets and especially soccer betting has helped viewers and fans feel more connected to their favorite teams and clubs. Also it makes them engage more frequently with the sport in general.
Here are the top five football clubs to look out for!
The first football club we will be discussing is based in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom, Nigeria. The club was founded back in 1996, by the Military Administrator of the state, Joseph Adeusi. The team competes in the first division of the Nigerian Professional Football League. The Akwa United team has some of the most admired football players across Nigeria, including the notorious fan favorites. Their home stadium is still in Akwa-Ibom and according to various sources, it also has some of the highest-paid footballers in the country.
This team is based in Enugu, as the name suggests. They are commonly referred to as Enugu Rangers. They are historically one of the most successful Nigerian football teams, with seven appearances in the African Champions’ Cup. The club has also appeared in the CAF Champions League three times. Enugu Rangers have also been a part of the Premier League, though they have failed to get to the finals since 1984.
Enyimba International is the most successful Nigerian football club, founded almost 50 years ago. The team’s name itself translates into “People’s Elephant in Igbo”. Enyimba is definitely among the top or most supported football teams across the country. The team is the nation’s favorite because of its outstanding successes. Enyimba International has won two African Champions League titles, four Federation Cups and also several Nigerian championships. It is easy to understand why the team has become the pride of Nigerian football!
This particular club is among the newest or most recent ones on the Nigerian football scene. It was only founded in 1990. Having won titles in the Nigerian Premier League four times, the team has firmly managed to establish itself as one of the leaders. They also play in the highest division of the Nigerian Professional Football League. Having said that, Kano Pillars are yet to return to the place they were in 2014. This is when they won their last Premier League championship.
Lobi Star, previously known as BBLHawks adopted its current name in 1990. The team is based in Makurdi, Benu state, playing their games at the Aper Aku Stadium. The sports venue can accommodate up to 15,000 people. Yes, it has a large following, coming mostly from Makurdi. It has great potential, which is likely to grow in strength. The Lobi Star team has had a good run but only the future will tell what the team is really capable of!
‘I Can Discover Ballon d’Or Winners In Nigeria’
Ex-Nigeria international Usman Abdallah has declared that he can help the country groom future Ballon d’Or winners if he is handed the U20 job.
Abdallah, who led Enyimba to win the 2019 Nigeria Professional Football League and a Confederation Cup semi-final finish, is favourite to replace Paul Aigbogun for the Flying Eagles’ head coach role.
His outstanding CV features a Uefa A license, a degree in football coaching and team management (France) and a Strength and Conditioning level 1 coaching certificate in Australia.
According to reports, the Nigeria Football Federation will announce the Franco-Nigerian in the coming days, a claim the tactician is unsure of when quizzed by newsmen.
“Just like every other person, I applied for the job but I’m yet to get confirmation if I was picked or not.
“Nigeria is my country and it will be nice if I eventually get this role because it will be a big chance to serve. Also, I have what it takes to discover future Ballon d’Or winners for the country.
“Without sounding immodest, I strongly believe that I will excel in this position not only because of my wealth of experience but because of my closeness to grassroots football.
“As I have always said, this level deserves a lot of serious work because players picked at this level form a pivot of future Super Eagles,”he told newsmen.
After a failed expedition at the 2019 Fifa U20 World Cup in Poland, Nigeria will be hoping to qualify for Indonesia 2021 through the Africa U20 Cup of Nations scheduled for Mauritania.
Champions, Europa Leagues Finals Likely For August
The Champions League and Europa League look increasingly likely to be played exclusively in August after more talks about the remainder of the 2019-20 season on Wednesday.
Uefa told the 55 associations on Tuesday there was still the possibility of the competitions being played throughout June, July and August.
But Tidesports source understands that the latest discussions revolved almost exclusively around a plan to complete the domestic leagues by 31 July, with European competition following after that.
Nothing definitive has been agreed but Uefa is keen to leave all options on the table for as long as possible given the general uncertainty across Europe and in the knowledge there is no guarantee the season will be finished.
However, there is a view that travel restrictions are more likely to have eased in August, which would be necessary for a cross-border competition.
The scenario envisaged would be for the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the respective European competitions to be played as two-legged ties between 11 and 22 August, although these could yet become one-off games.
In the plans now being discussed, there would be some flexibility for domestic fixtures to be played in August, should a July conclusion prove impossible.
The Premier League has nine rounds of fixtures remaining but in Spain and Italy, two countries that have been badly affected, there are still 11 and 12 rounds left respectively – although both have fewer cup games to fit into their schedules.
Uefa hopes the situation will become clearer in the next fortnight but completing the season in this way would cause the least disruption to its qualification competition for the 2020-21 season, which was supposed to start at the end of June but has been delayed indefinitely.
S’Eagles’ll Miss Mikel, Ighalo -Etebo
John Obi Mikel and Odion Ighalo would remain a big miss for Nigeria, concedes Oghenekaro Etebo, with the Super Eagles still coming to terms with their retirement.
After the Super Eagles clinched third-place at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, the duo drew the curtains on their international careers.
Mikel, 32, was the first to bow out before Egypt 2019 top scorer Ighalo followed the path of the former Chelsea star.
Coach Gernot Rohr is prepared to put faith in the likes of Joe Aribo, Alex Iwobi and Victor Osimhen as replacements for the duo.
The Getafe man said it was clear that the three-time African kings would miss Mikel and Ighalo for their leadership attributes, but believes Osimhen can fill the vacuum left by the Manchester United striker.
“They are leaders who we are going to be missed in the dressing room,” he stated.
“Mikel was a leader; I recall how he helped us during the Olympics when we had issues during our preparations for the Games. Not because I played with him but for the impact he had on me as a player.
“They helped the team make vital decisions during tough times and I guess it was just time for them to move on.
“Ighalo on his part is a goal poacher that we also miss but thank God that we have another goal poacher in [Victor] Osimhen, but we have to be patient with him to settle in well into that role.”
After the coronavirus pandemic, Rohr is expected to begin life without the retired players as Nigeria would be hoping to qualify for the 2021 Afcon billed for Cameroon.
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