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Editor's note

Meet the Team EDITORIAL

Taiwo Salisu Editor Managing contributor and co-creator of content for all topics covered in this issue.

Dear you, express my joy and e v I write to a h u o y g n i w no k t a t n e m e t s i i h t exc n i a t b o o t e m i t r u o y n e tak publication. lcome you to this I warmly we f beautiful o e g a ll o c s ’ h t m, r o f mon n i ly e r u s ld u o w t a h t s e . piec u o y e t a c u d e d n a n i a t r e re t n a e c d n a e m i t eat r g , s y a lw a re s u s A n e o t s i h t to n e v i g n e e b has t. n e m y o j n e r u o y

Kehinde Salisu Co-Editor Supplementary contributor, co-creator of content, co-writer and editor of news material, management of interviews.


Yemisi Falade Research Manager Generator of material from factual events, critique of written reports, management of research information through collection, cross-referencing, screening, editing and storage. Folajimi Onatoye Research Assistant Observer and reporter of issue circulation statistics, reader preference, changes in demand and so on. Oyindamola Badejo Research Assistant Undertaker of research activities relevant to topics as well as compilation of audience metrics; population size and density, demographics etc. Sorefunmi Olubukola Journalist Writer of news obtained from correspondents and researchers in areas relevant to Luminary

Welcome! Taiwo Salisu. SIDELINE VISTA is a monthly publication of JMWorld. This is a pilot issue and some information displayed do not exactly represent real life events. This issue is limited in supply and intended only for promotional, registration and regulatory purposes. Any form of reproduction of this material without the express consent of JMWorld is a civil wrong and may attract litigious action against offenders. Copyright Š 2015 JMWorld









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o, our unassuming friend and avid supporter strolls into our offices with a deeply registering smile and a pleasant mien to claim his winnings - which we gave him excitedly, however, our experience wasn’t this straightforward.

On how he won the game that earned him the spot as our month’s champ, he said he simply followed the contents of the previous issue and saw where the Q & A portion was. He googled a few of the questions, obtained their answers and texted them in a breezing record time to the stated numbers.

Anthony, an average heighted man with a burly build is a practising accountant in a management consulting firm based in Lagos, Nigeria.

He confesses that he was super-cynical especially when he had obtained a magazine for free and that the free magazine was giving out prizes. Infact, so doubtful was he that he became persuaded this was a scam and warned a few friends about it.

Conversant with the burdensome gridlocks that bedevil the city’s traffic ways, Anthony passes such time by listening to soothing music on his handheld devices or listening to FM radio - a hobby that brought him to the doorstep of From the Sidelines and subsequently Sideline Vista. He describes his first experience with the radio program as ‘sheer indifference’ until he stumbled on it a second and third time. He claims that what fascinated him most about the show was a feature in it that applied football to REAL LIFE. On paper, he didn’t see how anyone could draw an impressive common thread between both areas. When asked what the topic in discussion was for that episode, he said he didn’t remember but that the one which left the most indelible impact on him was the episode where dealing with bereavement and loss of loved ones was explained. This had so much relevance to him because he just mourned his maternal grandmother - a woman he was greatly fond of. On Sideline Vista, he says ‘the show’s presenter kept drumming it into my ears that its magazine would be rolling out that month for free - on a temporary pilot basis.’ ‘I stepped out on a cool Saturday afternoon to see my tailor and on my way, I made a stop at a busy newstand in my area to see why some three men were arguing. I peeked and somewhere I saw this glossy mag hidden from obvious sight amongst the papers. I beckoned on the vendor and he brought it to me and added that it was free. Of course I didn’t believe him until he showed me the FREE ISSUE inscription on the front cover. I rolled it up, took my bounty, headed off to my destination and from there, home. I took my time to absorb my free new magazine. It was pretty refreshing.’



Centrepiece Barcelona: A ruthlessly reigning dynasty or a few chaps that got lucky?

Fast forward to a few weeks later. Anthony gets an email and call from us informing him he has emerged victorious in his entry. ‘I was surprised, that’s all I can say.’ ‘Deep down however, I sensed the joy of winning something and this stayed with me for the better part of the time. After being prodded for answers to questions such as his hometown and family, he looks up, smiles and gives some of the most pragmatic responses afterwards. He is a native of Aba in Abia State and the first born son in a long list of male relatives and brothers. As an accountant, he likes to work beside burning cups of coffee all day.

“I was surprised, that’s all I can say”

On his advice to others who intend to come after him, he says ‘do not size up things entirely on their appearance, you will be sorely shocked most of the time. The mag and radio show are good stuff - timely, balanced and objective. They are great deals certainly worth every second of your time.’

It was refreshing meeting this cool headed man, his comments were very instructive to every one of us.


or many, FC Barcelona needs no introduction. A cultural embodiment of the Catalans in Northern Spain, it has come to mean a whole lot more than a group of men paid to kick balls across a 400 yard lawn and stretched to mean everything else from success catchphrases to descriptive terms for flamboyance. Barcelona FC is a football institution that is perhaps most renowned in recent times for exporting brands of football that blur the line between football as an art or science. Brands of football here mean styles of play, team/player arrangement, player roles etc. Another recognisable character of the club is its strict policy to recruit young graduates of its La Masia or football academy at the highest levels of involvement. Whether this has paid off or not is not a path that will be toed in this piece but rather an in-depth look that encapsuates their high and low point performances in all major tournaments they have appeared in over the last few seasons. The team’s behavioural pattern - whims and rhythms over a period of time will be examined here and by so doing will reveal hidden trends, patterns and recipes - both for failure and success.






Style of Play

This provided models upon which later players like Ronaldinho, Xavi, Deco and Iniesta operated with Samuel Eto’o, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Villa.

An entire encyclopaedic material can be surmised by just observing the team’s style of play. Barcelona’s football style has been an amalgam of several ideologies forged by past and present head coaches; an attribute which has evolved and devolved in several areas, resulting in it being a hybrid of many sorts.

It was a proven formula.

However hybrid, certain recurring patterns and trends have remained unscathed over the decades.

Frank Rijkaard

The 90s

Brought in at the same time Joan Laporta was arriving to remedy the ravages left by the previous administration, he was best known as infusing one of the most attractive football playing styles into the team. His firm belief that a team can achieve the dual objectives of winning games and ensuring the audience’s enjoyment of the spectacle justified his liberal approach to coaching. Under his watch grew two of the most significant players to Barcelona over the last decade. They were Brazillian playmaker Ronaldinho and Argentine forward Lonel Messi. Building a fast paced, creative and possessive attack around these two players, Barcelona saw a rejuvenation that brought them the league title, the European competition and the Spanish Cup in two stellar seasons. Perhaps what was most commendable was his discovery and ingenious management of La Masia graduate - Lionel Messi who excelled as a leftfooted player positioned on right side of the team’s attack. While the central midfield was marshalled by deep-visioned vice captain Xavi Hernandez, the attacking trio of Ronaldinho, Messi and Eto’o became better equipped for nicking in goals and goal scoring opportunities. As the team gelled, they were given further depth and alternatives by Ludovic Guily, Henrik Larsson, Giovani Dos Santos and later Thierry Henry.

Launching off as lit rockets at the turn of the last decade in the 20th century, Barcelona began their campaign with audacious displays that saw them claim domestic and continental titles with a stalwart manager - Johann Cruyff. He being a very ambitious man - and colourful one at that, sought big names - with big egos. In came Michael Laudrup, Hristo Stoichkov, Ronald Koeman along with a blend of Josep Guardiola, Txiki Begiristian to forge a sensational ‘dream team’ under his stewardship. This left a trail of sensationalism in local media and massive appeal in the eye of spectators both on and off the pitch. The team was heavily skewed towards an attacking mentality with a whopping six players positioned beyond the midfield line. This became extremely advantageous when games required counter-attacks with fast breaks and hundred percent goalscoring precision.

opponent’s attack

Guardiola and Eusebio provided a blend of depth, creativity and balance in the fulcrum of the team’s attack. Koeman - an imposing centre half, gave respite in crunch dead balls and provided leadership in the back four. This paid off and left a cabinet full of four consecutive league titles, a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, a European Supercup and three Spanish Cup trophies.

Counter-attacking area

They truly had arrived and Johan Cruyff was the overlord. The big name mentality continued with Bobby Robson who brought in Ronaldo - a central forward that played comfortably in ‘the hole’ - a term used to describe the cleft between two central defenders of the opposing team. Cruyff with his player Guardiola

Barcelona deepened their attack mindset with further arrivals of Patrick Kluivert, Rivaldo, Luis Figo and Luis Enrique. The 2000s Beginning the new millenium with gaps left in by coach Louis Van Gaal, club president Lluis Nunez and vice captain Luis Figo’s exits, the club struggled to maintain consistency. In came Lorenzo Serra Ferra who brought in width to a centrally attacking squad by the arrival of wideman Marc Overmars, Alfonso, Emmanuel Petit and a couple of others that closed his spree of 78.5 million Euros. The squad was heavily dependent on central forward Patrick Kluivert and attacking midfielder Rivaldo for goal scoring chances. This bore little fruit as the squad underperformed and the manager was dismissed that season. Carles Rexach held the reins till Louis Van Gaal returned to usher in the worst league performance of the club in 100 years. Foreign players still dominated the starting eleven and a varied playing style majored on midfield possession persisted for a couple of more years. The Ronaldo era brought in a pattern that persisted long after his exit - one which involved fielding lone central forwards backed by strong attacking midfielders and deep lying playmakers.


This trend continued for another season that saw their fortunes quickly overturned by a vigilant Real Madrid side managed by Fabio Capello. Barcelona lost the league title during that season where they occupied top spot for ninety percent of the tournament’s campaign. It was a shell shocker. With the arrival of Thierry Henry from Arsenal, pundits predicted a mercurial squad with near-legendary status, but this was not to be the case as growing player wages occured in concert with dressing room egos. The character who was arguably at the centre of it all was Samuel Eto’o who sometimes brazenly condemned his manager’s decisions and opposed them; this, coupled with an pressing attack with central increasingly truant Ronaldinho saw the midfielders going centre and full backs providing attack on team performance drop in tandem with its the flanks productivity. Barcelona ended the season winning nothing, bringing a bright-starting era to an unceremonious close. An oft used 4-3-3 formation system by Rijkaard did Frank Rijkaard managed Barcelona from 2003 - 2008 little to meld the individual genius of new addition - Thierry Henry to an already stellar line up. This was the lowest point of the team’s campaign, consoled only by the emergence of starlet Bojan Krkic - 17 years of age at that time.

The torch was now dimming out at Camp Nou...or so it appeared to be...


Centrepiece Pep Guardiola

Centrepiece Legacy

Following Rijkaard’s departure in 2008, Barcelona B youth coach was promoted to head coach - a strategy Barcelona often used to provide temporary covering for the post, pending the arrival of their choice manager. This was exemplified during Carles Rexach’s years before the arrival of Louis van Gaal in 2003. The young coach’s first decision amongst many others was the audacious sale of Ronaldinho and Deco, increasing dressing room discipline by stringent training hours and routines, the remodelling of an attack-minded minded team around its principal forward and deep lying playmakers and the implementation of fast, short and penetrative passing. This brought with it immediate and near dramatic results, the squad nicked in the Spanish Cup final, disgraced archrivals Real Madrid 2-6 to wrest the league title from them, adding a stellar performance at the UEFA Champions League Final to seal a successful campaign.


The front three players had a combined goal tally of 100. The trophy tally was brought to six by Christmas of 2009. An precedented era was emerging on the horizon.

During attack, the team played low driving passes all over the pitch, during defence the whole team marked to gain possession quick.

Barcelona began a journey into ‘No man’s land’ by attaining feats that were hitherto unreachable by the contemporary clubs of this period.


Josep Guardiola

field play showing Barcelona’s actual line of passing in red and expected line of passing in yellow.

Such feats included being responsible for Messi’s emergence as FIFA’s World’s Best Player of the Year for three consecutive years as well as nicking in a total of fourteen trophies in three years. Expectedly, with such mammoth success came growing cynicism - many of which were pragmatic; the focal point being the overused ‘tiki-taka’ style the team overdepended on. This was substantiated during their loss to a lacklustre but efficient Chelsea side who escorted them to the exit of the UEFA Champions League at the semifinal stage in 2012. This brought an end to steely and quintessential era compounded by the manager’s resignation. Recent times Barcelona went through a period of makeshift adjustments devoid of the managerial genius Guardiola brought. As a result, major tournaments saw them crash out embarrassingly and morphed the institution into a crisis zone as internal division hallmarked by the massive sale of several first team and non-first team players made headlines and rumours of Messi’s departure making headlines - but the stalwart remnants having been through a lot together were far too resolute to be fazed by the current crisis. Luis Enrique - a former club player returned to stable the reins bringing with him Luis Suarez and Neymar Jr. to help better things. This proved rewarding as Barcelona nicked the League title, Spanish Cup and UEFA Champions League trophies and Messi emerged the club’s leading all time scorer.


Looking at the trend of Barcelona’s arrival over the years, it becomes apparent that their successes were far from instantaneous. Credit must be given to this institution which has consistently maintained a culture that breeds perennial champions - individually and team wise. Most commendable is the committed approach to developing juvenile talent through the academy and nurturing them to celebrated stars. It’s no wonder they stay so loyal. Barcelona is the only team on the planet to have a record of 10 Ballon d’Ors (FIFA World’s Best players) from players while at the club. They are Luis Suarez (1960), Johann Cruyff (1973,1974), Hristo Stoichkov (1994), Ronaldinho (2005), Lionel Messi (2009, 2011, 2012, 2013). They certainly are not chaps that just got lucky.




Luminary Petr Cech to Arsenal: The price of ambition?

Luminary Stuffing individual and team honours by meritorious displays on the pitch, it became no mystery why present manager Jose Mourinho named him in his untouchables as far back as 2007. Perhaps the most remarkable moments of his club career was when he saved Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty kick during the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final which Chelsea eventually lost as well as his saves of three penalties at the Allianz Arena during the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final. Known for his quick reflexes and recovery, Petr Cech is undoubtedly one of the bests in his generation. Recognized for his commitment and influence both in Chelsea and Serbia - his national team, his presence at the goal post pulses waves of inspiration across every team he appears for.

The Situation Room His long presence at Chelsea left almost no need for substitute keepers as his fitness level saw him start an average of at least 30 games each season. Thoughts of him being replaced or in this case, displaced, were never options - at least not soon - till the day Belgian promise, Thibaut Courtois showed up. The young player measuring a taller height than Petr and fielding faster reflexes and pace measured up easily as his replacement. The 22-year old not only displaced Petr from first team selection, he went further to make him his student! Pundits felt the transition was made too soon, leaving Petr rather short-changed and unmotivated. The club felt the exact opposite, endorsing the change and leaving trails of speculation regarding his soon departure. They also were reluctant to offer him a contract extension, leaving vague sketches about what role he would play in the coming season. Arsenal on the other hand were ready to give him a four year contract - a gamble pretty rare for a 33-year-old goalie. This was difficult to resist.

The Interview


odern day football is one replete with sensationalism and intrigues at all levels. The modern day transfer market - association football’s local and international labour market is also not left out, delivering its fair share of drama and tension.

Petr Cech is a name pretty much familiar with spectators of club football, holding exclusive synonymy to English London club - Chelsea and its goalkeeping tasks. The reasons are not far-fetched. The towering goalie whose professional career spans 16 years had 11 of them at Chelsea, donning the number 1 jersey all through.


According to him, “This is what happened and I have to say Arsenal came and put absolutely the best offer, in terms of the footballing side. They offered four years of the contract as well, which is a big commitment from them for a player who is 33 like me. That was a huge factor because everybody showed me that they want me to be a part of the club, a part of the team. I spoke to the manager and I have to say that Mr Wenger presented with the ambitions and the project which I am really glad that I can be a part of. He adds, “I think it has been great to have a chat with Jose because he is a manager that I have worked with for the longest time in my career. He had to make his decision at the start of last season, I had to make my decision at the start of this season. His decision to leave has drawn the ire of some Chelsea fans who have begun making death threats to him. He is expected to star in Chelsea’s upcoming Community Shield game with Arsenal on 2nd of August, 2015.




...because you matter

What you just read was a clear-cut case of a man who has paid some attention to himself, knows clearly what he wants and a bit about how to get it. Sadly, the same cannot be said for many of us. If there is anything many forget in the race for many things, it would not be God, it would be ourselves. Much of our time is spent chasing external things - a lot of which are not bad, but often times, our minds become conditioned to thinking these things alone give meaning to our lives. This is wrong. You give your life meaning. You are so central to your life that most natural things around you were built and created to support you. Air to breathe, water to drink, sand to tread, sun and moon to see etc. The ones invented by men were also created for use by humans - like you. 24

You may fall into all, some or none of these categories; 1. Those who care about other people and have no regards for themselves 2. Those who care neither about themselves or anybody else. 3. Those who care about themselves and nobody else. The solutions are simple, Category 1 people are weak people who only need to look inside themselves and realise they are valuable people. Category 2 people are resigned people who have given up on life, they only need to look into their lives and remember the good things. Category 3 people are selfish people who only need to realise that the world was built for many, not one person and all things work to serve people not a person - good things and bad things. If you don’t belong to any, then just go ahead and pay some good attention to yourself.

MR. RUFUS is a teacher of Commonsense in the classroom of life. His classes are held in the second segment of the radio show From the Sidelines. Patient and instructive with a wry sense of humour, he enjoys wielding a cane during his lessons. He derives his highest pleasure when he is clearly understood. He takes his classes in English and Nigerian pidgin.




Emir Sphahic joins The Hamburgers

Arturo ‘poached’ by Real Madrid

Chilean newspaper La Tercera reports that 28-year-old Chilean midfielder has been signed to Spanish giants Real Madrid under a five year contract. He was hotly pursued Bosnia-Herzegovina defender has signed for German club by Manchester United and Arsenal until both dropped in- Hamburg SV. This was made known by the club’s press terest after it ws learnt he crashed his Ferrari vehicle under release on Saturday. The deal was sealed after the play- a drunken-driving situation. er was released from his contract with former club Bayer Jakub Blaszczykowski ruled out of Asia tour Leverkusen at the end of last season. The 34-year old will sign a one year contract with his new club.



Ronaldo happy to work with Rafa

New Copa America Champions emerge

Reigning Ballon d’Or Cristiano Ronaldo has indicated his delight at working with Real Madrid new coach appointee Rafa Benitez. He stated that Real Madrid as a big club has big expectations of its players and coaches and as such, a lot is expected of him. Rafa Benitez was appointed days after former manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked for not winning any silverware last season. Paolo re-awakens uncle’s legacy

Chile has emerged 2015 winners of the 44th South American Continental football tournament Copa America. They ousted fierce rivals in the finals to clinch the accolade. This was only after 120 minutes of action that produced no goal from either side before proceeding to penalty shootouts that saw them win by 4-1. This makes up for earlier embarrassments they had in the tournament with defender Gonzalo Jara’s incident with Uruguayan Edison Cavani. Chinese LED company takes over Sochaux

Di Maria exits early amidst tears

Borussia Dortmund have confirmed the unavailabilty of the Polish player for their Asian pre-season tour. He was diagnosed as having muscular problems in his thigh and would be on the sidelines for sometime before he recovers Argentine forward, Angel Di Maria was ushered off early according to sources at the club. This may make him unatoday during the Copa America encounter with Chile - the vailable for the start of the coming season expected to start tournament’s final match. He was visibly seen clutching in September. his left hamstring in pain. Although he was on the receivOne month break for Javier Hernandez ing end of numerous defensive challenges by the Chileans, there were no opponents around him at the time of the incident. This event brings further worries to an already troubled Manchester United side as the new season approaches in August. Navas: I won’t be needing surgery

Real Madrid is reeling in good news as goalie Kaylor Navas says he would not be needing surgery for his Achilles tendon. He says he is recovering and would be expected to be available before the start of next season.


Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez has been ruled out for a month after suffering a collarbone fracture during international duties for his country Mexico. He underwent surgery on Wednesday and would require at least a month to recover. This is coming as a huge blow to Mexico who hoped to win the tournament.

Peruvian player Paolo Guerrero has brought the attention of the media to his hat-trick feat against Bolivia in the quarterfinal match of the closing Copa America tournament. This brings to mind a historic team which his uncle was a part of 40 years ago but died tragically in a 1975 plane crash at the age of 33 years. Paolo is signed to Brazilian club - Corinthians. Women’s football: Japan aiming for the Olympics after succumbing to USA

Japanese female football team coach Norio Sasaki has indicated that his side who were runner-ups to the United States in the just concluded FIFA Women World Cup will begin to prepare for qualifying for the 2016 Olympics holding in Rio. He says the squad would improve by playing tougher games.

LEDUS a leading lighting technology provider in China has taken over french club Sochaux in a deal worth six million euros. They acquired the football club from carmakers Peugot in a deal that was initiated about a year ago. Club president Denis Worbe confirmed this development on Monday. The Chinese company has indicated that they are there for the long term and would not be taking anybody away from the heart of the club. This was made known by the company’s head Li WIng Sang. Gudjohnsen trots off to China

36-year-old striker Eidur Gudjohnsen has left second-tier English club, Bolton Wanderers to join Shijiazhuang Ever Bright in China. This makes the growing list of Europe based players larger as Paulinho had moved there not very long ago. Similarly, offers for other top-flight players like Demba Ba by Chinese clubs have been norm.




Ladan Bosso tells boys ‘well done’

Abia State Warriors club side’s manager Ladan Bosso has commended his players for their determination that paid off as they held down a boisterous Enyimba side to a 2-2 draw and reaped a point from the game. This gives them confidence to confront their next games in the Nigerian Premier League. New appointees for Liverpool’s coaching crew

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has brought coaches Sean O’Driscoll and Pepijn Ljinders from the club’s academy to aid the first-team coaching crew. This is thought to remedy the criticism under which Brendan Rodgers was brought for Liverpool’s dismal performance last season. He was pilloried for his unstable tactics and changing personnel believed to responsible in part for the Reds’ grim campaign this year. He maintains that the new appointees will help steer the team in a new technical direction. Fifa suspends bids’ inspector

World governing body for football FIFA has suspended its inspector for World Cup bids - Harold Mayne Nicholls over what it described as alleged corruption charges but did not give further details on this. The inspector will not be engaged in any football related activity during the period of his suspension. Some of his reports disqualified Qatar’s 2018 World Cup hosting bid and awarded same to Russia in the same vote. Fifa’s ethics committee still has its investigations ongoing.


Chilean teeam coach to stay



Capello won’t be sacked for now

Sporting says, ‘Marco, leave!’

Russian team coach Fabio Capello has been considered as ‘pardoned for now’ by the Russian Federation pending when his compensation package and other things will be sorted out. The Federation has repeatedly criticised the Italian manager for a string of poor results that cast a shadow over the nation’s Euro 2016 qualification. According to the Federation’s spokesman, he says he is convinced Capello no longer wants his job.

Portugese club Sporting Lisbon has severed ties with erstwhile manager Marco Silva and brought in Jorge Jesus a manager from their rival side Benfica. Marco Silva was dismissed by a unanimous board decision but given a year advance salary of 450,000 euros along with a bonus of 100,000 euros. It is said that the Portugese manager was bidding his time to join Greek club Olympiakos but was wary of the economic state of the country.

NFF sack Keshi

Bonfrere says Eagles need a foreign coach

Eusebio laid to be laid to rest amidst national odes

Nigerian Football Federation the nation’s governing body for football has in a press statement relieved Super Eagles’ coach Stephen Keshi of his managerial duties with immediate effect. Keshi was alleged to have been handling his duties with levity as reports made rounds that he was seeking other options in Ivory Coast.

Former Eagles coach and leader of the successful U-23 team that won the Olympics in 1996 has made a passionate call to the NFF to hire a foreign manager in order to take the team to new heights. He opines that Keshi was unqualified to take the team to levels beyond where it is now due to his lack of tactical knowledge. He also believes that the decision by the body to sack him was the right one.

Portuguese football legend and administrator Eusebio da Silva who was deceased in 2014 at the age of 71 has been announced to have his remains carried round the nation by a horse carriage in honour of his unparalleled feats and contribution to Portuguese and world football. The nation’s government made this known three days ago as he is scheduled to be interred at the national pantheon.

UEFA lifts ban off PSG, MAnchester City

Milner moves and hopes it is central

Rivaldo considering quitting retirement

The European football governing body has lifted off sanctions placed on French club PSG and English club Manchester City in the transfer market that ran effectively from last year.. While the clubs’ presidents express delight at the decision, one of them is set to head to the market for an alleged £150 million spree - Manchester City. They have been reported to be routing for Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Paul Pogba in order to improve their campaign next season. Manchester City finished without a silverware last season while the other won their league back-to-back.

James Milner who left Manchester City for Liverpool said his aims were to get more playing time and a more central position on the field. He said his move was discussed with Steven Gerrard before concluding. He said the ex-England captain convinced him to join the Reds as well the manager Brendan Rodgers.

Brazilian world cup winner Rivaldo has announced that he may come out of retirement - at 43 years to salvage his club Mogo Mirim after they have repeatedly maintained poor league standings. Rivaldo is the club president and has said he will begin to train regularly with the players but has discarded the idea of a full blown comeback.

Chilean Federation president has declared that Chile national team coach Jorge Sampaoli will not be leaving after speculations came off the heels of some comments he made about leaving in sequelae to Saturday’s Copa America triumph over Argentina in the finals. Speculations are rife that he may move to a European team but the president was swift to debunk this.








Pele survives surgery, sent home

Brazilian and world football legend Pele has been successfully operated upon for a prostate gland condition. The 74-year-old was admitted to the Alberet Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo after suffering chronic urinary tract conditions. He was seen smiling and waving to well wishers in his sportswear and jocularly told doctors he was preparing for the Olympics in 2016. Maradona pays last tributes to ‘Don Diego’

Argentine football great - Diego Maradona has announced the passing of his father - Don Diego aged 87 years. He made this announcement shortly after his father’s demise at a private clinic in Buenos Aires. His father according to him is at peace and it is his time to join my mother. Maradona’s mother passed on in 2011. Maradona is the fifth out of eight children from his parents.

Jose Anigo is Esperance FC’s new coach

Tunisian club - Esperance has signed Jose Anigo who ended a 26-year-old relationship with French club Marseille in order to honour the appointment. Jose replaces erstwhile manager Jose Manuel Ferreira. Los Angeles, listen up! Gerrard is here!

Los Angeles is set to light her fireworks as English midfielder and Liverpool hero Steven Gerrard is unveiled to the fans at a half time ceremony of a match between his new club Los Angeles Galaxy and Toronto on independence day. The player who spent his entire career at Liverpool is the second ex-English international to sign for the team. Mourinho slams Loftus Cheek damning report on the cheek

From Ronaldo’s fan to Ronaldo prospect



Heartland be quite now, please!

Nojeem Raji - Giwa FC’s defender has indicated his delight at his side’s tirumph over arrogant Heartland during the weekend at Kaduna. He gloated that the side who bragged endlessly about the fixture in the newspapers were glaringly humbled. He also added that Giwa FC’s sterling performance in the last two games proves his side is no pushover. Tickets overbooked for the coming Euro 2016 competition

UEFA has announced that ticket sales for the coming Euro 2016 tournament in France has almost quadrupled, reaching a total of 3.7 million tickets requests for an available one million tikets. Statistics show that 55% of such requests are coming from France - the host nation with the others from places around Europe. The body said that 2.5 million tickets will be offered for the 51 matches of the tournament but only 1.8 million will be available to the public as the rest will go to partners and sponsors.

Serbia ousts Brazil to clinch U-20 title

Serbia have emerged champions over a humbled Brazil side in the U-20 tournament final in New Zealand. The coach Veljko Paunovic has stated that the side has a bright future and are changing the existing norms for their generation. He says they are no longer youths again as such a feat has made them ripe for challenges at the highest levels. Kenya crashes out of Chan 2016 qualifiers

Harambee stars have lost out of the Chan 2016 by goofing their qualifying match against Ethiopia. The team needed a win in this fixture to sustain hopes of qualification but a lacklustre display that resulted in a nil-nil draw has caused them to crash out. This feat occurs as the fourth time the nation failed to qualify. Pienaar looking excitedly towards Asia tour

Zambia rips their pound of flesh off Namibia’s skin

Tsunami survior - 17 year old Indonesian, Martunis has been signed to Sporting Lisbon’s academy. The teenager who was found wearing a Cristiano Ronaldo jersey when he survived the 2004 tsunami caught the Portuguese media’s attention and even the Ronaldo himself and is being sponsored by the academy.


Chelsea manager has revealed his distaste for home grown player Loftus Cheek’s playing style. He asserts that the player’s laid back attitude when defending is not a standard befitting of his Chelsea. The player was praised before now as a promising young blood whose prospects for breaking into the Premiership were high by local media and journalists.

Zambia has defeated Namibia to advance to the semi-finals of the Cosafa cup. They were humbled by a 2-1 loss earlier in the first leg but balanced the aggregate scoreline during the second leg. After 120 minutes when the aggregates did not change, the match was decided on penalties and Zambia proved superior.

South African midfielder Steve Pienaar has expressed delight over his side - Everton’s preseason tour in Asia. Everton is expected to star in the Barclays Asia Trophy in Singapore. His excitement comes off the heels of his recovery from an injury sustained towards the end of last season. He adds that the atmosphere, people and environment are elements he looks forward to ahead of the games.




Pep and Bavarians set to rewrite history in the coming season

Pep Guardiola, Bayern Munich’s manager is looking to steer things up to historic dimensions as the club prepares for the coming season. The 44-year-old runs into his final season at the club going by his current contract. He has pressed his side for more creativity in the midfield and adds that he intends to add a Champions League title to the already stuffed trophy cabinet of the Bavarians. Guardiola has led the team to three successive league titles since his arrival - an unprecedented feat in German club football. He will begin the coming season with a reading of a love poem written by Catalan composer Marti i Pol in a public event entitled ‘The Poet and the Playmaker.’

Striker, Gervinho refutes claims he demanded inappropriately from Arab suitors

Roma and Ivory Coast striker Gervinho has stiffly refuted claims he demanded an airplane and a private beach as benefit packages to be provided for him before he could consider offers from Arab clubs. The African took to his twitter account to debunk such speculations adding that the matter was taken too far. He is expected to resume with the team for training on tuesday.



Womens football: US hatchetwoman reticent about her football future

US striker and orchestratress of the 5-2 routing of Japan in the FIFA Womens’ World Cup final, Abby Wambach has avoided talking about her immediate future with her national team. The striker who is 35 years of age relished in the moments after the game’s end and when the trophy was lifted. The striker whose stellar contribtions to her side include 183 goals in 248 matches has been a regular with the squad since 2003. Although doubts arose about her decision to follow the team to the 2016 Rio Olympics, she seemed relaxed and appeared to be taking things one at a time during this period.

Police find bomb at Red Star Belgrade stadium

The police in Belgrade have discovered a rusty hand grenade on the rooftops of the stadium during a routine counter-diversion scrutiny ahead of the club’s Europa league qualifying game against Kazakh side Kairat Almaty on Thursday. The bomb was ferried to a secure location where it was destroyed. Investigations are ongoing according to the police’s press statement. Fresh reports also indicate that arrests have been made in connection with this incident. Damiano Tomassi comes out of retirement and goes straight to the rescue

The title was never in question for us, Ojo says

Avram Grant pleased with his team’s humiliation of Mauritius

Guardiola has been manager of the Bayern Munich side since 2013. Pizzaro: I would love to stay here

Peruvian and Bayern Munich veteran striker Claudio Pizzaro has indicated his strong willingness to remain in Germany despite having his contract expired and not renewed by Bayern Munich at the end of last season. The player has insisted that Germany is his home with three of his children being German citizens but has not received offers from any German club. He has plied his trade at other big teams like Werder Bremen and Chelsea. He holds the record for the highest scoring foreigner in the Bundesliga.


Ghana national team coach - Avram Grant has expressed delight at his side’s performance against Mauritius in their AFCON qualifying game. He enthused that his side scored good goals and played a good game. He also lauded them for adherence to tactics and organised gameplay. Grant’s side would be facing Rwanda in Kigali in their next game. Jeffrey Schlupp and David Accam scored debut international goals in the rout. Grant was appointed national team coach in November, 2014.

Flying Eagles U-20 goalkeeper Olorunleke Ojo has indicated that his team never thought less about their ambition to be seven-time African champions. The team faced a Senegalese side in the final whom they met earlier in the group stage of the competition. The player adds that sheer belief on the team’s self and an assumption that the side had never bet before helped galvanise their vctory.

Formerly retired Italian midfielder Damiano Tomassi came out of retirement to help San Marino club La Fiorita defeat FC Vaduz on Thursday but this was clearly not the case as his side was humbled 5-0. He adds that this experience puts colour to his already wonderful career. He says he wants his children to see their father play football. Damiano Tomassi retired from football over six seasons ago. He follows in the footsteps of Aldair a similar Brazilian who joined SS Murata from Roma.




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Lost Ones Shetemi Ayetigbo: An early bloomer nipped too soon...


o the Fingal, Donabate and Belvedere communities in Ireland, an ominous calm has set over them. It is not that of keen expectation or anxiety but of shock - and possibly, fear. Shetemi Ayetigbo a son of theirs was felled by the throes brought on by death while on the pitch trying to make a final season appearance for his boyhood football club Belvedere. This was unprecedented in the history of the communities. Like every other day, Shetemi would report to the grounds for regular warm-ups before any game; a few laps of intense sprinting, stretches and squats that bequeath to his muscles, required levels of oxygen to function optimally during match time rigour.

Repeated dips of the corded handheld plates of the machine - the defibrillator - to his chest and the resulting jerks were accompanied by the pulsing hearts and sweaty faces that furthered the message of the situation's gravity. These were moments of great tension. The helping hands sustained attempts at resuscitating him and brought in an ambulance that breezed through the park's aspahalt and lawn. Shetemi was loaded on it and shipped to the nearest hospital.

Lost Ones Beaumont hospital was the next hand of solace. The institution's four walls was beseiged by a frenetic ambulance and a small following crowd. All was far from well. The doors swung open and Shetemi was loaded on and rolled in the same minute to an emergency ward where waiting doctors assessed his vitals. Nothing significant appeared on the monitors. A slow but gradually settling truth was beginning to come to bear in the minds of the paramedics, ambulance staff and all present. Shetemi had transitioned beyond - and gave no one a prior notice but left only a physical remnant of his departure - his lifeless body.

Acquainting well - or so, as supposed, with the news and situations leading up to that present time, they expectedly slipped into introspection, choosing rather not to have any dialogue with the world but grieve privately and relinquish - painfully. This was evidently too big, bitter and hard to swallow.

Repeated callouts to him were met with stone silence - Shetemi was unresponsive. Cries for help rent the air and the ground personnel thought capable of handling the growing disturbance trudged in, checking frantically for his pulses and heartbeats. A contraption was brought in and powered up - whatever needed to be done to overturn this growing quandary had to be done - and fast! Ear-ringing beeps and squeals from the machine went higher, but as it did, so did the cries on the pitch. A palpable air of disorientation shrouded everyone present on the pitch; this had taken everyone far too much by surprise - and No, not to Shetemi should this have been happening, not to him.


Shetemi was deemed a well liked kid in the ‘hood His parents were not present when this started; they had to be spiritedly sought and diplomatically infomed. This was a matter that required utmost tact, it was dicey. Even the best hands could not remedy this.

‘This was unprecedented in the history of the communities.'

Shetemi’s mother - Lola Ayetigbo visibly distraught

The procession headed to the community hall where each person was greeted with videos, photos and other memorablia of Shetemi's life. Friends and schoolmates turned up with souvenirs and other emblems of his life such as Maltesers, his woodwork project, vaseline, a comb among many other things.

Amidst pouring condolences from sympathisers that served as strong reminders of the teenager's departure, his school principal Maeve Corish's quip provided momentary relief and a few seconds of mirth. She recalled how in sixth class Shetemi had written a “passionate love letter” to Cheryl Cole. “In the letter, of course, he was deeply in love with her,” she said, “The only thing in question was whether he was deserving of her love in return”. His football manager added that the late teenager was a ‘smashing, smashing kid'.

The game began and gradually wore on, but something was not right. At 25 minutes into the game, the host team's midfielder was down - and immobile. As everyone thought, only a few prods and arms to help him were needed to get him back up, but, even with these, he still was not moving.

Clergymen from the local Presbyterian Church and Celestial Church of Christ turned up to minister odes and last funeral rites.

His summoned parents were brought up to speed on this.

In very modest fashion, burial arrangements were made and in only four days, things were wrapped up.

Expectedly as always, Shetemi was cleared to play this game after having satisfied these..

The teenage footballers and team mates of Shetemi donned their light blue home kits atop black bottoms. Opponents from St. Kevin FC did the same, donning their orange kits. Friends and sympathisers followed suit, wearing various colours of garments that undoubtedly cracked the mournful air and gave the procession some bit of colour amidst the sobriety.

The procession at Shetemi’s funeral with his team mates in light blue

Mrs Lola Ayetigbo - his mother, who was sparingly more conversational than his reticent father, interfaced more with press questions and public curiosity, giving modalities for the services and specific instructions to friends and sympathisers. They were admonished not to turn up in black apparel as they paid their last respects.

Shetemi was voted Club Player of the Year prior to his demise. The award was posthumously awarded to his parents who received it on his behalf. Present at his funeral were Minister of Sport, representatives from the Nigerian Embassy and the county chairman. Shetemi Ayetigbo is survived by his father Zac, Lola his mother and his brothers Wale and Victor. He was only 16 years of age and aiming to go professional prior to the time of his passing.




Opinion The thin line between healthy followership and morbid fanaticism ...with the diminishing differences between rabid rallies and football support groups, modern football followership has become hallmarked by extremism, hate crimes and civil disturbances; Juta Pelomo writes...

Opinion At the centre of all these is the fundamental human need for an identity - attributed often to work or vocation, associations/relationships, race, colour, tribe, nation and name. Many derive meaning from these factors and do things they deem necessary to preserve such factors. Football followership is no different. To many football supporters, football teams hold more than just cultural value, they are seen as extensions of people’s personalities and values, representations of people’s chances of successes and failures at things and many others. One may begin to understand why strong feelings develop to it. More noteworthy is the personalization of football team success. A good example is when an individual who supports Rangers FC that won the FA cup says things like ‘I won the FA cup’ ‘Everytime I play, my stadium gets full’. It becomes very easy to see why egos get easily attached and why violence breaks out so quickly when a man who perceives his ego to be threatened decides to aggressively defend himself - verbally and/or physically. Similarly, opponents mark out territories and assiduously defend them. This interplay when extended to population groups of hundreds, thousands and tens of thousand of people result in the much dreaded pictures of violent clashes, vandalised properties, civil disturbances, riots, casualties and many other ills we see splayed in the media. As long as emotions remain invested in football games, rabid behaviour can not always be forestalled. Several sanctions, laws and rules passed by governing football bodies which spawned from past events as these, have been raised to cater for such inappropriate tendencies Many of such laws include full development of sensitive metallic detectors at stadium entrances, networks of surveillance cameras, situation of vehicular parking lots several metres from stadium complexes, banning of fireworks and many others. Admittedly, enforcement of these things is completely different - and largely, insufficient in very many parts of the world. It is well understood that strong emotional feelings are present with big football games; it is also understood that stadiums at times sit over 70,000 people - with 70,000 different temperaments. Adding all of these together result in an ecosystem of unpredictable behaviour under different emotional reactions such as cheers or jeers. Fanaticism that results in violence is not a very random phenomenon as places with consistently high occurences of such things bear several things in common. Prominent features of places with consistent levels of violence include; high population of lower class individuals or poor families, urban location of stadium complexes, presence of local gangs, street violence, high crime rates amongst many others.

Not very many are aware of local and state government efforts across many developed nations of the world to enforce peace during mass gatherings partcularly at football games. I am reminded very vividly of how the government in South Korea and Japan stationed Special Forces commandos from their armed forces to keep watch at every game - many who could not even turn back or spare a minute of distraction even when their countries were playing. It was sheer thoroughness. British hooliganism of the 1900s, 70s and 80s, Catalan riots of the 80s and Italian violence of the 90s had given many so much to see, experience and seeth in. Football association and bodies in response, put up mountainous levels of security protocols at stadium entrances, but sadly, compliance in many places is often found lacking. Spectators sneak in with cudgels, batons and missiles strictly for the purpose of wreaking havoc.

Looking at some of these features, it becomes evident why this phenomenon is very prevalent. While many governments of the world may pass regulation and enforce laws that forbid these activities, the greater bulk of remediating this ill lies in a behavioural change in the conduct of spectators irrespective of temperament, team or game outcome. While this may seem utopian, it is very much acheivable. Several football clubs, communities and municipalities draw intense revenue from hosting big matches through ticket sales, taxes and franchise marketing. In so doing, they reach out to several thousands of supporters - many of whom are communicated with frequently. These communication channels can be used by such institutions to educate and enlighten supporters on the impacts of bad behaviour on the environment and local population. Conversely, good behaviour and its benefits can also be encouraged and rewarded. One very sad aspect of it all is that after such violences have erupted and severe damages have been wreaked to private and public property by irate fans, the team of those fans is made extensively liable to such damages, paying exorbitant fines and sanction fees. In addition to that, they are made to serve suspension time from league games and tournaments while the original perpetrators either escape or made to serve mild detention time in police cells across the city. Because of these, certain localities across the world have specific legal acts for such situations that confer additional functionality to local police forces and other nearby paramilitary outfits.

While many innocuously turn up at football games to cheer their favourite teams, emotional tensions at such places can vacilate from subterranean lows to stratospheric peaks, influencing many present into impulsive emotional reactions and herd behaviour. Sometimes, what may begin massive arsons and vandalisation of whole stadiums are small emotional outbursts like pounding of seats in fury, slamming of food and cups in frustration and yellings at one another.

Football is undoubtedly a beautiful global sport - perhaps the most popular; one that enjoys mass appeal across all continents of the world. With its worldwide appeal comes teeming followership that inundates mammoth stadiums and yet leaves millions glued to television screens at home. FIFA World Cup of 2006 embodies this so appropriately with recent statistics showing that over 600 million viewers tuned in daily in real time and through televised broadcasts to see each game. This kind of viewership engenders diligent support that translates to passionate, enthusiastic and sometimes, morbid followership.

Because many turn up at games for different reasons - pilfering, violence etc, Different stimuli usually present at different times during the games reveal many of such tendencies that escalate to state-wide emergency proportions.

This journey is often decided, not by the viewers but by the individuals that make up the viewers.

To look at this heading critically, one must understand the interplay of emotions that warrant certain behavioural patterns among people. It should be found amazing that mere game scorelines extensively affect moods, dispositions and attitudes of viewers and spectators.


Healthy support or morbid fanaticism are well marked out and differentiated areas with the occupants of each place electing to be there. As with many things in life, there are also many in-between.


Opinion 400 goals per season to make Player of the Year? Why? The disturbing trend of nicking in goals for individual honours at the expense of team honours is making less out of teams and most for the celebrity players. Nsagem Timpor writes...

Association football unfortunately has slipped into a yearly two-horse race for the widely coveted Player of the Year award - the Ballon d’Or (french word for golden ball). The actors are usually professional footballers and coaches from all continents of the world who gather to vote once a year while the horses are Lionel Messi from Argentina and Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal - each with over career 400 goals scored. Ironically, none of them is a striker. Another prominent occurence during this period is the need for players to at all cost gather as many goals for themselves to make shortlists for the Golden Ball award regardless of whatever befalls their teams. This has had huge impact on teams, cultures, wage structures, football financing, transfer markets and so on. It should be recalled that past-time winners of the same award who were not strikers were honoured, not for their goals scored but the tremendous impact they had had on their teams in different games during that calendar year. Criteria for selection and subsequent shortlisting was thus very strict and detailed. Goals mattered less.

Opinion Much sympathy can be felt for regular players who move to teams where the star player is, hoping they may realise better careers and gain substantial recognition and fame at these clubs. Many are prompted to leave at the height of their eclipsed careers brought on by overly exaggerated statuses of celebrity players by the local and international media. The exiting players hardly recover from their eclipsed careers. Because this type of system is too steeped towards certain individuals or an individual, it is highly unstable with its successes only fleeting. Real Madrid at the height of its prominence in the early 2000s became megalomanic and brought in players that were not functionally needed. In came Ronaldo, David Beckham and a few others whose egos sunk the ships and saw the team crash out embarrasingly from European tournaments and league titles. Barcelona of 2007/2008 fell into the same snare, bringing in Thierry Henry to partner an already luminous forward line of attackers that comprised Ronaldinho, Eto’o, Messi and Giovani. Barcelona clinched no trophy by the end of that season. It was a flagrant disappointment.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Forward. Three-time Player of the Year - 2007, 2013, 2014. 452 goals in 705 games

Lionel Messi, Forward. Four-time Player of the Year - 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 485 goals in 585 games

Zinedine Zidane - an French attacking midfielder who won the Player of the Year award three times was never the current highest goalscorer at the time of his winnings. The development is only recent and erosive to the culture of football and team spirit we always knew. Digressing a bit to remind us of what team spirit and cohesiveness are, particular mention must be made of the Italian national team that emerged champions of the 2006 Fifa World Cup in Germany. So cohesive was this team that it was difficult to say who was doing what and who was most prominent on the field of play. All seemed relatively anonymous to the audience - despite the presence big names, but were ultra-effective to each other. The mercurial talents and prowess of many of the celebrity players today is never in question as some of their feats on the field are plainly unprecedented and unlike any seen in the history of football, however, care must be taken to bring balance to a system that is too steeped in a particular direction - individualistic displays in team sport, sometimes, at the expense of team progress. Their growing reputation has stunted growth of youth talent and sustainable systems that breed such. Whole teams are cut up and re-sewn to fit playing styles and sometimes whims of these celeb players. Backing from their various club presidents give the players deity status in the clubs, so much so that new managers are charged with the priority of keeping such players on the field - at whatever cost. Ticket sales to games soar with the rising media profiles of these players and it is not very long before the clubs realise that recent peaks in revenue is almost entirely attributable to the presence of the celebrity players. This disturbingly growing trend leaves large canyons in team operations on the field - whirling whole team plays and psyches around a certain player and depending on him entirely to put the team over in every game. Thus, a pseudo system of monopoly results, making such a player exceedingly powerful in the dressing room, on the training ground, before the press and of course on the field. Where the star player is not team captain, the existing one is inadvertently made a figurehead to him, occupying only a ceremonious position while core leadership roles and actions are flagrantly executed by the player. Perhaps the area that suffers most is the player contract and wages as well as the international transfer market and the player’s market value. What has been seen in recent times in these areas has been hyperinflation and extensive fleecing both of player wages and player market value. At iconic prominence, the celebrity players’ agents assiduously lobby with their clients’ football club heads and chiefs to review and renew their already bogus allowances to galactic proportions, making audacious requests that make such players untouchable - in word and deed.


Ronaldo, Central forward and Striker Three-time Player of the Year - 1996, 1997, 2002 320 goals in 456 games played

Zinedine Zidane, Central Attacking Midfielder Three-time Player of the year - 1998, 2000, 2003 130 goals in 614 appearnces.

The moral of the story here is pretty simple; teams must pay more attention to cohesion, team play and positioning if they are interested in reaping considerably from their successes Spectators must also begin to see teams as new entities that do what they feel is best for their institutions before fans and supporters are brought on in.


Your notes SO, Nige ria can be so cold he arted a s to booting the ma n that ended a ninetrophy y e ar drought for you.. . Truly s ad.

when the it e v lo I always begins. n o s a e s r transfe #intrigues.

- Bebo Asuwo, Benin, Nigeria

Ejiofor - Zebulun ia Jos, Niger

This li f has tr t of ban b y uly spo nsored UEFA nonsens e. - Ama rachu Lagos kwu Odili, , Niger ia

Your notes That was heavy shading by Sepp Blatter on Cristiano Ronaldo. ‘More expenses for the hairdresser’. Sharp mouthed guy.

eply sorry e d o s l e e F erdinand’s for Rio F wn subject wife. Anta challenge of racist l wifey. fee n e h t t s ir f y. really sorr

- P. K. Joma, Port Harcourt, Niger


player’s got h c a b m a W y b b So this A a wife? *Lips sealed* le - Mbana Timpe , Tanzania Dar-es-salaam

All these players coming out of retirement to help out, I hope ex-Super Eagles are taking note.

Messi’s trophy medal and cabine t has b enlarg een times b ed too many y and he the carpent er is still sad it not la is rge en ough. Be hap py bro . - Linco ln Ogw ah Sun Cit y, Ghan , a

et ter stay in b d a h g n li r R aheem Ste is precious r e e r a c is h Liverp o ol if to him. ctinne y, - Jordan M th AFrica Durban, S ou


- Jonah Sedem, Kumasi, Ghana

ll be i t s People about g n i u arg iga La L etter b g n bei EPL. n a th ing. t s e r e t Int e bes h t e silenc swer! an ita - AN o, Uwaif eria i, Nig r r e w O

All these ye ars, I neve r heard a hum from Bonfr ere Jo. Now tha t Keshi is gone, he is feign ing concer n. I don’t trust him at all. Glass house must take note. - Musa Rim i, Kano, Niger ia

anyway. d o o g ll a It’s yi, - Seth Aja eria Lokoja, Nig

guy who is r e h t o n a is Balotell sad. We see o S . d e v a e r currently be e like them b o t t n a w nd go these guys a any of them m in a p e h t ignorng is amazing. e f li is h T . h ly. throug ally and tru e r s e k o r st Different mwame, - Richard O iberia Monrovia, L Ever Premi ybody talks ership Liga B , La L BvA, L iga, igue 1. talks Nobody Lobi S tars, or Ka Enyimb n o Pill a We ar a rs. e back to the same argum ent. How m uch of showin us ar e we g to th e how m w o r l d uch of the wo and are w rld e infl uencin Quest ions n g? eeding a nswers . - Kem a Kew eka Lagos, Nigeri , a

ith all w e l i h C SO e at s n e s n o their n g have n i n n i g e the b trophy s i h t d e h clinc wa oo. a N . a h s anko r a B e j u - K geria Kebbi, Ni

Since Gu I’ve notic ardiola le ed ft Ba mone rc y the they are new spend elona, re no playe rs. Th w than b ing more efore ey be tt mettl er prove on e. their Secon dly, M peopl e s s i says e wis t h at th e jus ing the f here are m a t ll of an I do n’t k concluded Bacel y now o na C o p what a he wa America.. that nts t about o do this. - Pet e St. K ings, r Pikko, Sierr a Leo ne

nd soon My Bro is turning pro a satmas there would be no Chri nd. Can’t breaks for him in Engla these players protest Day Christmas and Boxing games? - Luqman Alwahiri Asante, Ghana

SOmetim e girlfriend s I wish my can just share m y football zeal fo r a day. There w ould be no quarrels . *sigh* #wishes - Chudy D Ogun, Nig an eria


Your notes So, my dear Naija fi nally has a stadium installed wit h full astraturf and state-of-the-art flood lights with a sitting capacity of over 40,000 people in Akwa Ibom. Big ku dos! They should not turn such nice fa cilities to crusade grounds where things would get spoilt.

e Jorge Sampaoli, pleas ty come to Manchester Ci ini and teach that Pelligr s. what defence mean - Iheanyi Nwosisi Delta, Nigeria

ot dipping n e r a a e ls e Ch ep into the e d s d n a h their re rket, they a transfer ma ing their instead sell id time they d t s a L . s r e y pla n his, they wo t e k li g in h a t . Mourinho, le b u o d ic r o a hist omething take us to s time. greater this ays. Blue sky alw sley, - Adrian Mo da Gulu, Ugan


- Peter Ogba nya Mombasa, Ke

Christ advice ian Chukwu has p for not ad Keshi, surpr oured in v i run-ins ise himself sed he could w with t he NF hen he had F back in the day. - Chic o Madl Cape Coast, ion, Ghana

- Bakare Shodeinde Oyo, Nigeria e top flight I hope thes club n intensely r a le s r e g a n ma tournaments from these o a america. S like the Cop much genius.

Your notes

If Guardio la is approachin g his third and final seaso n with Ba y e rn Munich, wh o then wil l sign him a s manager as he becom es jobless ? Chelsea is out becau se they are pleased w it h Mourinho fo r the long term. Man chester C ity looks likey but their pedigree m ay put him off.

The atmosph ere of this pla ce has gone bese rk since Serg io Ramos put t he scores on level with his subli me header. R eal Madrid going for La decim a. EPL teams, where art th ou? -Olumide She kani Abuja, Niger ia

- Seyi Og undele Osun, Nige ria

Can som eone tel lo Gaal th at he doe ga Van s not ne all that ed m o ney to reconstr uct the s ide. Also he should never at tempt t sell Rob o in. Ferg ie used h fine and im he was t he highe scorer in st the leag ue. This not a pl is ayer a manag problem. It is ement p roblem Joseph W uda Sokoto. Nigeria.

football b u l C , Honestly ny twists and ma wonder has too l l i t S es. intrigu I look back at e everytim how co o Atleti t t s o l Chelsea ground r i e h t n o Madrid gin of r a m e r o e by a sc w in th e r h T . e tur le after that na i h w a or towel f t game. tha ubele, R n o m - Si Zambia Harare,

’s Nigeria h c t a w is ight to aland. That l s u give ew Ze for us as N n NEPA i h do atc U-20 m t you could in’t it? as the le Nigerians a rji dan O - Bren eria ig Imo, N

This is the mos t radically diff eren Manchester Un ited I have see t n since I started wat ching football. Too many foreigners erod ing the subsistin g culture of a leg endary institut ion. Sad. - Dunni Ayedun, Jalingo, Nigeria

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FROM THE CHEQUE BOOKS ...the transfer market monitor


Purchases - $ 1.504 billion (est.) Transactions - Over 15,000 Transactions - - $ 3.102 billion (est.) value


Purchases - < $ 1 million (est.) Transactions - Over 500 Transactions - - < $ 3 million (est.) value

NORTH AMERICA Purchases - $ 2.231 million (est.) Transactions - Over 20 Transactions - - $4.1 million (est.) value


Purchases - $ 1.23 million (est.) Transactions - Over 400 Transactions - - $41.26 million (est.) value


Purchases - $ 1.07 million (est.) Transactions - Over 500 Transactions - - $2.5 million (est.) value



FROM THE CHEQUE BOOKS ...the transfer market monitor


Juventus $ 94.1 million

Internazionale $ 80.4 million

Liverpool $ 70.9 million

Manchester Utd $ 69.7 million

ARDA TURAN $38 million Atletico Madrid ALEX VIDAL $19 million Sevilla

$ 56.9 million


Atletico Madrid Monaco Newcastle Granada Bayern Munich

JACKSON MARTINEZ $39.1 million FC Porto LUCIANO VIETTO $22.3 million Villarreal


SPAIN $296.4 million

MIRANDA $16.7 million GEOFFREY KONDOGBIA $33.5 million DAVIDE SANTON $4.1 million JESSON MURILLO $9 million XHERDAN SHAQIRI $17.9 million

MORGAN SCHNEIDERLIN $39.1 million Southampton MEMPHIS DEPAY $30.7 million PSV

$ 61.4 million

ENGLAND $335.8 million

Sassuolo Virtus Lanciano Udinese Atletico Madrid Palermo

NATHANIEL cLYNE $19.8 million Southampton ROBERTO FIRMINO $45.7 million Hoffenheim JOE GOMEZ $5.5 million Charlton Athletic

Atletico Madrid

ITALY $355.4 million

$20 million $15.6 million $15.6 million $21.2 million $32 million

GERMANY $228.7 million

FRANCE $86.2 million


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Chronicles of Segun








Women, what is your say?

Margaret, a 28-year-old post graduate student is one whom you will never take special notice for very evident reasons - she is taciturn. Avoiding confrontations, arguments and debates always seemed very easy until she got into a serious relationship with her present man, Dumebi. For several months, they seemed the model couple - holding hands everywhere, exuding undoubted chemistry and a profound understanding of each other. As with understanding individuals in relationships, theirs was fraught with minimal challenges till Dumebi gained active employment. Their relationship steadily morphed from physical gatherings to telephone messages and virtual chats. This seemed no problem except that Dumebi began staying out late after work to catch ‘games’ and spend his remaining strength after a long day’s work to debate on ‘who’s midfield was better’. This seemed pretty alien to Margaret who used to take pride at how disciplined and tempered her man was; how he avoided exuberances, maintained healthy apathy to a lot of subjects and showed incredible attention to her minutest details. Evidently, Dumebi had changed and had no idea whether she had a new face powder on - talkless of the its colour. On his current change and her cry for help, she says ‘I don’t understand what’s going on any longer, he is so different now’. The same can almost be said for Temidayo a 32-year-old lawyer who has lived in Benin almost her entire life. The only difference in her story is that she always knew her husband of 4 years always had a ‘beyond the surface’ interest in football but she never knew it would get this bad. Instead, she thought, ‘he would lose interest in it when the kids start coming - but how wrong I was. After 2 boys, my husband would not hesistate to gore every person in his space about how unsuitable Louis Van Gaal is for Manchester United. It is tiring. I have tried my best.’ Perhaps Asabe’s story is most amusing. After suffering several heartbreaks from the menfolk in times past, she seemed very reluctant to get into relationships for over 3 years. Trying this guy out and that guy out on several dates, many ranged from bland and awry to scary and unforgettable. Moving forward, there suddenly showed up on the horizon a guy she felt might have a chance particularly because he wasn’t pushy for anything, which made her feel comfortable. A couple of hangouts here and there and they had become commendable friends - until recently. This ‘possible chance’ guy will slip into bouts of reticence and depression over days - why? because Real Madrid lost out embarrassingly to Barcelona in last weekend’s league game. She remembered when he even bragged at a point in the past about how pleased he was to see those ‘idiots’ (some Barcelona fans) lose much money for a game he had made several thousands from through betting. ‘I tried to get him to talk about whether he bet on this game his ‘team’ lost, he won’t say a thing’. I am not his girlfriend but this his pettiness severely put me off. I should not be babysitting him’, she fumed. To make an already colourful string of stories more interesting, Hauwa a 51-year-old mother of four girls adds hers. ‘My husband is late, my supportive senior brother has for the past fifteen years taken paternal custody of my girls and has really been there for us all. Right from my late husband’s burial to his fifth and tenth-year remembrance, my brother has never taken his supervisory eyes over me or my children. There came this particular period when I needed to travel out of Lagos on very short notice. I ferried my girls off to his place that was filled also with four of his daughters and two sons. I had no concerns at all. A month after I got back, I began to notice my girls would scream at each other at nights, because Arsenal just scored. For hours, they would stay tuned to football matches and talk extensively about them when they ended. I began to wonder where girls had thrown away ‘tushness’ and embraced male boisterousness. It was truly strange. But I consoled myself daily by repeatedly telling myself that they were just teenagers. They would change.


Men talk back!




‘People listen to music, others watch games and chill out to unwind and relax especially after a hard day’s work. I am one of these people. Leaving for work every morning at 5.30am to beat the morning rush and staying back a few hours at work to beat the evening rush is a tactic tried, proven, tested and reliable for me. After the battles, I just want to return home in tranquil to meet tranquil but no, not with a wife like Elizabeth who is undoubtedly the continent’s most gifted nagger. Nothing ever satisfies her’, Chris a 42-year-old estate surveyor bitterly laments. He rationalizes his conduct by drawing attention to who brings the paycheck in every month. ‘She has absolutely no right to dictate to me when I can watch a TV station - and the way I want it’. One may thnk this a very indignant man until you listen to Femi. Femi, a 22-year-old student who is an avid Barcelona fan will not hesistate to tell you how prepared he is to ‘free’ his girlfriend of four years because she is too dull. ‘She would just stay put when I take her to hangout with my guys and the match action starts. To make matters worse, she would abruply change topics while I am still relishing the euphoria of the previous night’s game. She would keep behaving like my lifestyle is irrelevant to her. Now I believe what my guys say that women are not worth much of the trouble’. He no doubt professes a lot of care and affection for his dame, he is just baffled that there is really nothing he has seen her passionate about. A conspicuous apathy to every single thing is a disturbing occurence in their relationship and to him, he would rather not waste his time trying to reason it out. Frank’s story is less dramatic but more intense, he says ‘his fiancee of two years did everything I liked to do until she lost her friend. We would watch games together then see movies together. She went as far as getting me a Liverpool emblazoned cake for my 34th birthday along with jerseys bearing her name and my name. Not many people understand the feeling of having a woman with whom you share so many common interests. You suddenly become dependent on her presence with you and sometimes, you may even think you are always worse off alone.’ He adds, ‘since her childhood friend of many years passed away from birth complications, she has questioned her life’s meaning repeatedly, upturning existing relationships and slipping into extensive bouts of depression. Now she is hardly available, very stoic and has a short attention span. It is hurting’. He does not hesistate to state how much time he has devoted to finding treatment options - medically, physically, psychologically and yes - spiritually.. His level of preoccupation with this matter worries him and he is beginning to have a rethink on marriage plans he wants to begin making this year. To make an already boiling pot simmer over, Ehi’s story will throw you off your chair. ‘I have already summoned the parents of my wife. Enough is enough. They have to know everything’. He fumes further, ‘how can she confiscate a television set I bought with my money and waste her resources to get a technician to keep my decoder’s wires away. She probably thought she was checkmating me because I refused her sex for two nights. How can she be so petty?!’ According to him, the inward location of their residence makes it impossible to go to public places to watch football matches. ‘They don’t even exist in this area. We are almost prime tenants in this suburb with the next building like ours located about 700 meteres down the road! It is so painful this woman will do this to me.’ The 39-year-old security officer fumed. When asked what his wife’s attitude to football matters were, he replied that she shows no noticeable interest in the sport. He continued by saying she was a very traditional woman who did not trespass beyond the four walls of kitchen matters and could cook any time, any day, as long as she was alive and breathing. He says he also noticed she scolded their 12--year old son anytime she learned he played football in school but thinks that she was only showing motherly concern especially since the boy is not very tidy.










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Air of Criticality

Keeping the Brotherhood








What is the matter?

Ok, this is pretty embarrassing. My story is one of impassioned foolishness - or maybe I am being too hard on myself. I would say uncouthly conduct. Big names. I am sorry. My name is Donald and I am here to tell you a little story. Four months ago, I lived in a Saturday I am not sure I will forget for a lifetime. My home was host to two gentlemen who represented an organisation I had been trying to do business with for sometime. With the help of some friends’ repeated efforts, I finally got acquainted with them. Saturday is usually not a day formal business is done - but this one was different. These men were in my house to inspect some of my machinery I was going to use for the business I hoped to get from their organisation. Learning hospitality very early on in life from my upbringing, my guests were treated with sumptuous meals I had purchased from the local eatery. SInce this was only 12 noon, I pleaded they stayed to see the World Cup game Ghanaian Black Stars will be playing only thirty minutes later. They gladly obliged. Thirty minutes into the game and Black Stars were up by two goals. At this time, I was beginning to feel a dull pain in my palms because I had clapped too intensly when the last two goals were scored. I endured and asked my guests if they were comfortable, they absent-mindedly responsed in the affirmative. They were absorbed in the game. At the half time break, the gentlemen and I had a light conversation about how well the game was going and we relished the prospect of a win for Ghana in this tie. They also began signaling they would be leaving very soon. I had no problem with this because of two things. First, I was convinced they were comfortable enough to return with a good report of me to their superiors that would certainly land me the job. Secondly, a win which seemed in sight for Black Stars would intensly sooth my ego, considering how much I had bragged about this game to my peers in church. But, I have always believed the devil lurks around our good fortunes with several bad omens to topple us and keep us sad. This was brought to play. The unexpected struck. Black Stars had conceded two straight penalties by referee calls I felt were biased. I was calm. In my opinion, the game was far from over and there was still room for a win. Then, what I already thought was a distasteful situation slipped into an acrid one. Black Stars conceded two more goals in very horrendous fashion. This time, I knew I was in abundance of rage - red hot and agitated. I was livid. ‘ARE YOU GUYS CRAZY?!’ blurted I to the small television screen in the room - in the presence of the gentlemen. What happened next I am not sure I understood, neither am I sure I want to remember for a lifetime. My guests’ heads swirled to one another, meeting puzzled expressions on each other’s faces. My displays had not ended; the men had just had food but had not had entertainment to go with it and I was serving them just that - diligently. The match worsened to a 5-2 scoreline. I stormed out of the room. Two gentle knocks tapped on the door of the room I tramped into but I was too busy screaming into the phone at an unfortunate junior sister that was to come and pick some things from me. I went back to the room I left to meet no one but the entrance door ajar. My guests had left and had tried to inform me with those knocks on the door. I suddenly reasoned. I had invited them well but did not properly bid their exits well. Rage gave way to shame and self-pity. I was so embarrassed. Today, I have no idea what report they tendered. I did not get the job.

Chronicles of Segun:




The Build up

‘We don’t expect anything less from you. Musa was the scapegoat, you are our consolation. Don’t let us down’. The chairman’s voice kept ringing in my ears and his weighty words ‘Don’t let us down’. It all seemed like yesterday in that cozy office with all the club heads at that table. Four months it has been since I was named the head of the coaching team. I remember the chairman’s disposition - a man of very few words, his furrowed brows, salted temple and rectangular lenses hanging on the thick of his nose, all, contorted as he made the statement. My walking steps from that moment became divine - to me. The thought of the new job but more especially the past 34 months of gruesome living for me, my wife also - a woman I owe my all too. Her patience in the midst of all that kept me going. Now I was certain she was going to burst into tears on hearing this news. The prospect of that warmed my heart all over. Arriving home and settling in fast - all the while with an unfading smile and cheer, I drew the attention of my wife. ‘What’s wrong with you this evening?’ ,‘Was it what I said to you this morning?’. Certainly not! I don’t even remember what you said this morning, my replying thought coming in swiftly. ‘I got a job, the job’ I said, stroking my chin gloatingly. ‘Seeeeegun! Seeeegun! This is good!’ she chanted, her knees dropping to the ground. ‘God you are good! God you are good! Aaah! God you are g-g-g-g-o-o-o-’, her words fading into wheezing gasps of air and muffled sobs. Amam wept fitfully - all evening. I put her to bed and darted off early the next morning to the training ground. I had grown men to coach. It was a great feeling. Days, weeks and months breezed by, each giving off strong tinges that pointed to this day. Here I was, my heels firmly dug in the pitch of the Osogbo township stadium. Three thousand men and women looking raptly on. My palms became sweaty. It was Prime Football Club’s first match of the season with Segun Mafowora debuting as the head coach. The local media was awash with rhetoric questions that ranged from the football club’s impending relegation to the chairman’s morals brought into question in the wake of a bribery allegation levied against him by some investors. Things were icy up to this present minute. I took one last fleeting look around the stadium and ended it on my team’s captain - a fine man whom I saw transition very quickly from a fussy, rotund goalkeeper to a steely and chiseled team leader over many nights of abrasive drills, reprimands, run-ins with team mates and a newborn child. He was mercurial and so competent at motivating his men during match time - only at trainings. Here was his leadership debut. I had faith he was prepared. All this while, my ears were ruthlessly jarred by the spectators’ tumult. A thousand thoughts streaming through their minds but one I was most confident of, that their crisis team of six months ago had been facelifted to a serious minded version, poised to disturb the waters of the league’s favourites and finish admiringly this season. It was an emotional sight. ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the new league season at Prime township dome here in Osogbo. It is a sunny day. One I believe is laden with good omen for all of us present here today’, the announcer’s voice squealed over the loudspeakers, punctuated by deafening crack sounds. It was horrendous, but I was too tense to notice all that. My thoughts were on this men proving they understood all of my babblings at trainings to everyone present here today. We were not aiming for a draw, we were here for the full points - a win and nothing short of that. The chairman eloquently gave a welcome speech that met a warm applause with occasional cheers for the two or so minutes he gripped the microphone. He himself was expectant. The players moved quick into formation, awaiting the referee’s whistle. ‘Pheeeeeewwwwww!’, his whistle squealed. be continued in the next issue...







Moments that changed Football


ootball is replete with action, thrills and monuments - many which endure for decades and some, less. Memories of pain, agony and joy are generated within seconds of game time as spectators and actors look on. An event - off or on the pitch is etched deep in the memories and minds of faithfuls at a moment's notice, releasing great charm that changes whatever view may have been held of football. The far reaching effect of this is the ensuing cultural consciousness, trends and patterns among global football communities and the corresponding changes that come with such memories. Great care has been given to a handpicked few of many indelible memories that have had reverberating influence on the sport, its administration and regulation, as well as its reportage and public understanding. A reel of 100 events are sampled over the next pages, starting from the least profound to the most profound of the memories.


100 Moments that changed football


When Africa was host to her first ever FIFA World Cup

Since the tournament's 70-year history that spanned four continents of the world and a viewership that peaked at 600 million people daily, the World Cup took a round trip across many nations of the world, bringing with it, great deal of expectation and followership. South Africa was hub for the tournament's start to finish dates. Africans could not have been less dignified, especially in the wake of their fast receding credibility in international markets. To many, this tournament held more than just ceremonial value, iconic status and global felicitation but rather, catalogued the existence of being African to the entire world. It was truly memorable, indelible and unforgettable.


100 Moments that changed football


When women first appeared in football as footballers!

100 Moments that changed football


Goal line technology is brought in to curb ghost goals

Women have all over the world been seen as accessories and passive characters by the male folk, this outlook by the men in times past was met with servile acquiescence from the women and gender based discourses and rhetorics were hard to come by. This trend did not continue for long. Women who endured bias at all levels, especially the home, began to seek expression for their revolt. While men gloated about copious kills from hunting, escapades with women and sport games, women stayed tame in kitchens and behind counters to wait on tables and clean messes left by brawling men and their revelries. Nettie Honeyball was not pleased with all of these and in her solidarity campaign, galvanized local women into a fledgling sport team that would match the feats of men in the similar sport - pound for pound. This was no child's play. This caught the attention of the world and in 1894, she founded the first ever Women's Football Association in England. The trend caught on and in 1991, the world governing body for football created its first ever organised tournament for female footballers all over the world. Today, it is called FIFA Women World Cup.


The advent of goals that do not strike the goalpost net became rife as modern football grew. Balls curled over goal lines - partly and fully while officials made decisions, many of which were controversial. Of course, this had immediate effects, matches were awarded to teams which were believed to have deserved less. Whole tournament winners which many felt were undeserving emerged. Calls for fairness during officiating rent tabloid spaces, television and radio shows as well as feedback channels of football associations. Responding to the public's rising discontent, motion and camera sensors to detect goal-line events were installed at strategic spots in major stadiums. Today, these aid referee calls on the pitch.


100 Moments that changed football


The debut of vanishing sprays during set pieces

Competitions at the highest levels often demand extreme caution and many times, safeguards. This was the vein in which football authorities thought when problems associated with time wasting due to disorganisation of players during free-kicks were dealt with proactively by the introduction of visual markers. The markers help determine the appropriate distance opposing players must stand away from the ball during kicks. This policy brought on the use of vanishing sprays aerosols that contain water based whitish foam that give an obvious streak of white when sprayed. Perhaps the height of its use came with the 2014 FIFA World Cup where officials were using using the spray prominently during games. This trend had immediate public appeal and was lauded by many as innovative.


100 Moments that changed football

96. ...and the first ever FIFA World Coaches of the year are...

What has always been known were individual honours for football players at all levels of competions globally. Specific playng positions had their individual honours too, with pomp characterising their awards' ceremonies and gala. Changing the trend a bit, FIFA introduced the Coach of the Year Golden Ball in 2010 for both male and female categories. It was an attempt by the body to reward the most outstandingly performing coaches of the previous year. The awards were given to individuals voted by sports journalists, football players and coaches all over the world. Jose Mourinho was the pioneer winner for the male category while Silvia Neid clinched the honours for the female. This was novel.


100 Moments that changed football


UEFA Champions leagueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most decorated individual in modern football emerges

On the 24th of May 2014, Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti became the most successful individual in the history of te UEFA Champions League being the only person to have won the trophy twice as a player and three times as a manager, bringing his tally to a five-time-medalist. This became the most unprecedented feat in the history of the competition and ushered in generous praise by reporters for the self-effacing Italian. This has had a profound influence on his status and his approaches are seen as prototypes in many football circles.


100 Moments that changed football

94. When football became a basketball game by score margin!

Disgruntlement at all levels has its fair share of intrigues. Madagascar - home to AS Adema and SO l'Emyrne teams, was in for a great deal of hilarity on the 31st of October 2002. A referee's debacle in a penultimate game had left SO l'Emyrne both eliminated and seared. To express their displeasure, the team opted to score as many own goals in their net as much as the officials can allow during their next game. This went according to script, leaving only one set of people satisfied - themselves but not before getting the attention of Guiness Book of Records. This feat became famed for having the most number of goals scored during regular match time.


100 Moments that changed football

93. When PFA Player and PFA Young Player of the Year were the same person - a first!

100 Moments that changed football


Miroslav Klose becomes the World Cupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all-time leading goal scorer

England - arguably the home of modern football has enjoyed generous appeal from football enthusiasts and spectators all over the world, many of whom turn up in droves for league game matches and tournament clashes. Because of the teeming followership that greets her local league games year-in year-out, more reasons to stay ardent are encouraged through burgeoning player trading and widely televised award ceremonies by the football associations. Of key interest is the Professional Footballers' Association's yearly awards given to both a player deemed exceptional in the current year and a young player with an almost equal level of exceptionality. This is decided by a voting system that comprises entirely of football players that make up the association. SInce its creation in 1973, the award has seen senior players emerge winners of the Player of the Year category and junior ones emerge victorious in the Young Player of the Year category. 1977 upturned this pattern when Scotish striker Andy Gray of Aston Villa emerged winner of both award categories for his whopping tally of 29 league goals. This event re-shaped the history of the association and the league at large, etching a record so unprecedented that was to last the next 30 years until Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale matched it in 2007 and 2013 respectively.


For Polish born German striker Miroslav Klose, life could not be less fulfilling. Debuting the 2002 World Cup as a rookie and earning the confidence of his coach gradually by repeated goal-scoring, Miroslav went on to star in 2006 and 2010 World Cups, sealing off a luminous international career with two more goals that changed the path of his career in a later 2014 World Cup. This one left him atop a list of all time World Cup goalscorers with 16 goals. He has gone on to leave a streak of stunning but impressive stats in his trail, part of which is never losing a match in which he scores a goal for Germany. Pretty astonishing.


100 Moments that changed football


Jules Rimet founds FIFA and becomes its pioneer president

When talented French technocrat - Jules Rimet established a governing body for football in France before extending it to Europe and the Americas, little did he know of the behemoth legacies he would live behind. An institution that serves the entire world, adopts four major languages as its official languages and is comprised of 209 national football associations all over the world is no small feat. Dubbed the father of modern football, he is singlehandedly creditied for creating the celebrated World Cup tournament we know of today. This is perhaps the cornerstone of all moments since the inception of football.


100 Moments that changed football


Football records its highest ever live attendance

The game between Uruguay and Brazil in the 1950 World Cup final was special in many respects. Tournament favourites - Brazil were tipped to emerge victorious from the encounter with supporters going as far as publishing that Brazil had become champions. Another was the expectancy that everyone carried before the game started. The expectation of seeing Brazil lift the trophy at home never departed them. Perhaps what was most memorablle was the oversubscription of tickets to the game. An estimated 199,842 individuals showed up, chanting deafening songs and cheers. What was indelible was knowing a turnout of this magnitde is doable for the World Cup


100 Moments that changed football


The first and only African to be crowned â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;King of the Worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

Liberian activist and leader George Oppong Weah put Africa on the world map in 1995 when he emerged Player of the Year. The imposing central forward's contribution to the team was nothing short of stellar. Leading the list of UEFA Champions League goal scorers the previous season and finishing off as runner up to the FIFA Player of the Yearin 1994, Weah's performance caught the attention of everyone. Exemplifying speed, power, agility and dexterity, Weah became a reference point for centrally based attackers with his gameplay, match-time perfomance and work rate. His era was a real watershed for every African footballer overseas.


100 Moments that changed football

88. Real Madrid attain legendary status with their 10th title win - an all-time high

24th May 2014 was a day of firsts for many but above everything else was the emergence of a ten-time winner of the UEFA Champions League - Real Madrid FC of Spain. The club whose previous records in the competition was gradually getting eclipsed by the consistency of AC Milan, the brilliance of Barcelona, the ambition of Atletico Madrid and the ruthlessness of Bayern Munich. This accolade was the first Real Madrid had won in twelve years, a hiatus whose end here made every moment of this victory phenomenal. This honour known as La Decima brings Real Madrid to an entirely iconic status in the tournament's history.


100 Moments that changed football


Italy gifts Brazil the World Cup

Very many times in life, only seconds separate us from absolute victory. Italy was no different when Roberto Baggio stepped up the porch to take a decisive penalty that may well have seen their story change - for the better. The game in regular time had wound up in a goalless deadlock. Neither side had scored. 120 minutes of gruelling action had crept past leaving the 95,000 spectators much edgier than they were when they first settled in. This was the moment of truth. Baggio needed to score his penalty to send the game into the second phase of the shootout. He missed. Brazil won the shootout 3-2 and invariably won the game. Italy lost and Baggio was their antihero.


100 Moments that changed football


When Escobar became a byword for horrendous own goals

No living thing on the planet could remedy the encumbering shame that slung over the shoulders of the 1994 Colombian team that were aboard that return flight from California to Bogota. The man disputably behind the gloom episode was no other than Andres Escobar - an infamous full back, famed for his own goal that saw his side bequeath three points to the host nation - United States during their group stage game. This debacle cost his country the match and sadly, his life. In a vengeful assault five days after Colombia's exit, three armed gunmen shot Andres six times at close range in a lonely parking lot. He died 45 minutes later in a local hospital.


100 Moments that changed football


Mohammed Al-Deayea retires to become Asiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most decorated goalkeeper! Mohammed amusingly hops to grip the spinning ball in his direction - his rubbery legs splaying ostentatiously in the air as he does this in dramatic fashion. This is Saudi Arabia's veteran goalkeeper, Mohammed Al-Deayea, a man who has appeared for his country 176 times - some of which spanned four World Cups and numerous regional tournaments. Retiring at 37 years, he was at the time of his exit, Asia's most laureled goalkeeper whose contributions to Saudi's football earned him a farewell match.


100 Moments that changed football

84. When Brazil ceased to be a world superpower

Many would not have thought twice to tip Brazil as apparent winners of the upcoming World Cup final against the host nation, France. Many surmised that considering their more-than-stellar progression to the highest point of the tournament, they were deservedly favourites. Match-day arrives with the Stade-de-France filled to capacity. 80,000 spectators had run over each other to see the game live. 300 million spectators were tuned in from all over the world. The world was raptly watching. 30 minutes in, there was a goal. 15 minutes later, another goal swung in; France was ostensibly in the lead. Brazil bemusingly endured. 45 minutes later, another goal swung in. France had nicked their third and crystallized their chances at the victory podium. They went on to lift their first ever World Cup, wresting it from current holders - Brazil.


100 Moments that changed football


David Beckhamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s free kick becomes national treasure

England had endured a wishy-washy run-up to the 2002 FIFA World Cup. A couple of costly draws and losses left the nation's easy qualification chances eerily hanging. Things were becoming increasingly precarious as the qualification period was nearing its end and the prospect of finishing tops was getting bleaker. Archrivals Germany had surreptitiously crept up the rungs to an almost topmost group finish. England had to fight back - and hard. Entering the last game and seeing it wear on with a gaping goal deficit, an impending loss was in the offing for the Three Lions - England - on their soil, all thanks to a sly Greece side. The game meandered into its 3-minute injury time to wrap up a dismal performance by the home team. They suffered a foul and won a spot-kick 35-yards to the opponent's goal. Team captain David Beckham steps up the plate and whirls the ball over a four-man wall that watch the ball sail over everyone in the penalty area to land into the back of their net. England had saved their blushes and earned a draw. They were group champions.

100 Moments that changed football


Rival Real Madrid fans give standing ovation for Ronaldinho during the game!

Magic moments have always trailed Brazilian talisman Ronaldinho's displays on the pitch. Wheezing past opponents with jaw-dropping dribbles, flicks and clever runs, he conveniently emerges as the fulcrum of any and most times, every of his team's attacks. Today was not very different except for a few things. Barcelona had traveled to play a league match against their bitter rivals Real Madrid. As the away team, they were inundated by the behemoth support the home team received before the game and at many times during the game. Seconds gave way to minutes and minutes to several minutes. Barcelona was conveniently in the lead by two goals. Ronaldinho had orchestrated this enjoyable advantage. Minutes later, Barcelona had nicked in their third, dealing a crippling salvo to their opponent's title ambitions. Ronaldinho again was at the centre of this. Making an enjoyable story memorable, a developing phenomenon was beginning to appear in the stands. The home team supporters who had squealed all match long in favour of their team, began to rise and cheer the classic display of the number10 shirt of the visiting team. For reasons universally understood, they kept at it for a few more minutes, observable enough to catch the attention of the journalists and media agents present. This was phenomenal. be continued in the next issue



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Sideline Vista does not have an Instagram page for reasons I don’t know. That isn’t good enough for a magazine that wants to survive the 21st century.

Jimal, J Gatumbia, Burundi Sideline Vista: Mr J! Sideline Vista, you mentioned Your suggestions are stuff about chatrooms on duly noted. Thank you. your website in your last issue. I haven’t seen anything The last picture of the of such yet. editor on the editor’s note was pretty scary. John D’ Why put up a straight Kumasi, Ghana face with a message Sideline Vista: You are very that contradicted the correct. We are sorry for the face’s expression. Smile disappointment. We stopped more editor. work on it for some time due to time and labour cost. The Gukumni, O project will be unveiled soon Adamawa, Nigeria though. Be on the look out! Sideline Vista: You should see the smiling photo in this issue. Your view will change.

Your Letters Most sports newspapers and magazines rape their pages with all kinds of adverts over here. Please do not join them as I see you people are quite new. Utibe, M Lagos, Nigeria Sideline Vista: Thanks. We are sure to note your titbit. Advertorials are also not bad for papers. They help with revenue Is N600 too small for your retail price. I think it is... Kolade, J Kogi, Nigeria Sideline Vista: Thank you very much but it isn’t too small.

Can you begin to put photos of female models so that the magazine may have more masculine appeal from the photos.

Can I make prepayments and subscriptions to this magazine for the next three years?

Rinka, C Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia

Finfre, G Nairobi, Kenya

Sideline Vista: No we would not be doing any of those. They are against our values, Many thanks.

Sideline Vista: This is a tough one. We just rolled out 1-year subscriptions. 3-year I am an aspiring cartoonist subscriptions do not and I want to know if I may exist. We advise you learn some of the trade from start on the 1-year cartoonists that share some period before moving of their works on this mag- further up. Many azine. I hope this arrange- thanks. I want to say ‘a very ment can work out. big up and fist bump to you all at Sideline Hilda, G Vista. Johannesburg, S/Africa Sideline Vista: We should be able to set up an effec- Torrey, W. tive network where you can Harare, Zambia meet some of the talents. We Sideline Vista: Thank would keep you posted. Many you so very much and thank you. thanks. 91

Your Letters Sideline Vista, I have been repeatedly making this complaint of getting your publication to our news stands here in Ajidi. Thank you. Ajayi, O. Kano, Nigeria.

I would like to thank you for My profound gratitude being very attentive the last extends to the editotime. rial team for such an impactful piece by Mr Tukur, M. Rufus. It was so timely Abuja, Nigeria. for me. Thank you. Sideline Vista: We are Mendie, J. pleased you are pleased. Florida, USA Cheers! Sideline Vista: Stories Now, you have patronage and like yours inspire us dedicated readers. What’s very greatly. We are the next level for you guys? most pleased it could impact your life so. ReChican, L. gards. Upper Volta, Ghana. I noticed the digital verSideline Vista: We would definitely keep you posted on sion of the magazine on that. But, if you really want Issuu and Scribd. Are you also on these platto know, you can join our forms? team.

Sideline Vista: We are very sorry you had to repeat your complaints over and over again. We just concluded arrangements with the distributors over there. You should start receiving from the next issue. You Is Sideline Vista going to be can take our every multilingual? word on this. You won’t be disappointKase, B. ed. Thanks. Durban, South Africa Sideline Vista: We cannot exactly say for now. Thanks. 92

Iheanyi, U. Enugu, Nigeria. Sideline Vista: Those platforms are being used entirely for pilot purposes. Thanks.

Your Letters I hear radio shows, read the online blog posts and magazines, but no one is saying anything about a television programme and presence.

Can individuals who desire to be contributing writers to the magazine and it’s columns be accepted? Jonasim, E. Dodoma, Tanzania

I would honestly like to find out what the reactions from the womenfolk were for the last write up that was entitled Super Falcons. Thanks.

Sideline Vista: Oh yes of course. That is one of theKilili, P. Myhoung, L. prominent reasons we erect- Owerri, Nigeria Mombasa, Kenya ed the FEATURE segment. Sideline Vista: Yes, Sideline Vista: This is Many thanks. there are definite no doubt a very inplans to launch unto How long do you prepare con- teresting inquiry you television networks. tents for this monthly issue? have put forward. It is so profound and very The contents for The responses we got that are currently in educative. More grace of God were very timid but to your elbows. development. highly fulfilling. I admire the painsThank you so very Adeyinka, S. taking job you unmuch for all your valOsun, Nigeria dertake to cite apue adding articles. propriate references at the end of every Sideline Vista: Great ques- Taney, W. issue. tion. We must say though Freetown, Sierra that most times we put in Leone Berkeley, T. several hours at the cost of Sideline Vista: You Lokoja, Nigeria. bedtime and meals. It is are extensively welSideline Vista: Thank real hard work. Thanks for come. Thanks. you very much. the words. 93


Credits Front cover

Sideline Newsreel

1. Emir Spahic


2. Angel Di Maria

1. north.jpg?w=630&h=420&q=75

3. Arturo Vidal


4. Jakub Blaszczykowski

3. 4.






10. diapos_large.jpg 11.




Luminary Petr Cech


5. Javier Hernandez 6. Kaylor Navas 7. Cristiano Ronaldo 8. Norio Sasaki 9. Paolo Guerrero 10. Chile team 11. Sochaux fc 12. Eidur Gudjohnsen 13. Ladan Bosso 14. Brendan Rodgers 15. Sean Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Driscoll & Pepjin Linjders 16. Harold Mayne Nicholls 17. Jorge Sampaoli


Credits 18. Stephen Keshi 19. Manchester City 20. PSG 21. Fabio Capello 22. Bonfrere Jo 23. James Milner 24. Marco Silva 25. Eusebio

Credits 36. Serbia 37. Kenya 38. Pienaar 39. Guardiola 40. Claudio Pizzaro 41. Gervinho 42. Avram grant

26. Rivaldo

43. Abby Wambach

27. Pele

44. Damiano Tommasi

28. Diego Maradona

45. Shetemi burial picture jpg

29. Martunis!/httpImage/onlineImage.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_550/onlineImage.jpg

46. Lola Ayetigbo jpg

30. Jose Anigo 31. Nojeem Raji 32. Loftus Cheek 33. Steven Gerrard 34. Euro 2016 35. Zambia



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A potpourri of football events and stories condensed to serve teeming readers globally...