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The undying love of a wonderful mother

The undying Love of a wonderful mother

Love comes in different shades and colors. The love of a mother is one of the strongest love known to humanity. For Manchester City’s right full-back, Joao Cancelo, the love of his late mum has always remained indelible in his heart.

In 2013, while still playing with Benfica’s feeder team, Joao Cancelo who was then 18, experienced tragedy. Alongside his mom and his brother, they were on their way home. The mum Filomena, was on the wheel driving her Audi A3 when she lost control over the car and crashed.

Cancelo and his brother Pedro suffered minor injuries, but Filomena wasn’t so lucky. She died in the crash and it was a dark moment in the life of the young Joao Cancelo. The mum had always been a source of inspiration to the talented footballer. Always there to encourage him. Carrying him to training each day. Staying behind to watch him play.

Always there to lend the motherly affection and support where necessary. The beautiful Filomena was born in the town of Barreiro, she was Cancelo’s driving force as he fought to succeed in the game.

A devastated Joao Cancelo was broken and inconsolable. He took to his Facebook page to pen an emotional message to his late mum: “I lost the light of my life, my reason for living. I love you woman of my life, wherever you are I’m with you,”

“Always desire you to look after me and protect your father and brother. May be dead inside, but I will be strong and I will give you the greatest pride in the world

The young Joao started his football career with his local club, Barreirense. The mum who had always believed in his potential made sure she carried him in her car to training and match. At age 13, Joao he joined Portuguese giants Benfica’s youth set-up

Two months after the death of his mum, life was extremely difficult, for the young Portuguese U20 international. According to Joao,  “Before, it was she who came and take me to train. She helped me with everything. “After that moment when she was gone, there was no one waiting for me. I came home and went to bed crying. I have my mother in my heart and she continues to be present with me.”

Always keep moving

A year after the death of his mum, Cancelo made his debut for Benfica against Gil Vicente in the Portuguese League Cup. It was an emotional game for the young Portuguese, but he played brilliantly and Benfica won the game 1-0.

He then went on loan to Valencia, where the La Liga side having been impressed with his performance, paid a whooping  £13.8m on the right full-back. He went on to spend three successful seasons with the La Liga outfit from 2014-17.

A Grateful heart

Juventus soon scouted the talented defender and they moved quickly to secure his service in 2018. The Italian giant paid around £37m for Cancelo in a deal that saw him sign a five-year contract.

Cancelo had special tributes to his late mum who made his dream come true. A mother’s love can inspire an individual to do the impossible.
“I have a thank you for my brother, my sister, I have learned from all. But you, Mom, have been my incentive to achieve this goal in life. Your strength is mine, you are always with me. It’s all for you, Mom.”

Up there, am sure Filomena will be proud of his son who has gone on to play for the Portuguese senior national team and the English Premier League Champions, Manchester City. As a tribute to his beloved mum, each time Joao Cancelo scores, he points to the sky. A sign to thank his beautiful mum for all the affection she showed to him.

failure

Failure is part of the success story

Failure is the opposite of success. It is the inability to achieve a certain goal or objective in life. The painful thing about failure is that it tends to weigh down the individual, especially those who had a realistic expectation about the possibility of achieving greatness.

On 1st February 2016, Manchester City signed Pep Guardiola to a 3 years contract. It was the biggest signing of the club’s entire history, as Pep Guardiola is regarded as the best tactician in the round leather game.

The expectation from fans was high. The possibility of winning laurels became increasingly possible, as the new man in charge was known to have won loads of trophies while with Bayern Munchen of Germany and Barcelona of Spain.

Unfortunately, things never went the way of Manchester City, as they failed to win a single trophy in Pep’s first reign in charge as manager. The team came 3rd in the Premier League. They were knocked out in the Semi-Final of the FA Cup, by Arsenal 2-1 after extra time.

They could not defend the EFL trophy they won in the 2015/16 football season, as they were knocked out in the 4th round by Manchester United 1-0. It was a very sad moment in the club history as all their expectations were being met with failure.

The UEFA Champions League provided a ray of hope for supporters of Manchester City, as Pep Guardiola had previously won it with Barcelona. They however exited the tournament in the round of 16, as they got knocked out of the competition by the French team Monaco.

Pep’s first season was seen as a failure and the pain was obvious. It was disappointing, as the club went through the entire 2016/17 season with a taste of any trophy. That never slowed down the hunger for success among the players and the new manager.

The 2017/18 season saw the real hunger for success in Manchester City. Failure in the previous season had seen a huge appetite for success in the team. The burning desire is always there, each time we fail in life.

Manchester City emerged Champions of the English Premier League with an unprecedented 100 points from 38 matches. An amazing tally of 106 goals made it even sweeter. They won the EFL Cup, beating Arsenal 3-0 at Wembley.

The 2018/19 season was even better, as Manchester City won all three domestic trophies they entered for, including the community shield. They became the first team to ever hold all four of England’s primary football trophies.

Failure had indeed made the team stronger. It was a beautiful example of how we can learn more from failure than we can ever do from success. We can become inspired to do more when we fail in certain aspects of life.

It all starts from the inside. Never get so discouraged when things don’t go your way. Its all part of the success story. Good things sometimes take time. They don’t always come on the platter of Gold.

Manchester City

Manchester city vs Arsenal match preview

Manchester city kick start their football season which was temporary stopped due to covid-19, this Wednesday. It is an enticing clash with Arsenal who are presently been managed by former Manchester City assistant Coach, Mikel Arteta.

If previous results is anything to go by, Manchester City are poised to grab all 3 points in a campaign that has not seen the best of the city boys. Arsenal current records away from home doesn’t help boost their chances. Manchester City still trailing liverpool by a massive 25 points, have a lot of catching up to do. it’s just a question of wrapping up the 2nd position and ensuring a decent finish to the season.

One thing that would delight Pep Guardiola as Arsenal comes calling, is the availability of all squad players for selection. Leroy Sane, whose future is still hanging in the balance has recovered from the injury that has kept him from the side all season. Defender, Aymeric Larporte and Benjamin Mendy are also confirmed fit.

For Arsenal, they would be at full strength as most of their injured players are rearing to go. The only long term absentee would be defender Calum chambers.
Considering the new rules of allowing 5 substitutes per match, we are likely to see a packed bench from both sides,even as fans would not be allowed at the Etihad.

Manchester City possible line up

Ederson Moraes
Aymeric Larporte
Fernandinho
Mendy
Kyle Walker
Rodri
De Bruyne
Mahrez
Sterling
Bernardo
Aguero

Substitutes

Bravo
Gundogan
Sane
David Silva
Phil Foden
Otamendi
John Stones
Zinchenko
Gabriel Jesus
Eric Garcia

Arsenal possible line up

Leno; Bellerin, Mari, Luiz, Tierney; Ceballos, Xhaka; Pepe, Ozil, Aubameyang; Lacazette

Substitutes

Emiliano Martinez
Sokratis
Kolasinac
Saka
Torreira
Guendouzi
Martinelli
Reiss Nelson
Maitland Niles
Joe Willock
Mustafi

EPL Top 10 African stars

The English Premier League Top 10 African Stars

The English Premier League is the most-watched league in the entire world, with an estimated global audience of 3.2 billion viewers and an annual turnover exceeding £4.8 billion. The English Premier League which officially kicked off on the 15th of August 1992 has remained the pace-setters in terms of players’ transfer fees, players’ monthly wages, and bonuses.

In Africa, Super sports have signed a TV rights agreement that gives them the sole privilege to broadcast Live EPL matches until the 2021/22 football season. There has been a steady influx of African and non-British footballers into the Premier League over the past 20 years. The present figure of non-British footballers stands at over 240. Africa presently has over 40 players in the top flight Premier League and a significant number in the lower division of the English League.

Riyard Mahrez (Manchester City/Algeria)

The 29 years old Algerian winger has been in scintillating form for Manchester city in the 2019/20 football season. Twice Premier League champion with Leicester City in 2015/16 season, and Manchester City in the 2018/19 football season. Has a knack for scoring from outside the box with the left foot and brilliant on free kicks. He helped Algeria to lift the 2019 African Cup of Nations held in Egypt. Has appeared 189 times in the English Premier League, with 53 goals and 39 assists.

Mohammed Salah (Liverpool/Egypt)

The Liverpool star striker who is often deployed in the right-wing has enjoyed a good spell with the reigning UEFA Champions League holder. Blessed with a quick pace and dribbling skills, Salah has twice been a recipient of the Premier League Golden Boot award in the 2017/18 season and the 2018/19 football season. He was named player of the season in the 2017/18 football season. The former Chelsea player who had a horrid time while with the Blues, has appeared a total of 113 times in the Premier League, with 72 goals and 25 assists to his name.

Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester/Nigeria)

Wilfred Ndidi has flourished as a defensive midfielder after the departure of Ngolo Kante to Chelsea. Ranked among the top 5 best defensive midfielders in the English Premier League, the 23 years old Nigerian is solid defensively and has had his fair share of goals (6) and assists (5) in 111 appearances for Leicester City.

Ismaila Sarr(Watford/Senegal)

The 6-foot tall Senegalese winger is a joy to behold when he is in full flight. Good in the air and very rapid when going forward, Sarr was instrumental in the 3-0 defeat of Liverpool that ended their 18 games unbeaten run. Sarr scored a brace to silence the traveling red supporters at the Vicarage road. He has made 19 appearances for Watford and scored 5 goals with 3 assists.

Sadio Mane (Liverpool/Senegal)

The Liverpool winger who is an ever-present in most of Liverpool’s games has formed a potent attack with Salah and Firmino. He has scored some crucial goals for the Reds in their quest to win the English Premier League. He’s brilliant with both the left and right foot and is also dangerous in the air. The 28 years former Southampton winger has appeared a total of 185 times in the Premiership, with 80 goals and 29 assists to his name.

Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace/Ivory Coast)

Wilfried Zaha is a Crystal Palace star player. Dangerous in the box and full of running, The 27 years old winger who is never afraid to take on players, has been the subject of transfer speculations in the past two seasons has had stints with Manchester United and Cardiff City, but it is at Crystal Palace that he has blossomed into a game-changer. Has an amazing 206 appearances in the English Premier League with 35 goals and 24 assists.  

Romain Saiss (Wolverhampton Wanderers/ Morocco)

The tall and powerful Moroccan midfielder who currently plies his trade with Wolverhampton Wanderers has been a key player within the Wolves squad. He has made 44 appearances and scored 4 goals with 1 assist for Nuno Espirito Santo side.

Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace/Ghana)

The son of former Black Stars of Ghana legend Abedi Ayew Pele. Jordan Ayew who wears the No 9 Jersey for Crystal Palace, has had a very decent season with the Palace side. He has had stints with Swansea and Aston Villa. The 28 years old left-footer has made 128 appearances in the English Premier League, with 24 goals and 8 assists to his name.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal/Gabon)

Auba as he is fondly called is Arsenal talismanic striker. A defender nightmare and blessed with blistering pace. He has been ranked among the fastest EPL Players at a speed of 35.5 km/h. He has used his pace to good effect, scoring 49 goals for the gunners with 10 assists while making 75 appearances. Last season, he scored 22 goals to emerge joint top scorer with Salah and Mane. He has also been twice named player of the month and is the current Arsenal captain.

Serge Aurier (Tottenham Hotspur/Ivory Coast)

The hot-headed Ivorian defender who has made more headlines off the pitch than in the pitch has had a good season with Tottenham Hotspur. Playing at Right back, Aurier is fond of making overlapping runs into the opponent half of the field. The former 27 years old defender who has played for Parisian giants PSG, has appeared 49 times for Tottenham, with 3 goals and 8 assists to his name.

English Premier League returns

The English Premier League finally restarts on June 17th

Long wait Finally over

The English Premier League after much foot-dragging has eventually fixed June 17th for its restarts. It was always going to happen, but the question was when? Pressure on the League restart had been coming from stakeholders who are too willing to ignore the danger posed by Coronavirus pandemic with its high death rate, especially here in the UK. 

Last weekend, marked the return of the German Bundesliga, and as I mentioned in an earlier article, all other Leagues across the globe will be itching to jump on the restart project. 

Liverpool currently lies in the first position and would be the happiest team on board the restart train. This is obvious because they’ve waited for 30 years to have a shot at the English Premier League title. A title they allowed to slip from their hands after a Steven Gerrard unfortunate slip against Chelsea in 2014, allowed Demba Ba to hand all 3 points to Chelsea and blew Liverpool title hope away.

coronavirus still raging

Just five days ago, test results carried on English Premier League teams showed two players and staff returned positive results from coronavirus screening. This is not the first time though. Six unnamed English premier league players from Watford and Brighton have both tested positive to Coronavirus before now. Bournemouth confirmed one of the two new cases is among their playing squad. The player remains unnamed.

Uncertainties and mixed reactions

How the remaining matches will be played out is left to be seen, even as fans will be barred from all match venues as the case in the German Bundesliga. 

The restart project is all about the money. It has nothing to do with the lives of the players or those involved in the game. TV right companies have been anxious to get the restart project going. It’s obvious why they want to get this done by all means. Premier League clubs would refund a chunk of TV right money already disbursed if the season is voided for any reason. 

In a coded message to all clubs, the restart comes with a condition attached: “Premier League Shareholders today agreed to a new provisional restart date for the 2019/20 season of Wednesday 17 June, provided all safety requirements are in place”.

It is left to be seen how the whole drama will unfold even as players have returned to training. Preparations are already in top gear for the provisional restart of the league that has already generated a whole lot of debate. As expected, the news about the restart of the English Premier League has generated lots of mixed reactions from football fans.

On one hand, some football fans believe that restarting the league without football fans may not be the best. Others are worried about the intention of the League Stakeholders. On the flip side of the argument, some are happy with the restart date as they have missed football due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It is left to be seen if there would be a further postponement of the restart or the stakeholders will stick to their June 17th date. Whatever happens, football will never be the same again without the usual excitement from the stand. The date has been announced and the plans to ensure a safe return will be in full gear. Clubs whose players have already tested positive may not have any choice, but to join the restart project. It seems the lives of players don’t mean much in these dire circumstances.

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