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Mikel Obi Retires @35

Former Super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel, 35,  has drawn the curtain on his football career which spanned 20 years.

Mikel retires with a retinue of laurels won for both clubs and country, including Nations Cup, and Champions League, among others.

He disclosed his retirement on Tuesday on his social media account with an emotional note to his fans.

“There is a saying that “all good things must come to an end”, and for my professional football career, that day is today.

“I look back at the past 20 years of my career, and I must say that I am very satisfied with all that I was able to achieve and, more importantly, the human it has helped shape.

“All of this would not have been possible without the unwavering support of my family, managers, clubs, coaches, teammates and most importantly, my ever-loyal fans.

“You supported me through my highs and lows, even on days that I did not live up to your expectations. I say a big thank you.

“I will also like to encourage everyone who I may have inspired one way or the other in the course of my career to never give up on their dreams, for every time you think about quitting, remind yourself why you started.

“This is not goodbye, it’s the start of another journey, another chapter of my life. I look forward to what the future holds, and I hope you will walk with me. Thank you”, he wrote.

Mikel started his career with a local club, Plateau United, before joining a Norwegian club, Lyn Oslo, at the age of 17 in 2004.

He made a controversial transfer to English club Chelsea after Manchester United claimed they had already signed him.

 

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Qatar 2022: Spain Sacks Manager, Enrique After Quarter Final Ouster

Spain sacked coach Luis Enrique on Thursday after the 2010 champions were dumped out of the World Cup by Morocco at the last-16 stage earlier this week.

“Both the president, Luis Rubiales, and the sporting director, Jose Francisco Molina, have told the coach their decision,” the Spanish FA said in a statement.

The federation said they wanted to thank Luis Enrique and his staff for their work, but had decided to start a “new project”.

“The sporting direction of the RFEF has given the president a report, in which it was determined that a new project should start for the national team, with the objective of continuing the growth achieved in the last few years thanks to Luis Enrique and his colleagues,” added the RFEF.

Spain hammered Costa Rica 7-0 in their opening game in Qatar but suffered a shock defeat by Japan that resulted in a second-place finish in Group E.

Spain were strong favourites to beat Morocco in the first knockout round but lost 3-0 on penalties after the game finished 0-0 following extra time.

“We dominated the game but we lacked a goal,” lamented Luis Enrique after the game.

“We could have been more effective in the final third, but I am more than satisfied with what my players did.

“They represented perfectly what my idea of football is.”

Spain last lifted a major trophy a decade ago at Euro 2012, while they have not won a single knockout game at the World Cup since triumphing in South Africa in 2010.

Luis Enrique took over in 2018 after Spain’s disappointing Russian World Cup showing, and led La Roja to the semi-finals of Euro 2020, where they were also beaten on penalties by Italy.

(AFP)

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A Final Farewell: Hazard Retires From International Football

Real Madrid star, Eden Hazard has retired from international duty.

The Belgium forward made the decision after his nation’s exit from the World Cup at the group stage.

Belgium finished third in Group F, beating Canada in their opening game before losing to Morocco and then drawing with Croatia.

Hazard, 31, played in all three games but did not score for his country.

Hazard expressed gratitude to all his teammates and coaches, adding that “the succession is ready. I will miss you”.

Hazard played his peak years at Chelsea football club, leading the club to several honours before joining Real Madrid in a Multimillion deal.

However, an injury-plagued career at the Spanish giants, coupled with limited playing time has forced him to the rear of the limelight over the past three seasons.

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Qatar 2023: “I Was Provoked” Samuel Etoo Apologizes For Assaulting Algerian Fan

Samuel Eto’o Fills,  President of the Cameroon Football Federation, has apologised for physically assaulting a man at the World Cup on Monday.

In a statement on his Twitter handle on Tuesday, Eto’o said he was provoked by a fan who was “probably” an Algeria supporter as part of an ongoing harassment following Cameroon’s qualifying win over Algeria in March.

Part of his apology read, “After the Brazil-South Korea match, I had a violent altercation with a person who was probably an Algerian supporter.

“I would like to apologise for losing my temper and reacting in a way that does not match my personality. I apologise to the public for this unfortunate incident.”

Algeria filed a complaint over the performance of the referee in the qualifying play-off in Blida on March 28, in which Cameroon’s Karl Toko Ekambi scored the winner with the last kick of the match.

 

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