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Profile Of Nigeria Team For 2023 Africa Cup Of Nations

Nigeria begin AFCON campaign today with Egypt duel

Factbox on Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers

Africa Cup of Nations record:
Previous appearances in finals: (19) 1963, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2019, 2021

Best performance: Winners 1980, 1994, 2013

Drawn in Group A with Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Cote d’Ivoire.

Coach: Jose Peserio

It has not been a happy time for the 63-year-old Portuguese technician since he took over at the helm of the Super Eagles in May 2022, with reports of late payment of his salary and constant criticism from supporters, especially since they lost to Guinea Bissau at home last year and in November drew their opening two 2026 World Cup qualifiers. Peserio has also served as coach of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela and at club level been in charge at Porto, Sporting and Braga.

Key player: Victor Osimhen. Age: 25. Forward.

Voted African Footballer of the Year last month, the striker has been on a fast track since being spotted at the 2015 Under-17 World Cup where VfL Wolfsburg signed him. Moved to Lille with a 12 million euro ($13.14 million) price tag in 2019 where he steadily built his reputation and won a place in the Cup of Nations squad for the tournament in Egypt. A broken cheekbone ruled him out of the last finals but after recovering, and mostly wearing a trademark face mask, it was last season at Napoli that he became a major world star, top scoring in Serie A to help the club win the Scudetto.

FIFA world ranking Dec 2023: 42

How they qualified: Top team in Group A ahead of Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone and Sao Tome e Principe.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Stanley Nwabili (Chippa United), Olorunleke Ojo (Enyimba), Francis Uzoho (Omonia Nicosia)

Defenders: Ola Aina (Nottingham Forest), Semi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion), Chidozie Awaziem (Boavista), Calvin Bassey (Fulham), Kenneth Omeruo (Leganes), Bruno Onyemaechi (Boavista), Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce), Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto), William Troost Ekong (PAOK Salonika)

Midfielders: Joe Aribo (Southampton), Alex Iwobi (Fulham), Raphael Onyedika (Club Brugge), Frank Onyeka (Brentford), Alhassan Yusuf (Royal Antwerp)

Forwards: Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen), Samuel Chukwueze (AC Milan), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City), Ademola Lookman (Atalanta), Ahmed Musa (Sivasspor), Victor Osimhen (Napoli), Moses Simon (Nantes), Sadiq Umar (Real Sociedad)

-Reuters

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Dortmund ready for PSG rematch after Epic Win Over Atletico

Borussia Dortmund are relishing a rematch with Paris St Germain in the Champions League semi-finals.

This was after knocking out Atletico Madrid in a thrilling tie on Tuesday to set up a meeting with the French side they played in the group stage.

Dortmund overturned a 2-1 deficit from their quarter-final first leg against Atletico to win 5-4 on aggregate.

They will now renew their acquaintance with PSG, who beat Barcelona 6-4 over two legs to book their semi-final berth.

Dortmund coach Edin Terzic feels his side, who won the Champions League in 1997, are now better prepared to face the French champions.

This was after the Germans lost away and drew at home in the group stage.

(NAN)

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I didn’t divorce my ex-husband for being ‘perfect’ – Kaka’s ex-wife react to fake news

Caroline Celico, the former wife of Brazilian football legend, Ricardo Kaka, has reacted to the viral quoted attributed to her that she divorced the football star because for being too “perfect for her”.

According to the chef and content creator, she broke up with Kaka on mutual grounds, and they have been nurturing their two kids together.

Kaka and Celico married in December 2005, and their marriage produced two children: a son, Luca Celico Leite (born June 10, 2008), and a daughter, Isabella Celico Leite (born April 23, 2011).

10 years after their marriage, they parted ways with none of them saying the reason for their divorce until Sunday after a fake quote suspected to be a statement from Celico went viral.

The statement read, “Kaka never betrayed me; he always treated me well, and he gave me a wonderful family, but I was not happy; something was missing. The problem was that he was too perfect for me.”

It has since sparked speculations from fans across the world, with some condemning her and others saying that she probably was not happy being with the 2007 Ballon d’Or winner.

However, taking to her Instagram story, Celico debunked the viral statement on her divorce from Kaká, labelling it as not only ‘false’ but also ‘fake’, while speaking on her future with her current husband, Eduardo Scarpa Julião.

Celico wrote via Instagram Story, “For those who haven’t heard from me for a long time… or have never heard before.

“And are UNFORTUNATELY hearing some fake news and FAKE quotes. Let me update you:

“I got divorced almost 10 years ago, from those 14 years of relationship there are 2 lovely teenagers.

“It’s been almost 8 years. I am with my husband Eduardo, and we are having our first child next month.

“I have a lot of respect for my lifetime story, and I am very grateful for everything I have lived so far. My ex-husband and I found a healthy way to raise our children, and I’m so grateful for this.

“Please be welcome to my social media, which is a place I share about many subjects, such as family, work and spirituality, with a lot of respect and love.

“Thank you.”

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News

Ex-Brazil footballer, Kaka finally breaks silence on divorce with wife

Brazil football legend, Kaka, has finally spoken on the divorce saga with ex-wife  in 2015.

Kaka’s ex-wife recently opened up and revealed some bizarre claims on why she left the marriage.

It would be recalled that Kaka married his childhood sweetheart Caroline Celico, while playing for AC Milan in 2005 and they had a son and daughter together, before splitting a decade later.

Just recently, his ex-wife claimed that she left the marriage, because “he was too perfect for me”

But Kaka, now 41, speaking on a podcast, as reported by Spanish outlet Sport, insists he did everything he could to avoid the split.

He said: “In 2015 I was married, and my wife at the time decided she didn’t want to be married anymore.

“She said, ‘I’m not happy and I attribute my unhappiness to marriage’.

“I was living in the United States, and she asked to go back to Brazil.

“Her words were, ‘I want to go back to Brazil, I want to live there and I don’t want to be married anymore’.”

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