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Chukwueze: My Super Eagles Debut Vs Uganda Marked Dream Year For Me

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Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze has stated that his debut for Nigeria in Tuesday’s international friendly fixture against the Cranes of Uganda marked an important landmark for him in 2018.

The winger was handed a starting shirt by coach Gernot Rohr and featured for 45 minutes before he was substituted for Samuel Kalu.

Days before the international break, the youngster who recently earned promotion to the first team of Villarreal scored his first LaLiga goal in their 2-2 draw with Rayo Vallecano.

Chukwueze admits he was caught by surprise when he received his senior call-up, and was delighted with the opportunity.

“Making my debut for Nigeria only completes a dream year in my prokfessional life,” Chukwueze told BBC Sport.

“I’ve played and scored for Villarreal this year, and I never expected to get a chance to get into the Super Eagles team, but everything is happening like a dream.

“Some people wait for several years to live a dream but I am grateful to Villarreal and Nigeria for making all my dreams happen in under a year.”

The forward who has been likened to Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben is hoping to emulate his hero.

“My friends started the whole Arjen Robben comparison because of my playing style and I consider him as my first football hero,” Chukwueze added.

“I know there is still a lot for me to do to even come close to what he has achieved in football, so I am not getting carried away.

“At Villarreal the officials keep reminding me of another Nigerian – Ikechukwu Uche – who they regard as a legend at the club and they’ve told me to try to emulate his ways on and off the pitch.

“I have some big players to look up to and I hope to continue my best to achieve more dreams with both Villarreal and Nigeria.”

Chukwueze will hope to make his third La Liga appearance when Villarreal host Real Betis at Estadio de la Ceramica on Sunday.



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SPORTS

Buhari appoints Amokachi as SA on sports

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Buhari appoints Amokachi as SA on sports

Former Super Eagles player and Nigerian Football Ambassador, Daniel Amokachi, has been appointed as Special Assistant on Sports to President Muhammadu Buhari.

“I am pleased to inform you that Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has approved your appointment as Special Assistant on Sports,” the appointment letter dated August 17, 2020, and signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Mr. Boss Mustapha, reads in part.

As special assistant on sports, Amokachi is expected to advise the President on all sports matters.

The former Everton of England forward, who was earlier in the year named Nigeria’s Football Ambassador, is expected to mentor youngsters and promote the game at the grassroots.

Nicknamed “The Bull”, Amokachi began his career in Kaduna with Ranchers Bees Football Club of Kaduna, played for Club Brugge of Belgium, Besiktas of Turkey, Everton of England and Colorado Rapids.

He played in two World Cup finals, USA 1994 and France 1998. He was a member of Nigeria’s 1994 African Cup of Nations winning team and won the 2013 edition in South Africa as assistant to the late Coach Stephen Keshi.

Amockachi also won Gold with team Nigeria in the Football event of the Atlanta 1996 Olympics.

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Tennis: Djokovic confirms US Open participation

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Tennis: Djokovic confirms US Open participation

Novak Djokovic confirmed on Thursday he will play at the US Open, ending speculation about his presence at the first Grand Slam tournament since the season restarted following the coronavirus-enforced shutdown.

“I’m happy to confirm that I’ll participate at #CincyTennis and #USOpen this year,” the 33-year-old world number one tweeted.

“It was not an easy decision to make with all the obstacles and challenges on many sides, but the prospect of competing again makes me really excited,” added the 17-time Grand Slam champion.

The US Open gets underway behind closed doors in New York on Monday August 31, with Djokovic arriving in the United States on Saturday to tune up in the Western and Southern Open, which is normally played in Cincinnati but has been moved to New York this year.

His decision to take part is a major boost for the US Open after a host of headline names pulled out.

Djokovic makes his competitive return after being heavily criticized for hosting a charity tennis event in the Balkans in June at which he and a raft of players tested positive for COVID-19.

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Sam Okwaraji: NFF begins process to retire Eagles No.6 jersey

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Sam Okwaraji: NFF begins process to retire Eagles No.6 jersey

The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) is pondering a move to retire the Super Eagles No.6 jersey previously worn by the late Sam Okwaraji, The PUNCH reports.

NFF President Amaju Pinnick made this known during an interview on a radio programme Sports Salsa, which was aired on Kennis 104.1 FM on Wednesday.

Okwaraji died of congestive heart failure minutes after he slumped during a 1990 World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Angola on August 12, 1989, inside the main-bowl of the National Stadium, Lagos.

The game ended 1-0 in favour of the Eagles.

“Someone made a proposal about retiring the jersey (No.6) at the start of the year and I think it is not too much for us to do that,” Pinnick said.

“I will forward the proposal to the executive committee for implementation because it has been said already. So, we will see how we can retire that shirt in honour of a great patriot (Samuel) Okwaraji.

“His (Okwaraji) death was very tragic because he was a player who showed dexterity, professionalism and maturity each time he played for the Eagles.”

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