Eagles Set for Croatia Friendly


SUPER Eagles are being scheduled to meet their Croatian counterparts in a friendly game ahead of the World Cup. Aminu Maigari, president, Nigerian Football Federation, NFF, who disclosed this, said the federation had approached Croatia about the possibility of organising a friendly international in preparation for the 2014 World Cup finals.

Speaking in South Africa during the just-concluded African Nations Championship Cup competition, Maigari said a match with the Croatians would a good challenge for the Nigerian team. But he insisted that could only happen after the scheduled friendly against Mexico on March 14. “We are still waiting for the Croatian FA to confirm a date… We all know that Croatia and Bosnia [one of Nigeria’s Group F opponents in Brazil] share the same border and both countries play almost the same way. So, a match with them will give the Eagles a glimpse of what to expect from Bosnia at the World Cup,” Maigari said.

He promised that Super Eagles would be made to play a number of friendly matches to put them in a competitive shape before the World Cup. The Super Eagles will be heading to Brazil in June after earning one of the five African tickets when they won the play-off clash against Ethiopia last year.


Chelsea Aims for League Glory


CHELSEA football club’s title race got a boost when it defeated Manchester City football team at home on Monday, February 3. The 0-1 away win has given Chelsea a psychological edge over its rivals in the English premier league. A lot analysts say, the Blues as the football is famously called, could hope to win the league itself. But Jose Mourinho, manager of the team, preferred instead to list all the games Chelsea has failed to win this season and has repeatedly said Chelsea “is evolving.” Mourinho said recently: “There are two big horses and a little horse. A horse that next season can race. We can win it if they lose it.”

But Eden Hazard, a Chelsea football player, believes that the club is in good position to win the league. Speaking after Chelsea beat Manchester City at home, said the team was determined to go all the way to win the league. “We are aiming to win the league. It won’t be easy, but we won’t give up, we have the qualities needed to do it. Let’s see what happens between now and the end of the season,” he said.

Radcliffe Wants a Final Marathon in London or New York

Paula Radcliffe

PAULA Radcliffe, a British athlete wants one final appearance at the London Marathon possibly next year. The 40-year-old Radcliffe set the world marathon record in London in 2003 and has won the race on three occasions.

A foot problem has plagued Radcliffe in recent years, and forced her to withdraw from the 2012 London Olympics. Radcliffe, who won the world marathon title in 2005, has not competed in the London race since 2011 and has not run a marathon since finishing third in Berlin in September 2011, but is back training with the British team in Kenya.

“This year in London is too soon but I’d probably only ask my foot to do one more marathon. If I had to choose, sentimentally, it’d be London,” she said. Cheshire-born Radcliffe has also won the New York Marathon three times and does not mind ending her marathon race career in New York either. “I will never say ‘retire’ but if I run one more marathon, I’d love it to be New York or London,” she said.

Mara Yamauchi, who holds the second fastest British women’s marathon time, told BBC: “I don’t think she could get back to 2:15, her world record, but I think she might go out to win the race or do sub 2:20. Paula has this incredible ability to overcome physical pain and push herself to the limit. If physically her body is up to it I think mentally she is able to produce incredible performances when it matters.

“I’d be surprised if she didn’t do London, she’s a British athlete, it’s where she set her world record – I think it would be difficult to resist London.”

— Feb. 17, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT

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