Saturday, 3 December 2011

Stars light up Nwankwo Kanu testimonial match in Lagos

Kanu testimonial ine-up 
Several African football stars turned up for Kanu's testimonial in Lagos
Over 14,000 fans paid tribute to former Nigeria captain Nwankwo Kanu during a lively testimonial game in Lagos.
The Portsmouth forward, a two-time African Player of the Year, was retiring from international football after 16 years.
Fans defied early rain to attend the star-studded game in which the Super Eagles beat a Rest of the World XI 3-1.
Samuel Eto'o, Emmanuel Adebayor, Sulley Muntari, Rigobert Song and Emmanuel Eboue all appeared.
The 34-year-old Kanu played for both sides and scored for the Super Eagles side that included Danny Shittu, Kalu Uche and Yakubu Ayegbeni.
Fittingly, it was Kanu who scored the opening goal of the game as he calmly beat Peterside Idah, the former South Africa-based goalkeeper.
In-form Nigeria striker Ikechukwu Uche made it 2-0 for the Super Eagles Stars to send the Lagos fans into raptures just before half-time.
Second-half substitute and self-confessed Kanu protégée, Emmanuel Adebayor, then stepped up the tempo of the game in the second-half to reduce the deficit with a cool finish.
As the World XI chased an equaliser, it was Uche put the game beoynd their reach with a thunderous long-range effort, after taking out three defenders to seal the victory.
"There's a time to start and a time to finish, it has been a fulfilling ride from day one," an emotional Kanu said after the match.
"I thank all the players who cut short their holidays from different places and the Nigerian fans for their endless love and support throughout my career."
The World XI , managed by Stephen Keshi and Jo Bonfrere included Jean Makoun, Khalilou Fadiga, Anthony Baffoe, Jay-Jay Okocha, Sammy Kuffour, George Boateng, Joseph Yobo, Taye Taiwo, Herman Hreidarsson and Obinna Nsofor.
Former Nigerian captain Kanu announced his retirement from international football at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa in June 2010.
Reigning African Player of the Year Samuel Eto'o, who enjoyed adoration and applause from fans, was full of praise for the talented Kanu.
"Kanu is undoubtedly the most recognised, successful and talented footballer I have ever seen on the field," Eto'o said.
"It was not hard to honour him by travelling down because he is an icon of the African game and we must honour him.
"After playing against him, I was honoured and today I came here to show how much we respect and appreciate his achievement, inspiration, motivation and charitable gesture."
Former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor revealed that Kanu was is only hero when growing up and as a professional.
"I cannot hide the fact that I moulded my career in his image and it is obvious that he still my inspiration and hero as a footballer," he said.
As Kanu was helped off with a guard of honour and final lap of honour it was fitting tribute to one of the greats of the Nigerian and African game.
Other players, who turned out in support of the Nigerian were Michael Essien, Kolo Toure, Stephen Appiah, Kalusha Bwalya, John Utaka, Finidi George, Mutiu Adepoju, Obinna Nwaneri, Yakubu Ayegbeni, Elderson Echiejile, Onyekachi Okonkwo, Raphael Chukwu, Daniel Amokachi, Uche Okechukwu and Ogbonnaya Kanu.

1) NWANKWO KANU | Retired Nigeria international
The retired forward is one of the highly decorated African football gems. He shot to fame during with the Fifa U17 World Cup in 1993, where Nigeria won the competition and won an Olympic Gold medal three years later. His performances earned him the Uefa Champions League with Ajax, English Premier League and FA Cup titles with Arsenal and Portsmouth and Uefa Cup with Inter. The two-time African Footballer of the Year played at three World Cups and six Nations Cups throughout an illustrious

Friday, 2 December 2011

Didier Drogba and the Ivory Coast Men's National Soccer Team

Didier Drogba and the Ivory Coast Men's National Soccer Team

Didier Drogba was a smash hit at the African Nations Cup which was produced by CAF (Confederation of African Football) and hosted in Egypt. The final with Ivory Coast took place on February 10 2006 and was won by the host country Egypt 4-2 on penalty shoot-out.
Didier Drogba had the most impact of any other national player of any other of the participaying teams during the course of the intra African match-ups. He is essentially a centeral force on any of the teams he has played on.. This also includes Chelsea of the English Premier League of which he is also a striker.
For team mate, Toure, Drogba presents a potentially decisive edge in the first competitive meeting between Ivory Coast and Nigeria since the 1994 Nations Cup semi-final won by the Nigerians on penalties.
"Drogba is a really great player and he is something special. We are really proud of what hehas a done for the team".
"It's going to be a very hard game. But now we are in the semi-finals, anything can happen. We've got our chance," said defender Toure.
Seconds into the second half, the whole difference was made when Drogba netted his fourth goal of the tournament and the Elephants could afford to sit back for most of the second half.
The goal stung the Nigerian bench who immediately replaced Mikel Obi with Jay Jay Okocha and Kanu Nwankwo with Julius Aghahowa, but still the Nigerians could not turn the game round. This is the first time the Ivorians, who have qualified for the World cup, will have played in the final since winning the title in 1992 in Senegal.
The Egyptians must thank goalkeeper Essam EL Hadary for saving two penalties as Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba missed a crucial first spot kick for the Elephants.
COTE D'IVOIRE (Ivory Coast) National Team Line-up
01.Tizie Jean-Jacques Hobrou
02.Akale Kanga Gauthier
03.Boka Etienne Arthur
04.Toure Kolo Abib
05.Zokora Deguy Alain Didier
06.Kouassi Koffiblaise
07.Fae Emerse
09.Kone Arouna
11.Drogba Tebily Didier Yves
21.Eboue Emmanuel
19.Toure Yaya Gnegneri
How many of these following substitutes will make their way to other Premier League teams in Europe and Asia?
10.Yapi Yapo Gilles Donald
08.Kalou Bonaventure
14.Kone Bakari
15.Dindane Aruna
16.Gnanhouan G. Amoukou Okosias
17.Domoraud Depri Cyrille Leandre
18.Tiene Siaka
22.N'dri Koffi Christian Romaric
23.Barry Boubacar
20.Demel Guy Roland
12.Meite Abdoulaye
13.Zoro Kpolo Marc Andre
The battle for African Footballer of the year
Drogba overshadowed Samuel Eto'o, his rival for the African Footballer of the Year award usually held in late February. Didier Drogba scored the decisive penalty to put Ivory Coast into the last four in a dramatic shootout victory over Cameroon in Cairo.
However it might be blindsided by a contender from Egypt. Could Mido be in the mix?
Steve September of On The Ball Soccer Training has been involved in soccer for over forty years and on three continents.
As a player, player coach and high performance coach Steve wants to share the knowledge and experiences with all levels of people involved in the soccer scene. Delve into more of the philosophy and information and contributions at;