President Muhammadu Buhari will on Monday host members of Team Nigeria to the Tokyo Olympics at the Presidential Villa in Abuja before the final batch of the contingent departs for the Games.
Sunday Dare, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, said this in Abuja on Tuesday at a brief send-forth ceremony for the first batch of the team which left for Japan.
Dare said the contingent, which would leave in four batches, would be formally “sent forth” by President Buhari on Monday, as is the tradition.
He said, “We’re keeping to the tradition of unveiling the team to the President, who will, in turn, hand them over to the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC).
“The unveiling of the official wear/equipment will also be done by Mr President. This is a very symbolic event meant to officially send forth the team to the Games.
“This should also inspire the athletes and reinforce the fact that the Federal Government and the entire country are behind them.”
Dare also commended President Buhari for the enormous support and resources in preparing and ensuring the athletes do well at the Games.
Recall that Team Nigeria, comprising 58 athletes and 22 coaches, will compete in nine sports at the Tokyo Olympics.
Lewandowski sends classy and big message to Messi after beating him to win 2021 Ballon d’Or
Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich has congratulated Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi for beating him to win the 2021 Ballon d’Or award at the gala night on Monday night, November 29.
It was indeed an heartbreak for the Polish striker and many football fans in the world to see Lionel Messi winning the award which is now his seventh in his glorious football career.
Last season, Robert Lewandowski was in stunning form for Bayern Munich in all competitions and the striker even scored 41 League goals in just 29 appearances which was incredible.
Robert Lewandowski’s reaction to 2021 Ballon d’Or
“To start, I would like to congratulate Lionel Messi, Ballon d’Or Winner “I want to thank every single journalist who voted for me, and believed that my achievements were important in 2021.
Messi wins seventh Ballon d’Or
Paris St-Germain and Argentina forward, Lionel Messi, won the Ballon d’Or – awarded to the best footballer of the year – for a record seventh time.
Messi, 34, helped his country win the Copa America, his first international honour, and has scored 40 goals in 2021 – 28 for Barcelona, four for Paris St-Germain and eight for Argentina.
While the Argentine great, Messi, had cause to celebrate a feat that will take generations to break, his main rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, released a furious statement few hours before the results were released hitting out at claims from Ballon d’Or chief Pascal Ferre that his career ambition was to finish with more awards than his rival Lionel Messi, after the forward finished sixth in the rankings.
Ronaldo was absent from yesterday night’s awards ceremony – run by publication France Football – and the Manchester United star sent out a lengthy retort to comments made by Ferre to the New York Timesthat he always had Messi in his sights amid their bitter rivalry to win the year gong.
He ended up being beaten by the Argentine having missed out on a place in the top five. He had edged ahead of Gigi Donnarumma, Kylian Mbappe, Kevin de Bruyne and Mo Salah, but didn’t have enough votes to win his sixth award.
Ferre had said: “Ronaldo has only one ambition and that is to retire with more Ballon d’Or than Messi and I know because he told me.”
But the player hit back at that claim, saying Ferre had used his name to promote his name, his publication and the ceremony – insisting he wins for himself and his clubs and that his career goals are to leave an impact on the game, win as many trophies as possible and leave an example to youngsters.
“Today’s outcome explains Pascal Ferre’s statements last week, when he stated that I confided in him that my only ambition was to finish my career with more Golden Balls than Lionel Messi,” he wrote on Instagram.
Bayern Munich and Poland striker Robert Lewandowski came second, Chelsea and Italy midfielder Jorginho was third and Real Madrid’s French striker Karim Benzema finished fourth.
The Ballon d’Or is voted for by 180 journalists from around the world, although there was no award in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Either Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo (five wins) collected the award every year from 2008 to 2019, apart from in 2018 when Croatia midfielder Luka Modric won it.
Messi had already won the trophy more times than any other player and his seventh success comes after wins in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2019.
Lewandowski, who scored 53 goals in all competitions in 2021 for Bayern, was awarded the ‘Striker of the Year’ prize, a new award that was only announced hours before the ceremony began.
Paris St-Germain’s Gianluigi Donnarumma, who helped Italy win Euro 2020, won the Yashin Trophy for best goalkeeper, while Champions League winners Chelsea were named Club of the Year.
Real Madrid takes final decision to sign Pogba for free from Man Utd
Real Madrid have finally pulled out of the race to sign Manchester United star, Paul Pogba, on a free transfer next summer.
Marca reports that Real Madrid made the decision they believe Pogba would not fit into their current squad.
The report added that Real Madrid’s priority is instead directed towards improving in other areas of the pitch, while also trying to tie down veteran midfielder Luka Modric to a new contract.
Pogba has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid in the past, with former Los Blancos manager, Zinedine Zidane, urging the club’s board to sign him on several occasions.
The 28-year-old is set to leave Man United when his current contract runs out at the end of the 2021/22 season.
The France international is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs from January 1, 2022.
Pogba, who is understood to be holding out for a salary rise which would see him overtake Cristiano Ronaldo as Man United’s highest-paid player in the Premier League, has also been linked with Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona in the past.
The midfielder is currently sidelined with a thigh injury he sustained on international duty with France.
Pogba is expected to return to action for Man United in January.
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