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Ahmed Musa, Aubameyang, Iwobi nominated for 2018 CAF Awards

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Super Eagles trio of Ahmed Musa, Odion Ighalo and Alex Iwobi have been nominated for the 2018 Confederation of African Football (CAF) African Player of the Year Awards.

Wilfred Ndidi has also been nominated in the Youth Player of the Year category.

Super Falcons quartet of Asisat Oshoala, Franscisca Ordega, Desire Oparanozie and Onome Ebi have also been nominated in the women category.

Eagles’ Gernot Rohr and Thomas Dennerby of Super Falcons, have been nominated for the coach of the year category.

Of the thirty-four (34) players and 15 women nominated, Nigerian players dominate the flagship awards.

The winners for the African Player of the Year and Women’s Player of the Year will be decided by the CAF Technical & Development Committee, Media Experts, Legends, Coaches of the quarter-finalists of the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup and Coaches and Captains of the national teams of the 54 Member Associations.

Other categories namely Youth Player of the Year, Men’s Coach of the Year, Women’s Coach of the Year, Men’s National Team of the Year and Women’s National Team of the Year will be elected by CAF Technical & Development Committee, Media Experts, Legends, Coaches of the quarter-finalists of the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup.

The Awards Gala, to honour footballers and officials who distinguished themselves during the year under review, will be held on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 in Dakar, Senegal.

Below is the full list of nominees for each category:

AFRICAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Abdelmoumene Djabou (Algeria & ES Setif)
Ahmed Gomaa (Egypt & El Masry)
Ahmed Musa (Nigeria & Al-Nassr )
Alex Iwobi (Nigeria & Arsenal)
Andre Onana (Cameroon & Ajax)
Anis Badri (Tunisia & Esperance)
Ayoub El Kaabi (Morocco & Hebei China Fortune)
Ben Malango (DR Congo & TP Mazembe)
Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)
Fanev Andriatsima (Madagascar & Clermont Foot)
Franck Kom (Cameroon & Esperance)
Jacinto Muondo Dala ‘Gelson’ (Angola & Primeiro de Agosto)
Hakim Ziyech (Morocco & Ajax)
Idrissa Gueye (Senegal & Everton)
Ismail Haddad (Morocco & Wydad Athletic Club)
Jean-Marc Makusu Mundele (DR Congo & AS Vita)
Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal & Napoli)
Mahmoud Benhalib (Morocco & Raja Club Athletic)
Mehdi Benatia (Morocco & Juventus)
Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Liverpool)
Moussa Marega (Mali & Porto)
Naby Keita (Guinea & Liverpool)
Odion Ighalo (Nigeria & Changchun Yatai, Nigeria)
Percy Tau (South Africa & Union Saint-Gilloise)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Arsenal)
Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Manchester City)
Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)
Taha Khenissi (Tunisia & Esperance)
Thomas Partey (Ghana & Atletico Madrid)
Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia & Saint-Étienne)
Walid Soliman (Egypt & Ahly)
Wilfried Zaha (Cote d’Ivoire & Crystal Palace)
Yacine Brahimi (Algeria & Porto)
Youcef Belaili (Algeria & Esperance)

WOMEN’S AFRICAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Abdulai Mukarama (Ghana & Northern Ladies)
Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria & Dilian Quanjian)
Bassira Toure (Mali & AS Mande)
Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana (South Africa & Houston Dash)
Desire Oparanozia (Nigeria & Guingamp)
Elizabeth Addo (Ghana & Seattle Reign)
Francisca Ordega (Nigeria & Washington Spirit)
Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene (Cameroon & CSKA Moskow) Gaelle Enganamouit (Cameroon & Avaldenes)
Janine Van Wyk (South Africa & Houston Dash)
Marlyse Ngo Ndoumbouk (Cameroon & Nancy-Lorraine)
Onome Ebi (Nigeria & Hekan Huisanhang)
Portia Boakye (Ghana & Djurgardens)
Raissa Feudjio (Cameroon & Aland United)
Tabitha Chawinga (Malawi & Jiangsu Suning)

YOUTH PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Achraf Hakimi (Morocco & Borussia Dortmunmd)

Wilfred Ndidi (Nigeria & Leicester City)
Andre Onana (Cameroon & Aax)
Ismaila Sarr (Senegal & Rennes)
Mahmoud Benhalib (Morocco & Raja Club Athletic) Franck Kessie (Cote d’Ivoire & AC Milan)

MEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR
Corentin Martins (Mauritania)
Florent Ibenge (AS Vita & DR Congo)
Juan Carlos Garrido (Raja Club Athletic)

Moine Chaabani (Esperance)
Nicolas Dupuis (Madagascar)
Patrice Carteron (Al Ahly)
Rachid Taoussi (ES Sétif)
Herve Renard (Morocco)
Aliou Cisse (Senegal)

Gernot Rohr (Nigeria)

WOMEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR
Bruce Mwape (Zambia)
Desiree Ellis (South Africa)
Joseph Brian Ndoko (Cameroon)
Saloum Houssein (Mali)
Thomas Dennerby (Nigeria)

MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM OF THE YEAR
Guinea Bissau
Kenya
Madagascar
Mauritania
Uganda
Zimbabwe

WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM OF THE YEAR
Cameroon
Ghana
Mali
Nigeria
South Africa

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Owen compares Nigerian-born forward, Bukayo Saka to Ronaldo

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Following the Gunners’ 1-0 victory over Qarabag in the Europa League encounter played on Thursday night, Former Liverpool striker, Michael Owen has compared Nigerian-born and Arsenal forward, Bukayo Saka to Juventus ace, Cristiano Ronaldo, uniquesports.com.ng reports.

Saka made his first start for Unai Emery’s side against Qarabag on the left wing and showed plenty of confidence, as he tested goalkeeper, Vagner, with an early strike from the edge of the box and tried to take on defenders.

The 17-year-old also missed a good chance to score his first Arsenal goal in the second half against the visitors.

Owen has now suggested that Saka already has similarities with Ronaldo.

“He [Saka] looked really nervous at the start of the game, myself and Martin [Keown] were both talking about it,” Owen was quoted by Metro UK as saying.

“But he certainly grew into the game. Just him having the courage to run at players was really refreshing to see.

“Some of the skill… I watched Ronaldo doing this the other day for Juventus.”

“He’s just different class and by the end of the game, his confidence was oozing.”

Saka will hope to feature for Arsenal when they tackle Southampton this weekend in the Premier League.

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Mourinho gives injury update on nine Man United players ahead of Liverpool clash

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Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho has provided latest injury update on nine of his players ahead of Red Devils’ Premier League clash against Liverpool on Sunday at Anfield.

The likes of Marcos Rojo, Scott McTominay, Victor Lindelof, Alexis Sanchez, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, Matteo Darmian, Anthony Martial and Diogo Dalot are all injured ahead of United’s clash with Jurgen Klopp’s men.

Mourinho said some of United’s nine injured players are certain to miss Liverpool clash.

Providing injury update on his players, Mourinho reiterated as quoted by Manchester Evening News on Friday at a pre-match conference: “The latest is to tell you again that in Valencia only De Gea and Matic were available to play and didn’t travel by decision.

“Apart from that, the players that didn’t travel were not fit to play in Valencia, all of them had injuries and they were not ready.

“All of them didn’t train yesterday again and today they will be a little, I don’t want to say [a] test, but a little introduction to training to see the answer, adaptation and to see if we can increase a little bit tomorrow to have them for Sunday.

“But for sure, I hope, is better not to say for sure, I hope some will be available but for sure some will not be.”

“I’m going to try, I’m going to try,” Mourinho added. “I always try and I want to play a team that is capable to be with me on that desire and on that ambition and on that confidence.

“We know that we are going to play against the leader, against a team in a high, but we have our qualities, we have our potential and even with the problems we have and the doubts in terms of team choice, of tactics, of approach, of philosophy, we have doubts about everything.

“But we are going to arrive with the players we have available and going to have a team capable of going there and fight for the victory.”

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Antonio Valencia ready to exit Man Utd in January transfer window

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Manchester United player, Antonio Valencia is set to leave United during the transfer window in January after having a bust out with the club’s manager, Jose Mourinho, according to reports.

The United captain has not featured in a match since September after liking a social media post that called for Mourinho to be sacked.

Valencia publicly apologised immediately and then spoke to Mourinho directly, but still found himself out in the cold under his manager.

According to Daily Mail, West Ham and several Spanish clubs are ready to sign the Ecuadorian in January.

Valencia’s agents sat down with United this week to discuss his future, as the defender continues to wait for a new contract offer.

But it seems the 33-year-old has now accepted his relationship with Mourinho is beyond repair.

Despite his difficulties with Mourinho, Valencia is in line to play against Liverpool on Sunday after United were hit with a host of injury concerns.

Defenders, Diogo Dalot, Matteo Darmian and Luke Shaw are all battling injuries and Valencia is set to keep his place after playing against Valencia in the Champions League mid-week.

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