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Preview Basel-Porto: Coach Sousa Ready to ‘Take Risks’

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Porto are one of only three unbeaten sides left in the Uefa Champions League but will have to take a cue from Liverpool’s demise at the expense of FC Basel when they visit St. Jakob-Park in a last 16 first leg tie on Wednesday.

Basel have won two of their ten fixtures against Portuguese sides; scoring just three goals in those matches and FCB’s Portuguese coach Paulo Sousa understand how difficult it is playing against the 2004 champions having finished just twice on the winning side in 12 meetings against Porto as a player.

The Swiss Super League champions would however find inspiration in both of their group stage encounter against Liverpool- notably their unbelievable draw at Anfield in December, when they stunned tens of thousands of home supporters against all odds to secure their passage into the knockout phase.

Brahimi is the First Porto Player to Score a Champions League Hat-Trick. Image: AFP/Getty.

Brahimi is the First Porto Player to Score a Champions League Hat-Trick. Image: AFP/Getty.


“It is special to compete at this level, in the best club competition in the world- it is where we want to be and where we can and will grow,” Sousa said in his pre-match media briefing ahead of Wednesday’s game.

“The crucial moments that brought us here were the magical nights against Liverpool. At Anfield we spent most of the first period inside the half- and that is not easy to do. I love to test myself: it enables me and my players to grow.”

Basel are fresh from last weekend’s 1-1 draw at home to FC Sion, one of just two matches they have played since returning from the winter break. Julen Lopetegui’s side are on a four-match winning streak following Friday’s 1-0 win against Vitoria Guimaeres, courtesy of a Yacine Brahimi goal.

The Algerian midfielder, who became the first Porto player to score a Champions League hat-trick (in the 6-0 rout of BATE Borisov) in September, scored 5 times in the group stages and will provide support for Jackson Martinez and Ricardo Quaresma upfront.

Colombian striker, Martinez, has scored 12 goals in his last 13 matches and will be a thorn in Basel’s defence.

Basel will nonetheless be looking to unleash homeboys Marco Streller and Fabian Frei- scorer of that first half goal at Liverpool- on Porto.

Porto have been beaten once only in six games with Swiss clubs, and despite the odds favouring the Dragons to progress, Sousa says attack will be the best form of defence against the Primeira Liga side.

“We have analysed Porto like we do all our opponents. Obviously you have to make minor adjustments depending on who you are up against, but we stick to our main principles. Looking at the statistics, together with Chelsea and Real Madrid, Porto are the only team that did not lose in the group phase. They also scored 19 goals,” the 44-year-old said.

“There will be difficult spells for us, but I’m sure we will cause Porto a lot of problems too. To create difficulties we have to take risks and show personality, to alleviate the pressure.”

Bulgarian defender Ivan Ivanov is unavailable for selection and Fabian Schar is suspended having picked up successive yellow cards in the home defeat by Real and the draw at Merseyside. Albanian forward Shkelzen Gashi is a doubt due to fatigue.

Porto have no injury concern.

Football

Diego Maradona: Biography And Facts (Video)

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Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona

The news of the death of Diego Maradona has sent shock waves to football lovers around the world.

The 60-year-old football legend died on Wednesday, November 25, after suffering from cardiac arrest in his home country.

The country of Argentina is currently grief-stricken over the demise of the 1986 World Cup winner. His body arrived at the presidential palace in the country to lie in state. 

Maradona, who was born on 30 October 1960, holds a record that is nearly unmatched. He is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. He was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the 20th Century award.

The footballer came from humble beginnings and he received his first soccer ball as a gift at age 3 and he developed a soft spot for the game.

At age eight, Maradona was discovered by a talent scout while he was playing in his neighbourhood club, Estrella Roja. 

The footballer, at age 12, thrilled spectators with his mastery of the art of football during the halftime intermissions of first division games.

He started his career with Argentinos Juniors before joining Boca Juniors and went on to play for Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell’s Old Boys before returning to Boca in 1995.

Sadly, his life wasn’t always all sunshine and rainbows as he was addicted to cocaine from the mid-1980s until 2004.

Maradona married long-time fiancée, Claudia Villafañe, on 7 November 1984, and they had two daughters. The couple later went their separate ways in 2004.

He listed Brazilian playmaker, Rivelino and Manchester United winger George Best among his inspirations growing up.

Maradona made 91 appearances for Argentina between 1977 and 1994 and he scored 34 goals at international level before ending his career.

He had the best years of his club career in Italy, as he played a massive role in Napoli winning the Serie A title in the 1986-87 and 1989-90 seasons. 

He was the all-time leading goalscorer for Napoli, with 115 goals, until his record was broken by Marek Hamšík in 2017.

Maradona also lifted the UEFA Cup with Napoli in 1989 and he won three trophies during his time at Barca – including the Copa del Rey in 1983.

As a coach, Maradona also had stints in charge of Textil Mandiyu, Racing Club, Al-Wasl, Fujairah and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico before being appointed by Gimnasia de La Plata.

 

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Football

Football Legend, Diego Maradona Dies At 60 Following Heart Attack

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BREAKING: Football Legend, Diego Maradona Dies At 60 Following Heart Attack

Diego Maradona

Argentina and Napoli legend, Diego Maradona has passed away at the age of 60 following a heart attack.

The Gimnasia coach had been hospitalised at the start of November, days after celebrating the landmark birthday, after complaining of low spirits and fatigue.

Recall that some weeks ago, it was reported that the football legend had a blood clot on the brain, which doctors later revealed was operated on successfully.

Also Read: Manchester City Could Offer Barcelona Star, Lionel Messi A Pre-contract In January

Two weeks after being discharged from the hospital and recovering at home, he reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest on Wednesday morning.

The Argentine national team’s official Twitter account confirmed the news on Wednesday.

https://twitter.com/Argentina/status/1331637593457520642

 

 

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Betting

The Contribution of Sports Betting to the Economy of Nigeria

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Most of us have grown up with gambling lore that left us petrified to our core. Gambling ruins lives, gives rise to financial and legal problems.

This is all that we have grown up learning. However, this is only partly true and must not be taken too seriously. Sure, gambling has its disadvantages and evils.

However, the activity, in its entirety, is not addictive. It is what humans make out of it. Human beings give up self-control and spiral into a bottomless pit of despair due to that.

Gambling, when indulged in appropriately, does no harm. In fact, it is one of the biggest industries and contributes significantly to the global economy.

The moot point of this article is to have a look at the betting industry of Nigeria. While we do that, we shall also examine how much the industry contributes to the economy of the nation.

Therefore, let us now have a look at the industry and venture a few important points throughout
the article.

How Does the Betting Industry of Nigeria Look Like?

The gambling industry of Nigeria resides in the areas of gray. One cannot look at it in either black or white.

Gambling activities are considered illegal in Nigeria, with the exception of a few. And betting on sports happens to be one of those exceptions.

Online gambling in Nigeria is allowed only on offshore-owned and operated casinos. Locally operated casinos are not allowed to function in the land.

Now speaking of betting, one must note that the betting industry happens to be a key player in Nigeria’s economy. There are over fifty functional and legal betting sites in Nigeria.

As we mentioned before, betting is entirely legal, unlike online gambling. All those who want to gamble on sites like Usafriendlypokersites.com can do so with the use of VPNs.

Nigerians are incredibly passionate as a people about their sports. That is why the idea of making money by betting on their favorite sports has a lot of appeal.

With about 200 million people in the country, the betting industry has found a solid footing in the market. It has been estimated that over the last few decades, Nigeria has grown to become the second-largest betting market in South Africa.

Over 60 million people find entertainment through online betting sites in South Africa. Therefore, one can understand, going by the statistics that Nigeria has evolved over the last few years when it comes to betting.

Reasons for this Massive Growth in the Popularity of Online Betting:

One of the primary reasons for this massive popularity in online betting is the increase in technological innovations.

Nigeria, over the past few years, has seen technological expansion and super-fast connectivity. Almost everyone has access to smartphones now.

This is what makes it so easy for people of every age group to bet online. The constraints that the nation had in technology and connectivity are no longer an issue.

It is estimated that in the next few years, the country shall see more such innovations and expansion. This will, therefore, act further as a catalyst to the growth of the online betting industry.

The Government is Now Tightening the Noose around Online Betting to Raise Revenue:

As we already mentioned a few times before that Nigeria had strict laws related to online gambling.

The government also did not pay much attention to the betting industry. However, things have changed now and shall change further down the line.

The Nigerian government is now formulating some strict laws so that it could pull the revenue from betting into the coffers.

This is also one of the most significant reasons for the growth in Nigeria’s economy. Online betting is a lucrative industry, and we can already deduce that from we discussed.

With the government paying more attention to the industry, crime rates can be reduced, and better revenue can be raised.

If anything, the involvement of the Nigerian government shall only serve as a fresh change. Plus, with a better structure in the betting industry, more people can find jobs and livelihood.

Wrapping It Up:

We can see how the online betting industry of Nigeria has become one of the chief contributors
to its economy.

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