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Mahrez Is African Footballer Of The Year (See Full List Of Winners)

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Algeria forward Riyad Mahrez was on Thursday voted African Footballer of the Year after he inspired Leicester City to the English Premier League title last season.
Mahrez, 25, beat Gabon skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who scooped the prestigious accolade last year, into second place, with Senegal star Sadio Mane, who features for Liverpool, taking third place.
The France-born forward said it was an honour to be named the best African player for the past year.
“It’s a huge honour, I am happy and pleased. I thank all my teammates at Leicester and Algeria,” Mahrez said as he received the award.
“I dedicate this to my family and all those who support me every day.”
Leicester caused a major shock when as 5 000-1 outsiders they went on to win the Premier League last season.
Mahrez played a key role in the Foxes’ stunning run with 17 goals and 10 assists in 37 appearances.
He was the first Algerian to win a Premier League champions medal and sparked a massive following back home in Algeria for the club, who he had first thought was a rugby team when he was contacted to join them four years ago.
All three players who made the shortlist for the African Footballer of the Year were also picked in CAF XI that also features Ivory Coast defender Eric Bailly from Manchester United.
Goalkeeper Denis Onyango was picked for the African Player of the Year Based in Africa award ahead of Mamelodi Sundowns teammate Khama Billiat and Zambia’s Rainford Kalaba.
Onyango was outstanding when seven-time South African champions Sundowns won an historic CAF Champions League and also when Uganda qualified for this year’s Africa Cup of Nations after a long absence.
Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala grabbed her second African Women’s Player of the Year award on the back of her goals as Nigeria retained their continental crown in Cameroon.
The Arsenal Ladies star won her first when she also helped the Super Falcons emerge African champions in 2014.
Nigeria youngsters Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi won the Most Promising Talent and Youth Player of the Year awards, respectively.
Gambian referee Bakary Papa Gassama won the Best Referee Award for the third straight year.
AWARD WINNERS
African Player of the Year
Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Leicester City)
African Player of the Year – based in Africa 
Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)
Women’s Player of the Year
Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria & Arsenal Ladies)
Most promising talent
Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria & Manchester City)
Young Player of the Year
Alex Iwobi (Nigeria & Arsenal)
Coach of the Year
Pitso Mosimane (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Club of the Year
Mamelodi Sundowns
National team of the Year
Uganda
Women’s national team of the Year 
Nigeria
Referee of the Year:
Bakary Papa Gassama
CAF African XI for 2016
Goalkeeper: Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)
Defenders: Serge Aurier (Cote d’Ivoire & PSG), Aymen Abdenour (Tunisia & Valencia), Eric Bailly (Cote d’Ivoire & Manchester United), Joyce Lomalisa (DRC &AS Vita)
Midfielders: Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe & Mamelodi Sundowns), Rainford Kalaba (Zambia & TP Mazembe), Keegan Dolly (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)
Forwards: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Borussia Dortmund), Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Leicester City)
Subs: Aymen Mathlouthi (Tunisia & Etoile du Sahel), Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal & Napoli), Salif Coulibaly (Mali & TP Mazembe), Islam Slimani (Algeria & Leicester City), Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Roma), Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria & Manchester City), Alex Iwobi (Nigeria & Arsenal)

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TRANSFER DEADLINE! Arsenal Star Player Joins German Club On Loan

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Arsenal forward Emile Smith Rowe has joined RB Leipzig on loan until the end of the season.

The 18-year-old has made six appearances for the Gunners this term, featuring four times in the Europa League and twice in the Carabao Cup, but has not yet played in the Premier League.

Leipzig are currently fourth in the German top tier, and Smith Rowe could feature alongside highly rated 22-year-old striker Timo Werner.

He will link up with the Bundesliga outfit with the hope of more game time, following in the footsteps of fellow England youth international Jadon Sancho who has starred for Borussia Dortmund over the last two seasons.

Sancho has earned a debut for the Three Lions’ senior squad against the USA having scored six times and notched nine assists in the league this term alone.

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Alvaro Morata joins Atletico Madrid from Chelsea on loan

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Alvaro Morata has joined Atletico Madrid on an 18-month loan deal from Chelsea.

Morata completed his medical with Atletico on Sunday before finalising a deal to take him back to the club where he started his youth career.

Atletico are scheduled to face two of Morata’s former clubs in the next month – with games against Real Madrid (February 9 – La Liga) and Juventus (February 20 – Champions League).

Morata joined Chelsea from Real on a five-year contract for a then-club-record £57m fee in July 2017, while Antonio Conte was in charge

He scored seven goals in his first eight games for the club, but finished his first season at Stamford Bridge with just 11 Premier League goals.

Head coach Maurizio Sarri was keen to offload the forward having preferred to play Eden Hazard in an advanced role.

Morata’s loan switch also comes after Gonzalo Higuain joined Chelsea on loan from Juventus for the remainder of the season.

Chelsea have the option to extend the loan deal for a season or buy Higuain outright for £31m, according to Juventus.

The 31-year-old striker worked under Sarri during his spell at Napoli.

Morata will join former Chelsea striker Diego Costa at Atletico, who sit second in La Liga.

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See The Amount Manchester United Paid Mourinho After Sacking Him

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Manchester United have paid their former gaffer Jose Mourinho £15 million ($19 million) in compensation following his sacking last month, according to British media on Thursday.

The Daily Mail reports that a source close to Mourinho — whose contract was due to run till the end of the 2019/20 campaign with the option of an extra season — has revealed that compensation has been paid.

“There are no issues over Jose’s contract with Manchester United. Everything has been sorted,” the newspaper reports the source as saying.

“Jose is able to take on another job right now, but is in no rush.

“He is very relaxed about it and would be happy to wait until the end of the season if he needs to.”

The Sun reports that United agreed to the payment after his disappointing two-and-a-half-year stint at Old Trafford following a meeting between Mourinho’s agent Jorge Mendes and United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

The pay-out leaves the 55-year-old Portuguese free to be considered for Madrid if the club decide to dismiss under-pressure coach Santiago Solari.

Mourinho’s time at Real between 2010-2013 — which brought a league title and a Spanish Cup but saw them largely play second fiddle to Barcelona — ended as it did at United and Chelsea, with bad results and discord in the dressing room.

However, Real president Florentino Perez remains a fan and with the club 10 points behind La Liga leaders Barca and outside the Champions League places, Solari is under intense scrutiny.

“There has been no contact, but they did get in touch with Jose after (Julen) Lopetegui was dismissed (in late October),” the Mail reports the source as saying.

“He told them he was the manager of Manchester United and totally committed to the club.”

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ANGRY Messi Blast Ronaldo Over Challenge To Play In Italy

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Barcelona superstar, Lionel Messi, has finally responded to Cristiano Ronaldo challenging him to sign for an Italian team.

Ronaldo left Real Madrid after nine years in the summer, to sign for Juventus, which all but ended his long-term rivalry with the Argentine.

Since leaving La Liga Ronaldo has been continually asked to discuss Messi and earlier in the season set the Barca star a challenge.

The Portuguese said:

“I played in England, Spain, Italy, Portugal, in the national team, while he is still in Spain. Maybe he needs me more.

“For me, life is a challenge, I like it and I like to make people happy. I would like him to come to Italy one day. Like me, accept the challenge.”

 

Messi, in an interview with Marca, has insisted he does not need to change.

“Accepting Ronaldo’s challenge to join Italian football? I don’t need any change.

“I’m at the best team in the world. My challenges are renewed year after year. I do not need to change teams or leagues to set new goals. I am at home and I do not need to change,” he said.

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JUST IN: Man Utd Finally Announces New Manager To Replace Mourinho

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Premier league side, Manchester United have announced the appointment of a caretaker manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to replace sacked former manager, José Mourinho till the end of the ongoing 2018/2019 premier league season.

The 45-year-old Norwegian football manager replaces former manager Jose Mourinho who was thrown out of the club because of poor results.

He will be joined by Mike Phelan as first-team coach, together with Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna this season at Old Trafford.

Manchester United made this latest information known on their official social media page on Wednesday morning, December 19.

See the release statement below,
“We can confirm that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been appointed as caretaker manager until the end of the 2018/19 season.
He will be joined by Mike Phelan as first-team coach, together with Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna. #MUFC”.

Solskjaer spent 11 seasons at Old Trafford scoring the winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final.
His first match in charge will be against Cardiff where he endured an ill-fated spell as manager with 30 games and 16 defeats with only nine wins.

Solskjaer’s performance till the end of the season will determine whether he stays or United chiefs will appoint a permanent manager.
Manchester United are currently occupying sixth position on the Premier League standings with 26 points after 17 games played this term.

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