Shawn Michaels To Make Shocking Return To WWE

The World Wrestling Entertainment have confirmed Hall of Famer and world champion, Shawn Michaels, will make a stunning return to the WWE in the United Kingdom on Monday, June 18.

Michaels, 52,  retired from theworld of wrestling after he was defeated by The Undertaker at Wrestle Mania 26.

But British fans are waiting and are expectant of his comeback at the Royal Albert Hall alongside his fellow legend and his old DX partner Triple H.

And the night is sure to evoke plenty of memories for the Showstopper, who fought in the first-ever wrestling match at the iconic venue.

Michaels and his Rockers tag-team partner Marty Jannetty took on The Nasty Boys in the opening bout of the Battle Royal at the Royal Albert Hall way back in 1991.

WWE fans can also look forward to an appearance of Paul “Triple H” Levesque , a 14-time world champion.

The WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament will feature competitors vying to earn an opportunity to challenge WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne the following night inside the London’s most famous venue.

Red or White, What Colour Will Europe Be? By Christopher Emenyonu

No doubt, this season’s Uefa Champions League has been an amazing campaign. It came with a lot of surprises such as Arsenal not qualifying for the first time in 21years, Sevilla knocking out Manchester United, A.S Roma doing an almost impossible comeback to eject Barcelona from the competition and despite all these during the course of the campaign, two clubs- Liverpool and Real Madrid made it through to the finals in grand style.

With Liverpool getting back to Europe’s most prestigious club competition for the first time in years and with a front trio- (Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino) that could destroy the best of defence lines, the Reds cruised all through the competition.

Breaking different goal scoring records of the competition’s history, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool had scored a whopping 49 goals all through the 2017//2018 Uefa champions’ league campaign. From making it out of the group stages, to defeating FC Porto in the round of 16 and dismantling Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the last 8 before arrowing down the comeback kings, A.S Roma in the semis, the reds have been so good with putting the ball at the back of their opponents’ nets.

Despite been so good in front of goal, same cannot be said of the reds’ defence as they keep leaking in goals in every match. The defence despite having a 75million pounds Dutch player, Van Dijk leading it has been suspect which makes the club rely only on its attacking prowess.

With finals against an experienced side in Real Madrid, who are also the defending champions, looking to win the league three times in a row, Klopp has a lot of work to do if his team’s defensive woes are not to be exposed on the night.

For the men from the Santiago bernabeu, it has been re-invigorating an almost dead season for them with the bad start to the season in all competitions. From losing tabs with the La Liga title and crashing out easily from the Spanish Cup, and almost crashing out of the group stages of the Uefa Champions League, the Galacticos came back stronger in the new year and have never looked back.

Knowing fully well, the UCL was their last hope of silverware this season, Real Madrid have been sensational in the knock out stages. From plotting PSG’s downfall home and away to controversially knocking out Juventus in the last 8 and calmly dispatching Bayern Munich in the last 4, Real inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo’s 15 goal tally no doubts have proven critics wrong.

With a coach in Zinedine Zidane yet to be defeated in the knockout stages since he got appointed and also winning the Cup twice consecutively with a third looming, Real Madrid look more of a favourite going into the finals with experienced legs like Sergio Ramos, Toni Kroos, Karim Benzema, Lukas Modric, Marcelo and the goal scoring touch of the world’s best football player, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Head to head

With Liverpool being the most successful club from England in the Champions league and Real Madrid the most successful club in the competition, these two finalists have a history in the competition having met twice. And judging from these meetings, Real Madrid have never scored against Liverpool and neither have they won any game against the Reds.

The first meeting between these two clubs was in 1981 with both clubs having to endure a disastrous season that year. Liverpool managed to finish fifth in the league and managing to qualify for Uefa Cup after defeating West ham United in the League Cup finals. On the other hand, Real Madrid lost the La liga to a last minute goal that earned Real Sociedad the trophy that year. All was set for an entertaining European Cup finals in Paris, France with both clubs looking to salvage their woeful season.

At the end of 90 minutes, Liverpool came out tops courtesy of a lone goal from Alan Kennedy to win her third European Cup.

2009 was the second time, the Reds clashed with the Galacticos again. This time in a two legged affair of 2009 UCL Round of 16 with Liverpool travelling to Spain with lots of troubles having lost tab with the EPL title race after 2 wins in 6.

The then manger, Rafa Benitez was on the brink of leaving with skipper, Steven Gerrard missing the game to injury, Liverpool had lots of work to do.
Real Madrid on their part looked set for a double victory. With players like Arjen Robben, Raul, Higuain in the Madrid squad and playing in front of 85,000 fans at the Santiago Bernabeau, it all looked like Madrid’s day. But then, Liverpool had other ideas as they were well organised defensively, managing the shape and causing troubles with the counters through Fernando Torres.

Things got worse for the reds as Torres pulled up with an ankle injury and Gerrard not fit enough to feature in the game.
10 minutes left on the clock, Yossi Benayoun headed home from an expertly taken Aurelio free-kick. Bernabeu went silent as Liverpool took the lead and Madrid were losing to Liverpool again.

Slim victory it looked heading into the second-leg in Anfield, Madrid still had a chance in the tie. But if wishes were horses, Liverpool ran riot over a fragile Madrid team with Torres starting the goal scoring, returnee captain, Gerrard made it two from the spot before adding a second after good work from Ryan Babel and Dossena rounded up the scoring as Liverpool thumped Real Madrid 4 nil.

In two outings against the reds, Real Madrid have neither won nor scored.

But come Saturday, in Kyiv, we will know if Liverpool’s good record will continue or Madrid with the calibre of players they have got, will break the jinx and be crowned Champions for a third time in a row.

 

UK To Abramovic: Prove The Authenticity Of Your Wealth

Russian billionaire and Chelsea  owner Roman Abramovich has been told he will need to show the legality and legitimacy of his wealth if he wants to return into the UK.

Following the Sergei Skripal poisoning case in Salisbury, the Government has launched a war on Russian oligarchs entering the UK.

And one of the first  victims  of this is believed to be Abramovich, who was forced to watch his club’s FA cup final at Wembley on Saturday from Russia.

The Financial Times reported Abramovich’s investor visa allowing him access to the UK had expired.

He is now believed to be classed as a new applicant for a UK visa

Worth £9.3bn, Abramovich will have to prove at least £2m of investment in the UK is from legal sources.

He had held a UK visa for years but has not been seen in the country since early April.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said,  “Work is under way in terms of reviewing Tier 1 investor visas.

“In 2014-15 we took action to tighten up the Tier 1 investor route, including the introduction of new powers to refuse applications where there are reasonable grounds to believe funds have been obtained unlawfully.

“As a result of these reforms applications reduced by 84 per cent.

“We are currently taking another look at how the route operates and are undertaking further checks on investors who came to the UK through this route before the reforms were introduced.”

Sources close to the Chelsea chief said they were “assuming” his application would be accepted.

They added,  “There is no indication that the visa won’t be given.

“There has been no refusal or negative feedback. It is just taking longer than usual and it’s not clear why.”

Britain’s tough stance has sparked a furious reaction from the Kremlin, who have labelled the approach as “unfair and unfriendly”.

But MPs have accused Putin and his allies of using London to hide and launder corrupt assets.

There is no indication that Abramovich has made or invested any money illegally in the UK.

Rooney To Discuss With Dc Boss Ahead Of His MLS Move 

Everton forward Wayne Rooney will have to leave his family and head to Washington this week to discuss with bosses at Major League Soccer side DC United.

Rooney has reportedly agreed “in principle” to a $17 million (£13 million) deal with the MLS club that would see him leave Everton his boyhood club, just 12 months after rejoining them from Manchester United.

DC United coach Ben Olsen confirmed earlier this month that they would want Rooney to join them in  America but also clais that the agreement “is not done”.

Sam Allardyce said before he was sacked as manager by Everton that Rooney had not asked to leave.

Rooney, currently on holiday in Barbados, is scheduled to be given a tour of the city and meet club bosses, said the Times newspaper.

The striker will also visit DC United’s new stadium, Audi Field, and is likely to speak to Olsen during the “fact-finding” exercise, it said.

Rooney, who first burst onto the scene aged just 16 at Everton, was the club’s top scorer this season with 11 goals but last found the net on December 18.

The former England captain left United last year on a free transfer following 13 trophy-laden years after becoming a peripheral figure under Jose Mourinho.

Pogba Heads To Mecca On Pilgrimage Ahead Of The World Cup

French midfielder Paul Pogba has posted a video of himself at the holiest site of Islam in Saudi Arabia, as he preparres to join his teammates ahead of the world cup coming up next month.

“Only the person that comes here can understand the feeling,” the 25-year-old Manchester United star said in an Instagram video from the holy city of Mecca.

“This a beautiful place — beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. And the feeling… I cannot even explain to you.”

The Frenchman posted the video of himself standing in front of the Kaaba, a black cube towards which Muslims turn for their five daily prayers.

Pogba, who will be a key member of France’s World Cup team in Moscow, made a similar pilgrimage last year during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

He told the BBC last week that he and his France team-mates must approach the World Cup finals with the right mindset, as that counts more than technical ability.

The French — World Cup winners in 1998 and finalists in 2006 — are in Group C with Denmark, Australia and Peru and kick off their campaign in the Russian city of Kazan against the Australians on June 16.

Away from the World Cup, and despite speculation over his future at Manchester United, Pogba is determined to lift the Champions League with them in what is his second spell there.

Since his move from Italian giants Juventus in 2016, for which Manchester United paid a club-record fee of £89 million ($119 million), Pogba has won Europa and League Cup medals.

Nwakali Excited About Super Eagles’ Display Despite Loss

Kelechi Nwakali has shown his gladness about the display of the Super Eagles’B team in Tuesday’s 3-2 GOTV Max Cup friendly defeat to Atletico Madrid at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium.

Nwakali was one of the outstanding players for the Salisu Yusuf’s team in the clash where he scored one of Nigeria’s goals.

“It was a good game from our team, I didn’t expect this kind of performance from our team because we came only three days to the game,” the Arsenal midfielder sa8d in his post-match interview.

“We thank God for the opportunity from the coach. The team build-up and play was awesome.”

On his brilliant goal against Atletico Madrid, Nwakali said: “It was a thing of joy for his achieving the feat. We will work harder and keep pushing until we get there.”

Nwakali’s sublime hit from range in the 31st minute gave the Super Eagles B team the lead but Angel Correa restored parity for the newly crowned UEFA Europa League champions a minute later.

Fernando Torres came on as a second half substitute to make it 2-1 for Atletico Madrid in the 64th minute before Usman Mohammed levelled scores for the Nigerian side after bamboozle the Atletico defence with lovely foot work in the penalty area.

Borja Baston sealed the win for Atletico Madrid five minutes from time, firing in off a defence-splitting pass.​

Nwakali also played down his exclusion from Nigeria’s provisional squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

“The coach decides who he picks and I believe he has a right to do so.”

On the chances of the Super Eagles at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Nwakali said Gernot Rohr’s side possess quality players to deliver in Russia.

“We have the players to succeed in Russia if they put their mind to it,” he added.

Guzman To Replace Injured Romero

Jorge Sampaoli the chief coach of Argentina has invited Tigres UANL goalkeeper, Nahuel Guzman to his team for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia according to a tweet from the official handle of the Argentine FA.

The 32-year-old Guzman who has won six caps for Argentina will be in between the sticks in replacement of Sergio Romero who has been ruled out due to knee injury.

Chelsea’s Willy Caballero and River Plate’s Franco Armani are the other goal keepers in the squad for  Jorge Sampaoli’s squad.

Meanwhile, Lionel Messi has arrived the Argentina pre-World Cup training camp in Buenos Aires.

The Barcelona star led the Catalan giants to a domestic double last season scoring 34 LaLiga goals which earned him a record fifth European Golden Shoe.

Argentina face Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in Group D of 2018 FIFA World Cup, hoping to go one step further than their loss to Germany in the 2014 final.

Kane To Captain England To The World Cup

 

Tottenham striker Harry Kane has been the skipper of the three lions for the upcoming world cup mundial staging in Russia.

England boss Gareth Southgate named the prolific striker the captain during a meeting with the squad at St. George’s Park on Monday night.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier had formerly taken up the role  for England under Southgate but Kane has been selected to wear the arm band.

“It is an amazing honour. You always dream of playing for England growing up and to be the captain is that little bit more,” said the Spurs striker.

Manchester United Announced As The Most Valuable Football Team

Manchester United despite being second in the English Premier League this season were crowed the most valuable football team in the world according to a report by accounting firm KPMG on Wednesday.

The Red Devils’ overall value went up by five percent in comparison to 2017 to more than 3.2 billion euros (£2.8 billion pounds, $3.77 billion), knocking off Real Madrid on 2.9 billion euros and FC Barcelona on 2.8 billion euros.

“We calculate the assets of each club, if they own a stadium for example, the value of the players, but also the value of the brand or image with advertising contracts and their reach on social networks,” said Jacques Boussuge, head of sports advisory at KPMG.

Of the 32 European clubs assessed, Bayern Munich came fourth with 2.55 billion euros, Juventus were ninth on 1.3 billion euros, with Paris Saint-Germain in 11th place, with an estimated value of 1.14 billion euros.

“PSG is progressing… but it takes time and is limited by financial fair play regulations,” Boussuge said.

In total, the financial value of the 32 clubs reached an estimated 32.5 billion euros, a 9 percent increase on 2017.

Danny Jordaan Faces Second Sexual Assault Complaint

South African Football Association president and Confederation of African Football executive Danny Jordaan is facing a second sexual assault complaint, it was reported on Sunday.

The mass-circulation Johannesburg-based Sunday Times said an unnamed 40-year-old woman filed a complaint with police this week against the 66-year-old football official.

She alleges Jordaan, one of the senior organisers of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, sexually assaulted her on three occasions.

The Sunday Times reported that the woman is a prominent author and the niece of a top politician.

Last November, singer and former South African lawmaker Jennifer Ferguson said she was sexually assaulted by Jordaan 25 years ago.

Ferguson later flew to South Africa from her home in Sweden to lay a charge with the police against Jordaan.

Jordaan’s lawyer, Mamodupi Mohlala, denounced the latest complaint, saying it was an attempt to make his client “ineligible” to seek a second term as South African football boss.

The national association are scheduled to hold presidential elections this Saturday and Jordaan is the lone candidate.

“This is another attempt to discredit our client in the media,” Mohlala told AFP.

“The only place for these charges is in court and we call once again on the media and the public to allow justice to do its job.”

The police refused to comment.

(AFP)

They Don’t Deserve to Win- Mourinho

Manchester United Jose Mourinho bemoaned old foe Antonio Conte’s tactics as his side failed to breakdown Chelsea’s defensive wall in losing the FA Cup final 1-0 on Saturday.
Eden Hazard’s 22nd minute penalty proved the difference between the teams to ensure Mourinho’s second season at Old Trafford ends without a trophy.

United enjoyed a far better Premier League season than Chelsea as Conte’s men failed to even qualify for the Champions League by finishing fifth just a year after claiming the title.

However, despite finishing second in the league to a record-breaking Manchester City side, Mourinho’s approach has been much-criticised this season for lacking the flair and invention displayed by City and Champions League finalists Liverpool.

“I congratulate them because they won but I don’t think they deserved to win,” said Mourinho.

“I’m curious to read today and tomorrow, to watch, to listen (to) your (the media’s) opinions.”

Mourinho and Conte have consistently clashed since the latter arrived in England just under two years ago.

But tactically they have plenty in common as despite Mourinho’s protestations, Chelsea’s defensive resistence inspired by Conte’s organisation is exactly what Mourinho has made his own trademark in a trophy-laden career.

Mourinho claimed on the eve of the game that he didn’t understand the media’s interpretation of “entertaining”.

In the Portuguese’s estimations, racking up 6-0 victories is not as exciting as “emotion until the end, the game open, everyone on the edge of their seats, both dug-outs nervous and tense with the result in doubt.”

The final did deliver on that promise as Chelsea ‘keeper Thibaut Courtois saved brilliantly from Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba headed wide as United tried in vein to force the game to extra time.

Lukaku backlash
Mourinho hasn’t been afraid to publicly criticise his players this season, most notably lambasting his squad after winning their Cup quarter-final against Brighton in March.

However, one of two exceptions that night along with Nemanja Matic was Romelu Lukaku.

The Belgian striker has scored 27 goals in all competitions in his debut season at Old Trafford.

But even he bore the brunt of Mourinho’s frustration for only declaring himself fit enough for a late cameo appearance from the bench due to an ankle injury.

“When a player tells you he is not ready to play, not ready to start, then the question is how many minutes you think you can? How can you convince a player?,” he added.

“Chelsea are not stupid. They know our team without Lukaku does not have a presence, so putting eight or nine players in front of the box they knew they would be dominant in that direct football.

“We tried everything by other ways but they had a huge block of compacted players.”

The damage at the other end was done early on when Chelsea capitalised on a fast start, and a fine individual display by Hazard.

The diminutive Belgian excelled in the space between United’s defence and midfield despite Mourinho’s best efforts to man mark him with Ander Herrera.

Hazard pounced on indecision by Phil Jones to burst clear on goal and was then brought down by the England international as he prepared to shoot before converting the spot-kick himself.

“They only play long ball,” insisted Mourinho. “When you play against a team so predictable, it is quite easy to adapt to it. But of course Hazard is a very good player and of course he created a penalty.”

Source: APF