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

Roman Abramovich Misses Chelsea Match

Russian state media on Sunday cited an unconfirmed report that Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich’s British visa has run out, while his spokesman declined to comment.
Russian state news agency TASS and other media picked up a report on The Bell website, which said an acquaintance of Abramovich and two in his inner circle had told it the billionaire’s British visa ran out three weeks ago and he is waiting for a new one.

Amid a spiralling diplomatic crisis between Britain and Russia over the poisoning of a former Russian double agent, there have been calls in Britain for sanctions that would hurt super-rich Russians who have homes in London.

Abramovich formally has residency in Jersey in the Channel Islands, a tax haven, but has never taken it up.

The Sunday Times put his wealth at 9.3 billion pounds ($12.5 billion) on its Rich List this year. He has owned Chelsea since 2003.

Abramovich’s spokesman John Mann told AFP he could not comment because “it’s a personal issue.” Mann gave the same response to TASS.

The Bell published the Russian-language report on Sunday. It said it had received “no comment” responses from Abramovich’s spokesman and the Home Office.

AFP also requested a comment on the issue from the Home Office in London, but none was immediately forthcoming.

The report quoted a source in Abramovich’s entourage as saying that Britain had not refused to issue a new visa to Abramovich but was considering his application.

Russia’s Sport-Express website cited sources in Abramovich’s entourage as saying that it had taken a long time for his application to be processed but he was due to get a new British visa shortly.

The Bell was started by the former editor-in-chief of the RBC media group, Elizaveta Osetinskaya. Under her leadership, RBC was known for high-profile investigations.

AFP.

Chelsea Defeats Man U

Manchester United paid the penalty, literally, for a subdued Wembley first half as an Eden Hazard spot-kick won Chelsea the Emirates FA Cup final at Wembley.

A legendary fightback looked on the cards with a thrilling second-half display by Jose Mourinho’s side, yet the Reds were unable to cancel out the 22nd-minute winner from Hazard. United’s half of the stadium were enthralled and rejuvenated by a brilliant rally in the second period but it was that opening half which cost their team the trophy.

Wembley was done up to the nines with all its pre-match pomp and ceremony. Pyrotechnics, flame throwers, flags and a fly past by the Royal Air Force all added to the build-up to the big occasion. There were also two huge banners hanging down from both ends of the stadium to honour the late Ray Wilkins who played for both clubs. The much loved and respected midfielder died last month at the age of 61.

United boss Jose Mourinho had given Romelu Lukaku every chance to be fit to be named in his cup final line-up. Having injured his ankle last month against Arsenal, the striker had been back home in Belgium attempting to make a 100 per cent recovery. He is United’s top scorer in the competition this season with five goals but despite all the best efforts, the medics and Mourinho decided he couldn’t be risked from the start.

Lukaku did make the bench and had to watch his fellow countryman Eden Hazard pretty much dominate the first half of the final. The Belgian midfielder was a thorn in United’s side as he grabbed centre stage above anyone else.

A distribution error from Phil Jones enabled Chelsea to break on United in the ninth minute and Hazard almost prospered but his drive was stopped at his near post by David De Gea’s right leg. It was a warning shot for United.

There were two shouts for spot kicks from both sides but referee Michael Oliver got both calls correct after the challenges on Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alexis correct. The official was also bang on in the biggest moment of the first half.

Hazard again had the opportunity to run at United as Chelsea sprang from their own half and the midfielder got ahead in the race with Jones. United’s centre-back was struggling and had to lunge in to tackle Hazard but the attempt only upended the Belgian and Oliver had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

There was little argument among the Reds’ ranks and in the 12-yard shoot-out, even De Gea couldn’t read Hazard and he went the wrong way as he put Chelsea 1-0 ahead.

At that stage, United could not find any fire or cutting edge to disrupt Chelsea’s comfortable afternoon. Only late first-half efforts by Jones at the far post and Rashford getting snuffed out in the penalty box suggested the Reds might be capable of another fightback.

The Reds certainly had more verve and vitality after Mourinho sent his team out early for the second half. The players looked ready to mount a customary comeback and finally started asking Chelsea some difficult questions.

The fans at United’s end of the stadium were on their feet with something to roar about, most notably when United surged into the danger area in numbers and the attack ended with a crashing drive from Rashford that Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois found tough to handle.

The Reds were looking far more dangerous and the barometer was Chelsea boss Antonio Conte who got more and more animated in the technical area in an attempt to rally his side. Mourinho was far more composed with hands on hips as he realised his dressing room words had had a positive effect yet again.

United’s pressure was mounting, Chelsea’s composure was shredded, and the intensity looked to have paid off in the 63rd minute when Alexis stabbed home from close range after following up a loose ball but the Chilean was flagged offside.

Nevertheless this was the rise in the Reds’ ferocity and fire that the final needed. The Blues were now crumbling as the Reds seized the upper hand. All that was needed was an equaliser.

However, it was the Londoners who almost scored the game’s second goal. The Blues threatened to snuff out United’s gallant rally in the 70th minute when they broke away and the Reds needed another De Gea super stop to deny Marcos Alonso.

United responded immediately to that attack as the Cup final lived up to the billing. The Reds roared back and a Jesse Lingard and Rashford link-up saw Courtois deny the latter in a one-to-one situation.

The pair of Academy graduates were then substituted, with Lukaku and Anthony Martial coming on to pose Conte’s reeling side new problems. But it was Nemanja Matic against his old club who thrashed in a piledriver that again caused Courtois trouble and the Belgian keeper, who seemingly doesn’t like to hold shots, once more batted it away with two fists unconvincingly.

Relentless United were piling it on and Paul Pogba came close with eight minutes to go with a glancing header from an Antonio Valencia corner. With the urgent need for a late goal, Mourinho played his last personnel card. He sacrificed Jones in defence for Juan Mata with three minutes of normal time to go. But the Reds had run out of steam and Chelsea, who had been on the back foot since the interval, were able to survive and hold out for a slender victory.

THE LINE-UPS

United: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Jones (Mata 87), Young; Matic, Pogba, Herrera, Lingard (Martial 73), Alexis, Rashford (Lukaku 73).

Subs not used: Romero, Bailly, Darmian, McTominay.

Booked: Jones, Valencia.

Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Rudiger, Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Bakayoko, Alonso, Hazard (Willian 90), Giroud (Morata 89).

Subs not used: Caballero, Zappacosta, T. Chalobah, Barkley, Pedro.

Booked: Courtois.

TALKING POINTS

Comeback kings almost did it again
United’s ability to bounce back was demonstrated in the previous round at Wembley, in the semi-final against Spurs, when the Reds recovered from an early 1-0 deficit to win a place in the final. But although we knew Jose Mourinho would not settle for the first-half effort against Chelsea, his team just couldn’t find the breakthrough goal that surely would have flattened Antonio Conte’s physically flagging side.

The Reds will have to settle for second place
Yes, a piece of silverware would have been a superb end to the season. But United have still achieved a highest league placing and points tally since 2013 so there is much to be pleased about and much to build on in the 2018/19 campaign.

Source: HCL

Salisu Calls Omoyele, Ashadi, Nwakali, 20 Others For Friendly With Atletico

Ahead of Tuesday’s glamour friendly match with newly –crowned Europa League kings, Atletico Madrid FC of Spain at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, Super Eagles’ B Head Coach Salisu Yusuf has invited 23 players, among them highly –rated Plateau United striker Tosin Omoyele and Katsina United defender Destiny Ashadi.

 

There were also call-ups for Akwa United FC goalkeeper Olorunleke Ojo, Enyimba FC forward Isiaka Oladuntoye, FC IfeanyiUbah defender Adeleye Olamilekan and Lobi Stars’ duo of Olufemi Kayode and Ebube Duru.

 

A sprinkle of foreign –based actors, including the nimble –footed Alhassan Ibrahim, former U17 World Cup –winning captain Musa Muhammed and the Nwakali brothers (Chidiebere and Kelechi) was also included.

 

All invited players are expected to arrive at the Bolton White Apartments Hotel, Abuja on Friday, 18th May before the contingent moves to Uyo at the weekend.

 

INVITED PLAYERS

 

Olufemi Kayode (Lobi Stars)

Olorunleke Ojo (Akwa United)

Olufemi Thomas (Rangers International)

Musa Muhammed (Lokomotiv Plovdiv)

Stanley Okoroma (MFM FC)

Ebube Duru (Lobi Stars)

Ikouwem Utin (Enyimba FC)
Adeleye Olamilekan (FC IfeanyiUbah)

Austin Opara (MFM FC)

Isiaka Oladuntoye (Enyimba FC)

Chinedu Ajana (Katsina United)

Raphael Ayagwa (Plateau United)

Destiny Ashadi (Katsina United)

Kelechi Nwakali (MVV Maastricht, Netherlands)

Alhassan Ibrahim (FK Austrian Wien)

Chidiebere Nwakali (Aberdeen FC, Scotland)

Usman Mohammed (Norway)

Dayo Ojo (Sunshine Stars)

Emem Eduok (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey)

Sadiq Umar (NAC Breda, Netherlands)

*Tosin Omoyele* (Plateau United)

Kadiri Samadi (Lobi Stars)

Ibrahim Alhassan (Kano Pillars)

Arteta Fits The Bill For Arsenal Manager Says Wenger

Mikel Arteta has “all of the qualities” required to become Arsenal manager, their legendary former handler Arsene Wenger told Bein Sports.

The 36-year-old Spaniard — who played 150 matches under Wenger at Arsenal — is imbued with the spirt of the Gunners, added Wenger, although the Frenchman was at pains to say he didn’t wish to influence the board’s decision.

Arteta, presently an assistant coach to Pep Guardiola at champions Manchester City, is one of several names that have been linked to filling the huge vacuum left after Wenger stepped down following 22 years in charge.

“He was a leader, has good passion for the game, knows the club and knows what is important at the club,” said Wenger.

“Overall he has the qualities but I don’t want to influence that publicly.

“I believe it is important they make their choice in an objective way and after that decision I will support him.”

Other names that have been mentioned include Massimiliano Allegri — though he says he would have to be fired to leave Italian champions Juventus — former Chelsea and Real Madrid handler Carlo Ancelotti, who reportedly last month turned down the chance to coach Italy, and Arsenal icon Patrick Vieira.

Arsenal — who finished without a trophy last season and failed to qualify for next term’s Champions League — are confident a new manager will be named before the World Cup begins on June 14.

(AFP)

Wembley Specialist Sanchez Seeks Familiar FA Cup Liftoff At United

Alexis Sanchez heads to Wembley for Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea hoping the magic of the cup will again prove the inspiration needed for the Chilean to kickstart a slow start to his Manchester United career.

Sanchez is no plucky underdog. He reportedly signed the most lucrative contract in Premier League history when penning a four-and-a-half year contract at Old Trafford in January.

However, the home of English football and its end-of-season showpiece is where Sanchez has often shone brightest.

Sanchez arrived at United from Arsenal to much fanfare as his mid-season signing was a rare victory for United over cross-city rivals and Premier League champions Manchester City this season in winning the race for the his signature.

Yet, Sanchez has so far failed to deliver on that expectation — scoring just three times in 17 appearances.

By a distance his most important goal for United came in the FA Cup semi-final last month as his equaliser propelled Jose Mourinho’s men to a 2-1 win over Tottenham and his third FA Cup final in four seasons in England.

He scored in the 2015 and 2017 finals to inspire Arsenal to victories over Aston Villa and Chelsea.

It was also Sanchez’s eighth goal in eight appearances at Wembley for club and country.

– “Exhausted” –

Mourinho has been a fierce defender of his marquee recruit with the Portuguese blaming the timing of his move for Sanchez’s inability to yet hit top form.

“What is wrong is that he came at the worst moment of the season… that’s why I don’t like the winter market very much. I think this was a chance that we didn’t want to lose and we took it,” said Mourinho.

“Hopefully next season he will be better, which is what we think is going to happen.

“I am not a big fan of buying players in the winter market because of the period of adaptation, especially with attackers.”

Mourinho’s hunch that next season will see a significant improvement is helped by Chile’s failure to qualify for the World Cup, handing Sanchez a first tournament-free summer for four years.

Saturday will be his 301st game in the past five seasons for club and country.

On international duty in March, he admitted that toll had left him “psychologically and emotionally exhausted”, especially when at his best, Sanchez’s game relies on explosive bursts to get beyond defences.

“He’s not afraid to take responsibility,” Mourinho added. “Not afraid to try to make things to happen, when he feels that he’s not as dangerous as you’d like him to be, he drops back, he tries things, he tries to come to building-up areas. When he makes mistakes, he tries to compensate immediately.”

Despite his workload, Sanchez has made a habit of ending the season strongly in FA Cup finals.

Should he repeat his feat from last season by beating Chelsea and join very esteemed company by scoring in a third final, Sanchez’s mistakes since arriving in Manchester will be forgiven and forgotten.

AFP

NFF Electoral Committee Rolls Out Timetable

  • Aspirants To Pick Up Forms As From Monday

Those aspiring for seats on the Executive Committee of Nigeria Football Federation can begin to actually get ready as sale of forms will begin on Monday, 21st May 2018.

At a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, the NFF Electoral Committee headed by Barrister Mohammed Sani Katu disclosed that sale of forms, endorsements of the same and return of the forms will hold between the period Monday, 21st May and Monday, 4th June – a duration of two weeks. This is as far as the process will go before the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup finals, at which Nigeria’s Super Eagles is one of the 32 participating teams.

Screening of candidates will take place between Thursday, 19th July and Saturday, 21st July 2018 – after the FIFA World Cup finals. Names of successful candidates will be released two days after the last day of screening –that is, Monday, 23rd July.

Unsuccessful candidates would be able to file their protests/appeals between Tuesday, 24th July and Thursday, 26th July, while the same will be heard on Friday, 27th July and Saturday, 28th July.

Final list of candidates for the elections will be made public on Monday, 30th July 2018, with the elections to hold on Saturday, 29th September 2018. This, according to Barrister Katu, would be subject to approval by the Congress of Nigeria Football Federation and any amendments to the NFF Statutes 2010, in view of the NFF Bill that is in process.

The members of the NFF Electoral Committee and the NFF Electoral Appeals Committee for the forthcoming elections were elected at the NFF General Assembly that held in Jos, Plateau State on Thursday, 19th October 2017. It was at one of its recent meetings that the electoral panel elected Barrister Mohammed Sani Katu as its chairman.

Katu heads the electoral body that also has Mr. Sani Salawu, Barrister S. C. A. Umeha, Barrister Olusola Oke and Mr. Mohammed Manzo as members, while the NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, is the secretary. Standby members are Hon. Isong Isang and Barrister Mohammed Aliyu Sambo.

A. U. Mustapha (Senior Advocate of Nigeria), who is also President of the CAF Appeals Panel, heads the NFF Electoral Appeals Committee, with Mr. Mojeed Adegbindin and Barrister Gbwen Alex Gbejule as members, and NFF Head of Legal Unit, Barrister Okey Obi, as secretary. Standby members are Sir Emma Ochiagha and Barrister Mohammed Zanna Mala.

Wagner Resigns From Germany Duty After World Cup Snub

Bayern Munich’s out-spoken striker Sandro Wagner has reacted to his surprise omission from Germany’s provisional World Cup squad by retiring from international duty.

“I hereby resign immediately from the national team,” Wagner told German daily Bild.

“For me, it is clear that I do not seem to fit with the coaching team in the way I am always open, honest and address things directly.”

The 30-year-old took a thinly-veiled swipe at head coach Joachim Loew for leaving him out of the 27-man squad, announced on Tuesday, for next month’s World Cup as strikers Timo Werner, Mario Gomez and Nils Petersen were selected instead.

Wagner, who made his debut in 2017, helped an inexperienced squad win the Confederations Cup in Russia last July and has scored five goals in just eight internationals.

“I would lie if I said that I am not disappointed, the World Cup would have been a great thing,” said Wagner.

“Of course, I can’t take it too seriously, because, as I have said many times before, there are far more important things in life besides football.”

Wagner’s omission was a surprise given his impressive form this year for Bayern, the club he joined in January as Robert Lewandowski’s back-up, scoring an impressive nine goals in 17 games, mainly off the bench.

He is understandably red-faced having said in numerous post-match interviews this year that he expected to make the World Cup squad.

However, his out-spoken nature clearly counted against him in the appraisal of Loew, who must cut four names from the provisional list for Germany’s final 23-man squad, which must be submitted by June 4, for the World Cup finals.

Germany open their World Cup campaign against Mexico in Moscow on June 17 and also face South Korea and Sweden in Group F.

Griezmann Fires Atletico Madrid To Europa League Title

Antoine Griezmann was the hero for Atletico Madrid as the French striker scored twice in their 3-0 win over Marseille in Wednesday’s Europa League final in Lyon, allowing his club to win the trophy for the third time in nine seasons.

It is Griezmann’s first major title as an Atletico player, and a fitting way to bow out if he leaves at the season’s end, with Barcelona tipped as his next destination.

Griezmann — brought up in Macon, just 70 kilometres from Lyon — scored once in each half, his lethal finishes coming either side of Marseille losing Dimitri Payet to injury, the French team’s captain coming off in tears.

Griezmann now has 29 goals for the season, although it was Gabi’s late strike that put the seal on the victory.

“This is a reward for me after I left home aged 14, for all the work I have put in, the suffering,” Griezmann, who has spent his whole career in Spain but had only previously won one Spanish Super Cup, told beIN Sports.

“There has been joy and sadness, but I am so happy and I hope to be able to live moments like this again.”

Marseille had been desperate to win the second European trophy in their history, on French soil, 25 years after beating AC Milan in the inaugural Champions League final.

But it was a flat night for their huge support, who threatened to ruin the occasion by lighting flares and setting off firecrackers at one end of the stadium, with some even being thrown onto the pitch towards the end.

The game carried on regardless, with Rudi Garcia’s side well beaten by Diego Simeone’s Atletico.

“We let our chance go in the first half. Firstly, we had the best chance to go ahead, and secondly an error from us meant we fell behind,” said Garcia.

“The scoreline is harsh but the better team won.”

Atletico’s triumph comes after agonising defeats to Real Madrid in the Champions League finals of 2014 and 2016. They had previously won the Europa League in 2010 and again in 2012, the latter coming just six months after Simeone’s appointment.

Simeone served a touchline ban here, meaning assistant German ‘Mono’ Burgos nominally took charge, but that did not perturb them on the field.

Having fallen into this competition by virtue of a group-stage exit from the Champions League, Atletico were the favourites against a Marseille side whose continental campaign had begun in the third qualifying round last July.

– Marseille’s regrets –

Just being in this final, their 19th European game of the season, was an achievement for Garcia’s team. But they will look back on the evening with regrets.

After all, they had started well and had a great chance to open the scoring inside four minutes, Valere Germain shooting over after being slipped in by Payet.

It was the kind of chance that does not come up often against an Atletico side who had kept 33 clean sheets in all competitions this season before this game.

Marseille were then punished for sloppy defending as they fell behind in the 21st minute.

Goalkeeper Steve Mandanda opted to play a pass to Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, deep in midfield, rather than clear long. The Cameroonian’s attempt at a touch was awful, and Gabi pounced on the loose ball, sending Griezmann through to finish.

That subdued the Marseille fans, and things got worse for them when Payet, their captain and most influential player who had been struggling with a hamstring problem ahead of the game, came off crying just after the half-hour mark.

OM needed to take the game to Atletico in the second half, but instead they conceded again just four minutes after the restart.

It was a glorious goal, Griezmann finding Koke and then latching onto the return ball as he stormed into the box before lifting a deft finish over Mandanda and in.

Substitute Kostas Mitroglou nearly set up a grandstand finale, his header coming off Jan Oblak’s post, before Gabi’s low drive in the 89th minute made it 3-0.

(AFP)

Saudi FA Asks FIFA To Withdraw Referee From World Cup For Offering To Fix Match

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) has asked FIFA to remove referee Fahad Al Mirdasi from the list of referees for the upcoming 2018 World Cup in Russia after he was involved in a bribery incident.

SAFF has already banned Al Mirdasi for life after he asked for bribe to influence the outcome of a match.

Al Mirdasi, 32, was hit with a life-long suspension by the SAFF having confessed to offering to fix last Saturday’s King’s Cup final between Al-Ittihad and Al-Faisaly in Saudi Arabia.

Denied from participating in any football-related activity for life, the SAFF has also called on FIFA to withdraw Al Mirdasi from next month’s World Cup, while approving his life ban on an international level.

“Following the appointment of the referee, Fahad Al Mirdasi, to manage the match between Al-Ittihad and Al-Faisaly in the Cup final, Mr. Hamad Al-Saniaa, the president of Al-Ittihad club, addressed the Saudi football federation,” a statement from SAFF reads.

“He confirmed that he had evidence which highlights Al Mirdasi offering help for money.

“After the president of Ittihad club presented what was in his possession to the Federation of Football, the Saudi Federation sent this conversation to the Chairman of the General Directorate of Sport, who in turn informed the competent authorities in all details.

“Al Mirdasi was in custody and had been presented to the administrative investigation. Following the investigations, the Saudi Federation received the report of the competent authorities, which proved the charge against the referee under his personal confession of the request for bribery.”

Al Mirdasi was one of the referees in last year’s Confederations Cup in Russia, where he oversaw the third-place match between Mexico and Portugal. He also also officiated in the 2016 Olympic Games.

It is now up to FIFA to determine what action should be taken on the global level.

Ighalo Wins CSL Player Of The Month Award For April

Changchun Yatai striker, Odion Ighalo has been named the Chinese Super League player for the month of April.

The Super Eagles striker celebrated his April award by retweeting his official fans congratulatory message via @judeighalofans on Wednesday.

“Best Player Of The Month Of April!!! Congratulations Odion Ighalo!!!!!!,” reads the tweet with a picture of the Nigeria international posing with the award.

Ighalo scored six goals in the month of April to win the award.

The former Watford striker has netted seven times in 10 CSL games this season and is expected to feature for Changchun Yatai when they host Beijing Guoan in Saturday’s Chinese Super League clash.

Ighalo is also listed in Nigeria’s 30 man provisional squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.