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‘Barca Under Brutal Pressure After Our Golden Era’ – Xavi



Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez said Monday his time in the team as a player helped set a high bar which the club are now struggling to reach in the Champions League.

The Catalan giants won four editions of the competition between 2006 and 2015, and have endured some humiliating eliminations since.

Barcelona let leads slip against Roma and Liverpool and were thrashed by Bayern Munich in recent years, while they have failed to make it out of the group stage in the past two seasons.

“There is huge demand on us, the bar is so high — this is Barca,” Xavi told a news conference.

“This is a consequence of the Barca of the past few years, of our era, as a player. In 10 years, from 2006 to 2015, four Champions Leagues were won.”

The coach said the club’s objective was to make it through the group phase, ahead of their opener in the competition against Belgian champions Royal Antwerp on Tuesday.

“We like challenges, but the level of demand is so high, it’s brutal,” he continued.

“It’s a consequence of inheriting a brilliant era, the best in the history of this club.”

However Xavi said his players were coping well and excited to start their new European campaign.

“Looking in the faces of the players, the joy, I see hope,” added Xavi. “A lot of hope and desire.”

Barcelona spent little in the summer as they continue to endure financial difficulties, but were able to sign Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo on loan.

They also replaced Sergio Busquets with former Barca youth team product Oriol Romeu, signed from Girona.

The midfielder, 31, said he did not imagine he would be back at this level after leaving Barcelona in 2011 for Chelsea, later joining Southampton in 2015.

“I’d be lying to you if I said that when you go to Southampton you think you’ll be playing a key role at Barcelona (one day), it’s hard to imagine,” said Romeu.

“Football has many twists and turns. I’m happy, and hopeful of doing a good job.”


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Paris 2024: Super Falcons Lose 1-0 To Canada In Friendly



Nigeria’s Super Falcons fell to a slim 1-0 defeat against Canada in their friendly at the La Quinta Football Centre, Malaga, on Wednesday night.

Olympic champions Canada dominated the opening exchanges and scored the decisive goal in the 18th minute.

The Super Falcons had numerous chances to equalise but were let down by their poor finishing.

Paris Saint-Germain’s new signing Jennifer Echegini hit the woodwork seven minutes from time.

The defeat was Super Falcons’ first in 2024.

Randy Waldrum’s side will now shift attention to their opening fixture against Brazil at the 2024 Olympics.

The Group C clash will hold at the Stade Bordeaux next Thursday.


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Mikeli Spotted With Ancelotti, Modric At Real Madrid Training Camp



Former Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi, has been spotted at Real Madrid’s training camp.

Mikel Obi posted a couple of photos of himself on Instagram stories.

One of the photos saw him pose with Luka Modric, who will become the new Madrid captain.

“Congratulations on extending your contract,” Mikel Obi wrote.

Modric has extended his stay with the LaLiga champions until June 2025.

In another video, he posted himself in conversation with Lucas Vazquez with the caption: “We all used to hate pre-season training. I get it.”

There are also pictures of Mikel Obi, manager Carlo Ancelotti and Los Blancos legend Raul Gonzalez.


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“Moment Of Madness” – Pinnick Speaks On Osimhen’s Rant Against Finidi



Former President of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Amaju Pinnick has described Victor Osimhen’s recent outburst against former Super Eagles head coach, Finidi George “as unfortunate.”

Osimhen blasted Finidi for reportedly questioning his dedication to the Super Eagles after he pulled out of the team’s 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and the Benin Republic.

The Super Eagles played out a 1-1 draw with Bafana Bafana of South Africa while they lost 2-1 to the Cheetahs of Benin Republic.

The disappointing results put the team in danger of missing out on a place on the Mundial for the second consecutive edition.

Pinnick revealed he spoke with Osimhen and expressed disappointment over the footballer’s action.

“Let me dwell on Osimhen’s case. It was quite unfortunate. That ranting was so unfortunate. I put a call through to Osimhen and I made him understand that I didn’t like what he did and he spoke to me with remorse. And I told him to channel his remorse to the appropriate quarters,” Pinnick said on Arise TV.

“Osimhen has always come to me, we discovered Osimhen. It was during my first tenure. In fact, that was the first trophy I won as the president of NFF when he led us to Chile and he was the highest goal scorer.

“I don’t know what went wrong. It was just a moment of madness so to speak. But, that is not the Osimhen that I know. Osimhen comes to me as a very humble boy, I don’t know others and we have maintained that relationship. “


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