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Messi tells Barcelona who to appoint as Xavi’s replacement

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Former Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has reportedly recommended Marcelo Gallardo as the successor to manager Xavi Hernandez.

According to El Nacional, Messi has advised Barcelona to consider bringing in Gallardo, the former manager of River Plate, to take over at Camp Nou after Xavi’s departure.

The report suggests that Gallardo, who is currently managing Saudi Pro League side Al-Ittihad, would be willing to leave his current position if Barcelona were to extend an offer to him.

Barcelona faces a significant decision as they prepare for the summer, needing to find a replacement for departing manager Xavi, who announced his intention to step down at the end of the season. Therefore, the Catalan club must identify the most suitable candidate to succeed the Spaniard.

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Werder Bremen’s fastest player, Njinmah speaks on playing for Nigeria

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Justin Njinmah, identified as the Bundesliga’s 12th fastest player, has addressed reports indicating interest from both Nigeria and Germany in acquiring his services.

Media outlets in both Germany and Nigeria have linked the Hamburg player with potential inclusion in the Super Eagles squad, considering his origins in both countries.

Having commenced his career with Borussia Dortmund, Njinmah has the option to represent Nigeria through his father’s nationality or Germany, where he was born and raised.

Following a standout season at Werder Bremen, Njinmah is being closely monitored by both nations, although Germany appears to have a stronger chance of securing his allegiance.

At 23 years old, Njinmah recorded a top speed of 35.53 km/h, earning him the title of the Bundesliga’s 12th fastest player.

In response to the reports, Njinmah stated, “Nick Woltemade showed me the article in the dressing room. When you hear that you’re being considered for the national team and that they’re taking notice of you, it motivates every player to strive for improvement.”

He added, “If you continue to accelerate now, achieving that goal might not be as distant as you once thought.”

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2024 Olympic Qualifier: South Africa boss Ellis sets sight on Super Falcons clash

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Desiree Ellis, the head coach of South Africa’s Banyana Banyana, has cautioned her team against becoming complacent as they aim to set up a showdown with long-standing rivals, Nigeria.

The Super Falcons secured a spot in the final round of the 2024 Olympic Games qualifiers by defeating Cameroon 1-0 in Abuja on Monday.

The African champions are scheduled to face Tanzania in the second leg of the third-round fixture on Tuesday (today).

In the first leg, Banyana Banyana claimed a 3-0 victory over Tanzania on their turf last Friday, with Jermaine Seopesenwe, Thembi Kgatlana, and Hildah Magaia finding the net for the reigning African champions.

While the return leg might seem like a straightforward affair for South Africa, Ellis is unwilling to underestimate the challenge.

“We need to complete the task at home. We must not allow ourselves to become complacent. A single goal in the match could alter the situation,” Ellis cautioned, as reported by CAFonline.

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Serie A: Osimhen on target in Napoli’s draw at Cagliari

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Victor Osimhen found the net for the second game in a row as Napoli settled for a 1-1 draw against Cagliari.

Osimhen put Napoli ahead in the 65th minute when Giancomo Raspadori intercepted Tommaso Augello’s pass and delivered a cross to the back post for Osimhen to head home.

This marked the Nigeria international’s eighth goal of the season in the league.

Despite numerous opportunities, Napoli failed to extend their lead, and Zito Luvumbo leveled the score for the home team in added time.

With 37 points from 25 matches, Napoli climbed to ninth place in the standings.

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