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Ronaldo leapfrogs Messi in Forbes list of top-earning players

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Manchester United FC forward, Cristiano Ronaldo has reclaimed top spot in the list of the world’s highest-paid soccer players from Lionel Messi, according to Forbes.

Ronaldo, 36, rejoined United from Juventus in August after 12 years away, while Messi has swapped boyhood club FC Barcelona to join Paris St Germain.

Forbes said Ronaldo, among the world’s most popular athletes with over 500 million followers across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, is set to make $125 million before taxes in the 2021-22 season.

He will also earn $70 million from salary and bonuses at United.

The rest will come from endorsements and partnerships with brands including Nike, Herbalife, Clear and his CR7 brand.

Messi, who topped 2020 list, will be paid a salary of $75 million with an additional $35 million from endorsements for total expected earnings of $110 million.

The Argentine’s strike partner at PSG Neymar, who in May signed a new contract until 2025, is third on the list with total earnings of $95 million.

Another PSG player, Kylian Mbappe, $43 million, is fourth on the Forbes list while Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, $41 million, is fifth.

Top 10 highest earners in soccer:

Cristiano Ronaldo – $125 million

Lionel Messi – $110 million

Neymar – $95 million

Kylian Mbappe – $43 million

Mohamed Salah – $41 million

Robert Lewandowski – $35 million

Andres Iniesta – $35 million

Paul Pogba – $34 million

Gareth Bale – $32 million

Eden Hazard – $29 million.

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Kamara to join Manchester United

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Manchester United are in ‘pole position’ to sign midfielder Boubacar Kamara from French Ligue 1 side, Marseille.

Manchester United are now ahead of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Newcastle United and Leeds United in the race to sign the highly sought after midfielder

Kamara’s contract at Marseille expires at the end of the season and from all indications he does not want to renew his deal.

The Sun reports that Marseille want to sell the player for around £10 million, which could prove to be a steal for a player who has already racked up over 100 Ligue 1 appearances.

Kamara now wants around £150,000-a-week following the competition for his signature.

According to the report, Manchester United have already spoken to his representatives.

Manchester United boss, Ralf Rangnick wants to bring a central midfielder to his squad and provide competition for the duo of Fred and Scott McTominay in the engine room.

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I have not resigned as Super Eagles coach, but will hand over to Poseiro– Eguavoen

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Super Eagles Interim coach, Augustine Eguavoen has denied resignation rumour about leaving his position, but will instead hand over to incoming technical adviser, Jose Poseiro.

Nigeria’s exit from the ongoing Cameroon 2021 Africa Cup of Nations after losing 0-1 to Tunisia in the Round of 16, ending Eguavoen’s hopes of keeping the job permanently.

Speaking after Sunday’s loss to Tunisia, Eguavoen announced that he would return to his job as Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) Technical Director, adding that he would leave the decision of who becomes the coach of the team to the Federation.

He said: “I am the interim coach and Technical Director of the NFF, I will go back to my position and allow the Federation to make a decision on the way forward.”

In a chat with The Guardian on Monday, shortly before the team left Garoua for Abuja, Eguavoen said he felt bad that the Super Eagles crashed out of the tournament at such level despite the support from Nigerians.

“I became emotional just like the players at the end of the match, but that is football for you. We tried our best to win, even after Alex Iwobi was given a red card.

“Before then, we had a big chance to change the game, but things didn’t work for us. In the second half, we knew that Kelechi Iheanacho was on yellow and we did not want to risk him. Our game plan then, was to go through the middle and that was why we brought in Alex Iwobi and Sidiq Umar. But the red card to Iwobi affected the plan. I have spoken with the players. I have told Iwobi to move on. He is a young boy and needs to be encouraged.”

On if he resigned immediately after the match as reported in the media, Eguavoen said: “I did not resign. Some people are mischievous. I never said so. I know that you can’t be everybody’s favourite. Such report coming from a journalist is not good.”

Eguavoen also defended President Muhammadu Buhari after he was blamed for the loss after he had called the players and officials of the team before the match.

“Mr. President has been our number one supporter. And like a father, his call to his children was to motivate us. I commend him for the step he took. We appreciate his support for the team.

“It was unfortunate we couldn’t go past the round of 16 in this tournament. We have to put this disappointment behind us as quickly as possible and face the task ahead, which is the qualification for Qatar 2022 World Cup,” he stated.

Eguavoen also went to defend goalkeeper Maduka Okoye in Sunday’s defeat by Tunisia.

“We cannot hold Okoye responsible for the defeat. That will be unfair. The ball came through bodies, and it became difficult for Okoye to see it. I still rate Okoye as one of our best goalkeepers,” Eguavoen said.

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AFCON: Eguavoen no longer Super Eagles coach after knockout defeat

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Augustine Eguavoen has stepped down as the interim coach of the Nigeria national team.

This follows the Super Eagles’ 1-0 defeat to Tunisia in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations round of 16 clash on Sunday.

Eguavoen had led the three-time champions to three straight wins against Egypt, Sudan and Guinea-Bissau.

However, they fell short against a Covid-stricken Tunisian team in the knockout stages.

“What happens next is that I’m the interim coach and Technical Director of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

“I will go back to my position and allow the NFF (to) make a decision on the way forward,” Eguavoen said after the match.

Eguavoen stepped in after Gernot Rohr was sacked last month. However, the NFF announced Jose Peseiro as the new permanent coach before the AFCON kicked off.

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