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Solskjaer Aims to Replicate Spirit of ’99 at Manchester United

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes to replicate the spirit of Manchester United’s treble-winners at Old Trafford as he plots a route back to the top for the club.

Solskjaer, last month appointed as the permanent United boss, famously scored the injury-time winner in the Champions League final when Alex Ferguson’s United side won three trophies in 1999.

The Norwegian, preparing his side to face Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at home on Wednesday, intends to build the side around the principles that worked so well 20 years ago.

“We challenged each other every day in training,” he told ESPN. “There were fights and there was an inner justice that I’ve not seen in too many teams.

“We never, ever accepted anyone being below par in training. We kicked each other and we had to win every single day. That moved over into games and we never gave in. There was an unbelievable team spirit.

“I want my players to really push each other and demand 100 per cent attitude from each other every single day. That’s the only way you can improve and it’s the only way you can win.

“We had something special. It’s a different group now and the challenge is, ‘How can I make these players winners as we were?’”

United are currently sixth in the Premier League but are just three points behind third-placed Tottenham and are still in contention in the Champions League.

United are the underdogs for the Barcelona tie but Solskjaer, who oversaw a stunning comeback victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the last round, is confident.

“We’re playing against a good team but there is something special about this group of players,” he said. “It will be fantastic.”

And the United boss is not worried that Manchester City could surpass United’s achievement in 1999 by winning a quadruple this season.

“United fans want us to win it (the Champions League) because they want to win it,” Solskjaer said. “I think we should look at what we can achieve and not what we can stop others achieving.”

(AFP)

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Finidi George Resigns As Super Eagles Coach

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Newly appointed Super Eagles coach, Finidi George, has resigned his appointment,  according to a post by ex-Super Eagles media officer, Toyin Ibitoye on X.com on Saturday.

He wrote, “News just in. Finidi George #FinidiGeorge_FG has resigned from his #NGSuperEagles manager position.”

The resignation follows the Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) decision to appoint a foreign coach to oversee him, despite his recent appointment in May.

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Finidi Flop: NFF Considers Employing Expatriate Technical Adviser

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The Nigeria Football Federation has decided to appoint an expatriate Technical Adviser to oversee the Super Eagles.

This move comes ahead of the upcoming African Cup of Nations qualifiers and the remaining 2026 World Cup qualifying matches, and is expected to be finalised in the coming weeks.

The decision was contained in a communiqué made available to newsmen on Thursday.

According to the communiqué, the Executive Committee of NFF held a meeting on Wednesday, to deliberate on important issues.

“The Executive Committee wholeheartedly apologised to Nigerians for the dismal output and subsequent very poor returns of the Senior Men National Team, Super Eagles, in four out of 10 matches in the ongoing qualification series for the 2026 FIFA World Cup finals,” the communiqué partly read.

They assured Nigerians that they will put necessary measures in place to ensure a better-prepared squad ahead of the AFCON 2025 qualifiers in September and the resumption of the World Cup qualifiers.

“The Executive Committee resolved to employ an expatriate Technical Adviser for the Super Eagles in the coming weeks, ahead of the AFCON qualifiers and the remaining FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.

“The committee resolved to beef up the NFF Technical Department with more qualitative hands. Equally, the Technical and Development Sub-Committee will be re-jigged with immediate effect,” the communique added.

The Board also expressed displeasure with the poor attitude of some of the players “notwithstanding the challenges that attended the team’s preparations for the Day 3 and Day 4 games of the FIFA World Cup qualifying matches, owing to a 38-hour nationwide industrial action.”

The board decided in favour of a more robust scouting programme of outstanding Nigeria-eligible players from across the globe, “who can add tremendous value to the nation’s flagship team.”

Super Eagles head coach, Finidi George, came under criticisms after the Eagles suffered a 2-1 loss to Benin Republic on Monday on match-day 4 of the CAF 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

The defeat leaves the Super Eagles with a disappointing three points out of a potential 12, following a string of draws in their opening three matches.

The former international was appointed new head coach of the Nigerian men national team on April 29, 2024.

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Tobi Amusan Again! Sets New World-Leading Record

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The world record-holder in the women’s 100m hurdles, Tobi Amusan, was the fastest over the barriers, setting a world-leading time of 12.40 (0.9m/s).

Danielle Williams, a two-time world champion, was ahead for most of the race but lost her rhythm over the final two hurdles and finished second with 12.46.

“This is the healthiest I’ve been. It’s a pain-free season compared to other years,” World Athletics website quoted Amusan to have said.

“I told myself: ‘I’m not getting a DQ today’. I’m not the best of starters, but looking at how I executed today, it could have been better, but I am thankful for the win.”

Nigeria’s Minister of Sports, John Enoh, took to his X handle to congratulate the Nigerian athletics queen for her latest feat.

“Take your flowers Tobi Amusan, you stormed to an emphatic win in the women’s 100m hurdles at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational, clocking a time of 12.40s (0.9), a World Lead time!

“You defeated World Champion Danielle Williams, who came 2nd in 12.46s, while Christina Clemons was 3rd in 12.54s.

“Tobi, you keep making our country proud. Paris Olympics is around the corner, your performance gives us hope just like others that Nigeria is set to break a jinx. Keep soaring, we are proud of you,” Enoh wrote.

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