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African players in Europe: Elneny’s special goal for Arsenal

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The 28-year-old midfielder needed only six minutes at St James Park to end his barren run and Gabon captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doubled the lead midway through the second half.   

The victory snapped a three-game winless streak by Arsenal ahead of a Europa League semi-final second leg against Villarreal at the Emirates on Thursday.

Here, AFP Sport rounds up the performances of Africans in the major European leagues:

MOHAMED ELNENY (Arsenal)

Elneny, who joined the Gunners from Swiss club Basel in 2016, said he had been thinking a lot recently about scoring in the Premier League. “I had scored in the Champions League and Europa League, but not in the Premier League,” he told the club website. When Aubameyang missed his kick from Hector Bellerin’s cross, the ball rolled to Elneny on the edge of the area and he drilled a low strike past Martin Dubravka.

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Arsenal)

He scored for the first time in seven games as his spectacular strike wrapped up a comfortable win. The Arsenal captain had recently been hospitalised by malaria picked up on international duty with Gabon in March. That was the latest in a series of setbacks for Aubameyang this season, but he gave a glimpse of his class in the 66th minute. Gabriel Martinelli curled over a cross from the left for his strike partner to leap off his feet for an agile volley that crashed past Dubravka from close range. It was the 31-year-old’s 15th goal this season.

VICTOR OSIMHEN (Napoli)

Nigeria forward Osimhen scored for the third consecutive game, connecting with a hall over the top from Lorenzo Insigne, after 13 minutes in Naples. It was his fifth goal in six games and eighth this season. Cagliari scored with the last kick of the game to snatch a 1-1 draw but fifth-place Napoli remain in the running for the Champions League.

JEREMIE BOGA/HAMED TRAORE(Sassuolo)

Atalanta goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini was sent off for a reckless challenge on Ivorian forward Boga after 22 minutes. Another foul, on fellow Ivorian midfielder Hamed Traore, saw Sassuolo awarded a penalty seven minutes after the break, which they converted in a 1-1 draw.

AMADOU HAIDARA (RB Leipzig)

The Malian midfielder was replaced at half-time by Christopher Nkunku on the right wing before Emil Forsberg’s 121st-minute volley eventually sealed Leipzig’s 2-1 win at Werder Bremen as a tense German Cup semi-final went to extra time. Leipzig face Borussia Dortmund on May 13 in the final.

KALIFA COULIBALY (NANTES)

The giant Malian striker’s penalty wrapped up a 4-1 win for Nantes at Brest that kept alive their hopes of avoiding relegation. Coulibaly needed the goal — he had not scored in his previous 20 Ligue 1 appearances since his last goal which came against… Brest in November 2019. Nigerian winger Simon also scored for Nantes.

LAMINE GUEYE (METZ)

Metz have a track record of bringing through young Senegalese players, from Sadio Mane to Papiss Cisse and Ismaila Sarr in recent years. It is the fruit of their partnership with the Generation Foot academy in Dakar, and their latest crop from the west African country includes 23-year-old winger Gueye, who scored the opener in his side’s 5-1 win at Dijon. Another Senegalese prospect, 18-year-old Pape Matar Sarr, netted their second, with Cape Verde’s Vagner Dias Goncalves and Tunisia’s Dylan Bronn scoring as well.

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Barcelona set 2week deadline for $131m star to decide future amid Manchester United, Liverpool links

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Dembele, who just has six months left on his current deal with Barcelona, has not signed an extension yet and will be free to negotiate with other clubs from January.

It is reported that Dembele’s agent, Moussa Sissoko, has been purposely delaying contract talks by asking for clarification about Dembele’s role at the club.

The Catalans suspect the former is looking to offer his client to the highest bidder.

However, Dembele has since struggled to live up to the price tag, mostly because of his injuries that have ruined his journey so far at Camp Nou. 

Dembele, who came off the bench in Barcelona’s previous two fixtures, has so far played only three competitive matches for Barcelona this season and is yet to go on the scoring sheet.

Dembele is still just 24 and former Al-Sadd boss Xavi believes the player is still capable of big things and wants to help him rediscover his form.

The France national moved from Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona at $131 million ahead of the 2017-18 season.

Read alsoWasafibet – Diamond Platinumz launches new betting company

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Lionel Messi wins record seventh men’s Ballon d’Or

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Messi, who left Barcelona as a free agent to sign for Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, was presented with the award for best men’s footballer in the world on Monday night in Paris after another record-breaking 12 months for club and country.

“I’m really proud to win the France Football Ballon d’Or once again,” said Messi. “It’s incredible to win it for the seventh time.

Messi, who wore a sparkly dinner jacket at the ceremony in Paris, collected the honour for a record sixth time in 2019 – one ahead of great rival Cristiano Ronaldo – before the awards were cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Poland international Lewandowski, 33, who was widely expected to win last year, finished second after scoring 38 goals in 30 league games for Bayern in 2021.


Meanwhile, Jorginho finished third after a standout year in which he helped Italy to glory at the delayed Euro 2020 after lifting the Champions League trophy with Chelsea in May.

Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling was the highest-ranked England player for the men’s award, finishing 15th, with compatriots Mason Mount, Harry Kane and Phil Foden 19th, 23rd and 25th respectively.

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Wasafibet – Diamond Platinumz launches new betting company, partners with Odibets

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Diamond has officially launched the new betting company dubbed WasafiBet at a ceremony that brought Bongo elites together.

Through his Instagram he launched WasafiBet on Friday, November 26, and captioned it “Pesa lipo.

Due to his massive following, it was established shortly after unveiling the product with over 10K followers in hours.

The betting company’s Instagram page and Twitter handle gained more than 10,000 followers in less than one hour after Diamond’s launching.

WasafiBet Instagram page hints that the company have an association with a Kenyan betting company Odibets.

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