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Napoli fans vote Osimhen best striker ahead of Higuain, Cavani

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Fans of Italian Serie A side,
Napoli, have voted Nigerian striker, Victor Osimhen, as the best forward the club has had, ahead of clubs legends like Edinson Cavani and Gonzalo Higuain.

Shortly before the Champions League match between Napoli and Barcelona last week, the fans were tasked with picking the best of the three strikers who had y made great impacts in the team in their recent history.

After a poll, Cavani, Higuain, and Osimhen’s names popped up and although the poll had split opinions, the African Footballer of the Year came out on top.

The poll was conducted randomly as the fans were handed the quiz as they were making their way into the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium for the match.

When the results of the poll were collated at the end of the match where the Super Eagles forward scored the equaliser to tie the match at 1-1, the total number of votes was 38, split as follows:

MVictor Osimhen (18), Edinson Cavani (14) and Gonzalo Higuain (6), with the Nigeria international being the clear winner.

Cavani, who joined Napoli in 2010, quickly established himself as a dominant force in Serie A and during his time with the club, he helped Napoli clinch the Coppa Italia in 2012 and was the Serie A top scorer in the 2012-13 season with 29 league goals.

He scored 104 goals in 138 appearances and demonstrated his vital role in the team’s success, earning him the nickname “El Matador” for his clinical finishing and composure in front of goal.

Higuaín who starred for between 2013 to 2016, broke the Serie A goal scoring record in the 2015-16 season by scoring 36 league goals, setting a new Serie A record for most goals in a season.

On his part, Osimhen was sensational last season as he led Napoli to their first Serie A title in 33 years, scoring 26 goals to emerge the highest goal scorer, the first African player to achieve such feat in the Italian league.

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Top European, Asian clubs on alert as Super Eagles keeper set to make contract decision

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Some top clubs in Europe and Asia have been put on alert as Super Eagles and Chippa United goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali, is reportedly getting set to make a decision on his future as he will be a free agent at the end of this season.

Nwabali who led Nigeria to the finals of the 2023 Afcon before losing to host Cote d’Ivoire, has been a subject of transfer speculations in his last year at the South African club.

Shortly after the Afcon, there were rumours that the former Katsina United safe hands who joined Chippa United in 2022 was on the verge of teaming up with a club in Saudi Arabia in a deal that was reported to be worth millions of dollars but the speculations died down as there was no concrete for him.

However, after some excellent showings at club level since the continental championship, the 27-year-old shot-stopper’s value has continued to rise and with his contract running out at the end of the current season, some big clubs in Europe and Asia have indicated interest in signing him.

According to reports from South Africa’s Soccer Laduma, Nwabali will not sign an extension with Chippa United at the end of the season, potentially making him available on a free transfer.

“This would be particularly appealing to clubs like Kaizer Chiefs, Queens Park Rangers, Union SG, and Al Ettifaq, who have all been credited with a move for the Nigerian,” the sports journal said.

“While a move to Saudi Arabia might present better financial incentives, Nwabali is reportedly keen on testing his talents in Europe and a move to Union SG or QPR could end up being the best option for him.”

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Ethiopia’s Lemma, Kenya’s Obiri give Africa double podium finish at Boston Marathon

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Ethiopia’s long distance runner, Sisay Lemma, and Kenyan female marathon sensation, Hellen Obiri, teamed up to give Africa a double podium standing at the 128th Boston Marathon which ended on Tuesday.

The Africans completely dominated the race with Lemma emerging victorious in the men’s race while Obiri nicked it in the women’s version which also had a plethora of African stars who also stood out in the races.

In the men’s race, the 33-year-old Lemma finished in a time of 2:06:17 which was a sort of redemption for him after missing out on two previous editions of the Marathon due to injury.

His compatriot, Mohamed Esa, finished second while Kenyan Evans Chebet finished third, with only one non-African, American CJ Albertson who finished in 7th place, making the top 10.

Speaking after the race, Lemma said:

“Previously, I hadn’t finished this race, so I wanted to redeem myself, which is why I came. Fortunately, I was able to redeem myself, so I’m happy.

“My plan was to beat the course record, but the hills at the end really tired me out.

“The reason I ran in Boston is that the course is similar to the Olympic one, so I hope it will be good preparation for the Paris Games.”

In the women’s race, it was a Kenyan affair as Obiri came out on top in a time of 2:22:37 to retain her title in the American city.

She was followed by two of her compatriots, Sharon Lokedi, 2:22:45 and Edna Kiplagat, 2:23:21.

Men top five results:

1- Sisay Lemma (ETH) 2:06:17

2- Mohamed Esa (ETH) 2:06:58

3- Evans Chebet (KEN) 2:07:22

4- John Korir (KEN) 2:07:40

5- Albert Korir (KEN ) 2:07:47

Women top five results:

1- Hellen Obiri (KEN) 2:22:37

2- Sharon Lokedi (KEN) 2:22:45

3- Edna Kiplagat (KEN) 2:23:21

4- Buze Diriba (ETH) 2:24:04

5- Senbere Teferi (ETH ) 2:24:04

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