Nigeria Winger Victor Moses Announces Retirement From International Football to Focus on Club Career

?Chelsea utility man Victor Moses has announced his decision to retire from international football with Nigeria aged 27 in order to ‘focus fully’ on his club career and spend more time with his family.

Born in Lagos but raised in England after moving to London as a child refugee, Moses made his senior debut for the Super Eagles in 2012 and played 37 times for his country, scoring 12 goals and going to three major tournaments, including two World Cups.

Nigeria v Iceland: Group D - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

In 2013, Moses was a part of Nigeria’s first Africa Cup of Nations win since 1994.

In a statement published on social media, the 27-year-old explained that he memories from his international career that will ‘last a lifetime’ and that ‘nothing will ever compare to what it felt like to represent Nigeria’.

He added that the time has come to ‘allow the next generation of Super Eagles stars the opportunity to step up and flourish’.

Moses has two young children, born in 2012 and 2015, and spending more time at home as they grow is another thing that influenced his decision to step away from the international scene.

“I have already spoken to the manager by telephone and would like to say thank you to him and his staff, the NFF and all of my teammates for all of their support over the years,” Moses said.


“Most importantly I would like to say thank you to the Nigerian people for believing in me and supporting me over the years. It’s meant the world to me and my family and I will always be a proud Nigerian supporting the team.”


Chelsea Midfielder N’Golo Kante Excited by New Challenges Under Maurizio Sarri

N’Golo Kante is excited rather than daunted at the prospect of playing under new ?Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri this season.

The French midfielder has endured an incredible few years in his career, winning the Premier League with Leicester in 2015/16 and Chelsea the following season, before becoming a World Cup winner this summer.

He insists that his past success is all forgotten at the start of a new season.

“It’s a new season, we all start from zero again, and that is the way our job is,” Kante told ?the Mirror.

“Whatever you did in the past is quickly forgotten. We all have to go again and prove we are worthy of our ­position. So, yeah, hopefully, I am able to do that again.”

While Kante’s stock has only risen, Chesea’s fortunes have fluctuated and a fifth place finish last season led to Sarri replacing Antonio Conte at the helm.

Kante admits that he has already seen changes to Chelsea’s system under Sarri, but is not worried by the change of manager.

“Now the system is ­something ­different, especially the way we play now,” said Kante.

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“So, even during the ­holidays, we were thinking and talking about how to adapt. It will require a lot of sacrifice from us all, so that is why I have to continue ­moving forward as a player.

“I have worked with ­different managers in the past and different systems. The best way to always keep your position is to ­remain focused and have the same attitude towards ­everyone.

“So that is what I am going to try to do again this season.”

Kante scored a rare goal as the Sarri era began with a ?3-0 win at Huddersfield on Saturday.


Mateo Kova?i?: The Croatian ‘Professor’ Ready to Conquer the Premier League With Chelsea

Mateo Kova?i? is officially a Chelsea player. The Croatian midfielder has moved to Stamford Bridge from Real Madrid on a one-year loan deal, in a deal loosely associated with the completion of Thibaut Courtois’ move in the opposite direction.

In Kova?i?, the Blues have a lot to look forward too. The Croatian personifies the colourful variety of Croatian football in recent years, like a precious diamond that shines incontrovertibly in the middle of the pitch. 

New Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri will be desperate to shape and educate the 24-year-old into a Premier League force, with his speedy, unpredictable, impeccable dribbling skills sure to prove a hit in English football. The midfield maestro is like a sponge – impregnated with technical skills and tactical knowledge, and he seems the ideal fit for a manager who, whilst pensively smoking his cigarettes, will convert Kova?i? into a jolly indispensable member of his squad.

Real Madrid v Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Semi Final Second Leg

His nickname among his Croatian teammates is ‘The Professor’. Why you ask? Because before taking to the hallowed turf, Kova?i? was a meticulous and accurate student, though not at school in front of the blackboard but at home in front of the television, watching football DVDs of his favourite player, Robert Prosinecki.

The Croatian legend was pacey and skilful, with his agile movement, close ball control and breathtaking vision among his other outstanding attributes. Young Mateo noted down all the skills required to emulate the great midfielder, knowing he would need to hone his craft in order to follow in his iconic footsteps.

Kova?i? first developed his skills at Dinamo Zagreb’s prosperous orchard, which in recent years has produced talents like Luda Modri?, Niko Kranj?ar and Eduardo. Having moved from Kotor Varos in Bosnia at the age of 13 – with his parents believing the club to be the most appropriate environment for their son to prosper in, the young midfielder began to develop his skills.


By that time, European scouts had already noticed him. German side Stuttgart offered him a move to Germany and a job at Mercedes for his dad – but the young midfielder declined the opportunity in order to join Zagreb. Yet just three years after making his debut in 2010, Kova?i? moved on to join Inter.

Nerazzurri captain Javier Zanetti had no doubts about his ability upon his arrival at San Siro, citing Kova?i? as perhaps the most talented footballer he had seen since the great Brazilian striker Ronaldo.

Back home, Kova?i? used to play as an attacking midfielder, taking on the role of ‘Trequartista’ by feeding venomous balls inside the box for Zagreb’s strikers. At ?Inter, he covered all areas of the midfield – flying down the touchline with pace and trickery at times, whilst bossing the centre of the midfield like an unstoppable guard dog on other occasions.

Versatility and adaptation to any position he plays in are key features of the 24-year-old’s repertoire. Real took advantage of the player’s astounding tactical knowledge and positional skills time and time again, utilising Kova?i? to fill gaps left by one of their stellar attacking talents. 

Because of the vast talent pool available at Santiago Bernabeu though, the Croatian did not have the opportunity to step on the pitch as much as he would have liked – and perhaps, not as much as we as fans would have liked either.

Now with a loan move to Chelsea signed, sealed and delivered, Kova?i? may finally explode into life. As already alluded too, Blues’ manager Maurizio Sarri could light the fuse to spark his enviable talent into life.

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Whatever the problem may be, the Croatian ace is a reliable solution. He has the quality and tenacity of the ideal number 10 – attentive, observant, fast and solid as a rock in central midfield. Traits that are fundamental when there is a either result to hold on to, or a goal is required.

Although he has adopted the role of a subdued central midfielder in recent seasons, it may be time for the Croatian to look back to his creative origins – particularly with the license that should be afforded to him with the presence of Jorginho and N’Golo Kante alongside him.

Supercopa de Espana Final 2nd Leg match - Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona

With an impressive CV already to his name, Kova?i? looks destined to earn more success wherever he goes during the reaminder of his career. The Premier League may be the perfect platform for the Croatian to impress further, and with prospects looking bright, it’s time for the Kova?i? carousel to premiere in the most electrifying league in the world.


Torino Officially Sign Chelsea’s Ola Aina on Season-Long Loan With Option to Buy

Italian side Torino have completed the signing of Chelsea right-back Ola Aina on season-long loan, with an option to buy.

The 21-year-old has been with the Blues since he was an Under-11. He spent last season on loan in the Championship with Hull City.

“The Torino Football Club is pleased to announce that it has acquired on a temporary basis with the right of option from Chelsea Football Club CFC the right to the sports performances of the player Ola Aina,” the Serie A side announced via their official website.

“Turin has been following me for some time, I hope to do well; I know this is a company that believes in young people and this is very important,” the player added.

“In Italy I know that I can learn a lot, especially in the ability to be in the field, because the tactics and organisation of play are essential. I really want to experience this new experience to the full, thanks to all the Taurus for choosing me: now it’s my turn, I can not wait to get started.”

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Aina was born in England and has represented the Three Lions at youth level from Under-16 through to Under-20. However, he has since opted to play for Nigeria, making the decision in May last year.


Marseille Continuing Olivier Giroud Pursuit With Bid for Chelsea Star Expected Before Window Closes

Marseille are refusing to give up in their pursuit of ?Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud and will make another bid to sign the striker before the end of the transfer window. 

The Ligue 1 side are still interested in the 31-year-old ?despite being told he’ll remain a Chelsea player, and want to test the resolve of the ?Premier League side with another offer. 


Giroud only moved to Stamford Bridge at the beginning of the year after signing from Arsenal,

but has since scored five goals in 18 appearances in all competitions, helping the Blues win the FA Cup at the end of last season.

He was also part of the France squad this summer that won the World Cup in Russia, featuring in every game for Didier Deschamps. 

Following the appointment of Maurizio Sarri there had been speculation surrounding Giroud’s future at the club. However, as the Italian boss recently sanctioned ?a loan deal for Michy Batshuayi to Valencia, it seems unlikely that the Frenchman will also be allowed to leave. French media outlet Le10 Sport however believe Marseille will try their luck anyway.

Chelsea’s 3-0 win away against Huddersfield saw Giroud only come on as a substitute due to a lack of match fitness from his short pre-season. Alvaro Morata clinched the role of lone striker that Sarri seems to prefer, but when Giroud returns to full fitness, the pair will have to battle it out for starting rights.

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The striker will hope to prove to Sarri that he’s a player worth fighting for, as Chelsea host Giroud’s former club Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.