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President Weah in surprise return to football as Nigeria defeat Liberia

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Super Eagles player John Ogu (R) shakes hands with President George Weah (L) before the friendly match in Monrovia on Tuesday night

Super Eagles player John Ogu (R) shakes hands with President George Weah (L) before the friendly match in Monrovia on Tuesday night

(Reuters/NAN) Liberia President and former World Footballer of the Year George Weah made a surprise return to international competition in Monrovia on Tuesday, playing in the country’s 2-1 loss to Nigeria.

The match came up a few weeks short of his 52nd birthday and Liberia had arranged the friendly to retire the number 14 jersey made famous by Weah.

However, fans were in for a shock when, 16 years after his last international appearance, the striker led the national team onto the pitch wearing it instead.

Media reports said Weah led the attack and showed glimpses of the class that made him a household name around the world.

He received a standing ovation from fans when he was substituted on 79 minutes.

Goals from Henry Onyekuru and Simeon Nwankwo helped Nigeria to a 2-0 lead before the hosts pulled one back through a Kpah Sherman penalty, late in the game.

Weah enjoyed a career in Europe spanning nearly a decade and a half that saw him play for Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille in France, AC Milan in Italy.

He also played for English sides Manchester City and Chelsea.

Weah was named the 1995 World Footballer of the Year; he also won the Ballon d’Or in the same year and remains the only African to win either award.

His popularity from his playing career saw him secure a landslide run-off win last December in Liberia’s presidential elections.

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Barcelona takes final decision on Suarez to Arsenal

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La Liga champions, Barcelona have finally decided to offer midfielder, Denis Suarez to join Premier League club, Arsenal when the transfer window opens in January.

According to The Independent, Suarez has been told by Barcelona manager, Ernesto Valverde that he was not in his plans this season at Camp Nou.

The report claimed that Arsenal manager, Unai Emery is eager to get a replacement for the Gunners midfielder, Aaron Ramsey, who is due to leave Emirates at the end of the season when his contract expires in the summer.

The report also claimed that Arsenal will have to battle Valencia who are also interested in signing Suarez.

Suarez has not been a regular starter so far this season under Valverde.

The 24-year-old has only featured once in the Spanish topflight league so far this term as a substitute.

He will hope to feature for Barca when they tackle Levante in the La Liga fixture on Sunday.

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Manchester United players told to ignore Mourinho’s instructions

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Former Arsenal defender, Martin Keown, has told Manchester United players to ignore instructions from manager Jose Mourinho and take matters into their own hands.

The Red Devils travel to Anfield on Sunday to take on title-chasing Liverpool, 16 points behind their bitter rivals.

A much-changed United side slipped to another demoralising defeat against Valencia in midweek and Keown believes Mourinho’s men are turning in the worst performances he has seen in 25 years.

“These performances are some of the worst we’ve seen from United in 25 years,” Keown told Football Focus.

“They are there for the taking – these United players almost need to stop listening to their manager now.

“If this is how they’re being told to play, the players are on their own – I don’t know the identity of this United team.

“They’re almost dreading games. Whether they change the manager is another thing but every game feels like a crisis now.

“Mourinho has an incredible job there but the ‘special one’ has become the ‘lonely one’.

“He’s almost enjoying the process of it coming to an end.”

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2018 Ballon d’Or: Modric slams Ronaldo, Messi; names two best players in the world

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2018 Ballon d’Or winner, Luka Modric has slammed Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona ace, Lionel Messi for not attending this year’s Ballon d’Or ceremony.

Modric ended Messi and Ronaldo’s 10-year stronghold on the award.

After helping Real Madrid win the Champions League, the Croatian also helped his nation reach a World Cup final.

These achievements helped him secure the prestigious award with Ronaldo finishing second and Antoine Griezmann third.

Neither Messi nor Ronaldo attended the ceremony in Paris when the Croatian picked up the Ballon d’Or earlier this month.

“I cannot say why someone did not attend – that’s their choice,” Modric told Sportske Novosti.

“That is logical, is it not? It turns out these choice and trophies only have value when they [Ronaldo and Messi] get them.

“It is not fair to their playing colleagues, or to the voters who have nominated them for the past 10 years – nor for football or supporters.

“But I repeat, everyone behaves the way they think they need to.”

While Modric announced his disappointment at Ronaldo and Messi for choosing to shun the award ceremony, he admitted that they both are still the best two players in the world.

“Here we are talking about seasonal performance,” Modric added.

“And it probably means that all the coaches, players, football legends and journalists have voted the same.

“Or are they all mistaken at the same time?

“If we vote on the quality of the player, then the only thing left is to distribute all the trophies for Messi and Ronaldo as long as they are actively playing and to abandon any vote.”

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