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During the 2014 World Cup Stephen Keshi guided Nigeria to the round of 16 which was a task that the country had not been able to do since 1994 meanwhile the head coach of Algeria Vahid Halilhodzic marked his name in the history books of Algeria as he was in charge of the team that made it past the group stages for the first time in the past.
All of these recent accomplishments have given hope towards African football as it has been starting to expand with more super-star players being homegrown and the results are being shown at the international stage with positive results being spread out and displayed throughout some of the latest tournaments.
When the 2014 World Cup was over, it was surprising to see a number of managers that guided their respective countries to new heights. This is the case of Algeria’s Vahid Halilhodzic as he left his position in the African team and went on to coach Trabzonspor.
The same incident occurred with Stephen Keshi as he had a fairly impressive journey with Nigeria during the recently concluded World Cup as he decided to resign and not be in charge of the African team.
South Africa was another nation that witnessed a change in their managerial position with Ephraim Mashaba being the man chosen to coach the squad for the 4th time. Frank Rijkaard and Dick Advocaat were both rumored to take up the role of managing South Africa but it was ultimately Ephraim Mashaba who was officially announced and selected.
African football has always been criticized due to their financial problems and a number of other things but the 2014 World Cup was the center stage where teams and players displayed what the country has to offer for the years to come.
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Nigeria proved to be rock solid in the initial matches but then in the mid-way they lost their creativity. When it came to the question of possession they proved to be good but when it came to scoring a goal that proved to be difficult.
Algeria was quite impressive among the African teams. Whatever they possessed they gave it all playing against Germany which led to an amazing first half. What the team lacked was star performers like other teams. Most of the time many problems emerge amongst the African teams be it not attending the sessions of training, fight regarding bonus and other problems.
Stories that revolve around are that the players often start playing for their respective club after representing in the national time despite not getting the allowance. Then there are players from Europe who join the national side of the African team but they themselves pay for their air ticket for coming into a country of their own. Major roadblock is the factor of transparency which is lacking.
The accusation should not only be targeted at the administrators alone as the players are equally responsible. Moreover money should not be a factor that comes in the African football team. It is always the question of security that the African players demand of before they got off for Brazil.
The future of African football is not bleak rather there is optimism since there is lot of talent in the teams but it is about nurturing the talent rather than relying on their poor performances. The European top league is filled with African talent. So work has to begin from scratch to make the foundation strong. If the work is done then the future would be bright for the African footballers.
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Nigeria manager Stephen Keshi has revealed that he is not worried about the lack of playing time for the country’s top stars like John obi Mikel and Victor Moses. These players have been key towards helping Nigeria when the African cup of nations. They are once again expected to be important for the national team at the upcoming World Cup 2014. Nigeria have a great chance of reaching the knockout stages of the competition after being grouped along with teams like Iran and Bosnia-Herzegovina. However, Keshi has had to deal with questions about the lack of playing time to key players like Mikel.
The Chelsea midfielder has been a second choice for the club this campaign. His chances of being in the first-team on a regular basis appeared to be boosted initially following the arrival of Jose Mourinho, who was the man responsible for bringing him to Stamford Bridge. However, it has worked in the opposite direction in recent months since the arrival of Nemanja Matic for around £ 21 million has made the Serbian midfielder the number one for the defensive midfield position. Moses has also been unable to get game time at Liverpool, where he is on loan from Chelsea till the end of the season.
“These are not kids that I need to teach how to play football. It’s just the chemistry that I need to bring into the team, the understanding in the unit. I would love them to play every game with their clubs. Unfortunately, I can’t control that. But I think they are in good shape. I have played in Europe and sometimes there is a lot that goes on there. It’s difficult to say. But if they come and their conditioning is good and their fitness is good, then we will take them,” said Keshi.
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Just about everywhere that Jose Mourinho moves to, he certainly is at the center of the spotlight and most of the time it’s not for reasons why the Portuguese coach would like to be. Back when he was in charge of Real Madrid, his story about him pocking the eye of Tito Vilanova was at the headlines of the Spanish press.
This time around it seems like his relationship with Samuel Eto’o has deteriorated after Mourinho was reported to have criticized his forwards. Mourinho was unaware that he was being filmed and he thought that it was only a private and light-hearted conversation with the head of Hublot during a sponsor’s event and the former Real Madrid coach stated that the main problem which Chelsea has is that they lack scorer.
I have Eto’o but he’s 32. Maybe 35, who knows?” Mourinho admitted.
Some days later during the press conference of Chelsea’s Champions League match against Galatasaray, Mourinho described the story to be a disgrace.
“I think you should be embarrassed as a media professional because, from an ethical point of view, I don’t think you should be happy not you, but a colleague is able to record a private conversation and make it public. You should all be a bit embarrassed because it’s against the ethics you have in your work. From an ethical point of view, it’s a real disgrace.”Mourinho told the media.
Even with the negative comments that Mourinho stated concerning Eto’o, the former Barcelona player stated that he does not need to prove himself or display what he is capable of doing.
“I am Samuel Eto’o, what can I say?” he told Sky Sports News after the Galatasaray match. If at 36 and 37 I can score three goals at Manchester United it means that I still have some juice and I can even score until I am 50. I do not have to explain anything. I triumphed with all the teams I played for, I’m the player I am and I want to help Chelsea to win a cup this season.”