Egypt's Salah named African Footballer of the Year

Egypt forward Mohamed Salah was named African Footballer of the Year for 2017 on Thursday, finishing ahead of his Liverpool team mate Sadio Mane of Senegal and Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Salah, 25, polled 625 points from a voting panel made up of national team coaches and captains, plus a selection of officials and journalists, to win the award.

Mane finished second on 507 with Aubameyang third on 311.

Salah helped Egypt reach the African Nations Cup final and qualify for this year’s World Cup.

Soccer: Reaction to the World Cup draw

Group-by-group reaction to the World Cup draw on Friday, compiled by Reuters:

Group A
Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay

Russian coach Stanislav Cherchesov: “I cannot say if I am happy or not after the draw. The group is what it is.”

“My emotions ahead and after the draw are the same. I smiled when we got Uruguay because they asked to have a friendly match against us and we did not agree. They were chasing us and finally got us.”

Cristiano Ronaldo wins Men's FIFA Best Player Award

Cristiano Ronaldo was named the world's best player at the 2017 Best Fifa Football Awards in London.

The Real Madrid and Portugal forward beat Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Paris St-Germain's Neymar to the honour, BBC reports.

Ronaldo, 32, helped Real to a Champions League-La Liga double in 2016-17.

Lieke Martens of Barcelona and the Netherlands won best female player, Real Madrid's Zinedine Zidane was named best men's coach and Netherlands' Sarina Wiegman the best female coach.

Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar on FIFA Player of the Year Shortlist

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar have been nominated as finalists for the Best FIFA Men’s Player award, the sport’s governing body said on Friday.

Ronaldo helped Real Madrid to a second consecutive Champions League title and finished as the tournament’s top scorer with 12 goals earlier this year.

Messi and Neymar claimed the Spanish King’s Cup with Barcelona with the former finishing as La Liga’s top scorer with 37 goals last season.

Naira Rain for D’Tigress Players, Officials

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja received members of the victorious D’Tigress, showering the players with N1 million each and the officials N500,000 each.

The President, after announcing the donation shortly before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), urged the team to remain focused.

“You should work towards winning the forthcoming 2018 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Spain,’’ he said.

I Needed a New Challenge –Neymar on £200m Move

Brazil forward Neymar said he needed a new challenge, as he joined Paris St-Germain from Barcelona for a world record fee of 222m euros (£200m), BBC reports.

The 25-year-old won seven major trophies in his four seasons at the Nou Camp, including the Champions League once and La Liga twice.

He said his father, Neymar Sr, wanted him to stay at Barcelona.

"I have won all that a player can win," said Neymar, who will earn 45m euros (£40.7m) a year on a five-year deal.

Manchester United now World’s Richest Football Club

Europa League champions Manchester United have overtaken record UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid as the world’s most valuable football club, going by statistics provided by business magazine Forbes.

Manchester United were valued at $3.69 billion (about £2.86 billion, about N1.476 trillion) and returned to the top of the annual list for the first time in five years.

Real Madrid’s Spanish rivals FC Barcelona were second with a worth of $3.64bn (about £2.82bn), as Real with $3.58bn (£2.77bn) went down to third.

Champions Chelsea Earn £150m in Premier League Payments

English champions Chelsea earned 150.8 million pounds ($194 million) from the Premier League this season while bottom side Sunderland were paid more than Leicester City got as title winners last year thanks to a new broadcast contract.

According to Reuters report, the 2016-17 campaign was the first under the 5.1 billion pounds TV rights deal signed in 2015, with the total value of the league's central payments to clubs rising to 2.4 billion pounds from 1.6 billion a year earlier.

Nigerian Football Club Strikes Deal with Puma

Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clubside ABS FC of Ilorin will sign a five-year sponsorship deal with global sports branding outfit, Puma.

The club’s Director of Football, Alloy Chukwuemeka, said in a statement on Monday in Ilorin that the deal would be reached on Thursday.

The signing of the deal would also see the official launch of the club’s new kit.

“The deal is part of Puma’s commitment to the growth and development of sports in Nigeria.

Venus Williams marks 20th Anniversary at French Open

Serena Williams may be missing from this year’s French Open, but big sister Venus is still going strong and marks her Roland Garros 20th anniversary on Sunday.

Three weeks shy of her 37th birthday, the American star, who made her debut in the French capital in 1997, kicks off her latest campaign against China’s Wang Qiang, AFP reports.

Williams, seeded 10, has played every year since 1997 with the exception of 2011 and despite her senior citizen status, she is still a contender at the Slams as her run to the Australian Open final in January proved.