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Juventus ordered to pay Ronaldo €9.7m unpaid salaries



Juventus must pay Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo 9.7 million euros ($10.4 million) in back wages for the 2020-21 season, the Italian courts announced on Wednesday.

The Court of Arbitration, to which Ronaldo appealed, “orders Juventus Turin to pay the sum of 9,774,166.66 euros”, plus interest and procedural costs, it stated in its decision.

The sum equates to the difference between the salary actually received by Ronaldo and that which he should have received after tax and other deductions.

Ronaldo, who spent three seasons in Italy with Juventus (2018-21) before joining Manchester United (2021-22) and then the Saudi club Al Nassr, was claiming 19.5 million euros but the arbitration panel reduced that by 50 per cent.

Contacted by AFP, Juventus declined to comment, but said it would be issuing a statement “shortly”.

According to the rankings drawn up by the American business magazine Forbes, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was the world’s highest-paid sportsman in 2023, with $136 million, including $46 million in wages.

Juventus, who are listed on the stock exchange, recorded losses of 123.7 million euros in the 2022-23 financial year, which ran to the end of June, it announced in October.

No provision has been made in the accounts of Italian football’s most successful club, currently third in Serie A, for the payment of this wages backlog.


Chelsea to sign 18-year-old Hafiz Umar from Ojodu City




Chelsea FC are reportedly set to sign 18-year-old Hafiz Umar from Ojodu City academy in Nigeria.

According to a report by Fabrizio Romano, an Italian journalist, the Blues plan to purchase the Nigerian after a “very positive trial” with the club’s academy.

Chelsea are close to reaching an agreement with Ojodu City for a deal that would see Hafiz join the club or be loaned out to Strasbourg in the French Ligue 1.

Hafiz impressed scouts across Europe with his performance at the Viareggio Cup, a youth competition in Italy, in February.

He scored nine goals for Ojodu City, which reached the semi-final but lost to Beyond Limits of Ikenne, the eventual winner.

The Kano-born striker was initially on trial at Bodo/Glimt FC in Norway. But he opted out of a permanent deal after Chelsea showed interest.

Hafiz was convinced to join Chelsea on trial after a video call with Raheem Sterling in March.

Hafiz is not the only Nigerian youngster who has switched from Nigerian clubs to European heavyweights.

In 2023, Internazionale Milan signed 18-year-old Ebenezer Akinsanmiro from Remo Stars.

Later that year, Benjamin Frederick, former Flying Eagles star, joined Bretford City in the English Premier League (EPL).

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FC Barcelona fires head coach Xavi Hernandez




FC Barcelona has fired its head coach Xavi Hernandez as confirmed in an official club statement released on Friday afternoon in Spain.

“The president of FC Barcelona, ​​Joan Laporta, announced this afternoon to Xavi Hernández that he will not continue as coach of the first team in the 2024-25 season,” the statement began.

“The meeting took place at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper and the sports vice-president, Rafa Yuste, and the sports director, Anderson Luís de Souza, Deco, as well as Xavi’s assistants, Òscar Hernández and Sergio Alegre, were present.

​​​​​​​”FC Barcelona would like to thank Xavi for his work as a coach, which adds to an unparalleled career as a player and captain of the team, and wishes him all the luck in the world.

“Xavi Hernández will lead his last game as first team coach this Sunday in Seville.

“In the coming days, FC Barcelona will inform about the new structure of the first team,” the statement concluded.

The development is the latest of a series of twist and turns related to who mans the Blaugrana dugout.

In January, Xavi announced that he would be stepping down from the high pressure head coach role on June 30.

Later in April, however, he went back on that decision following a meeting with Laporta and it was announced that he had agreed to see out his contract which expires on the same date in 2025.

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Chelsea part ways with Pochettino after one season




Chelsea has announced the exit of Mauricio Pochettino as the club’s head coach after only one season at the helm of affairs.

In a statement on the club’s website, Chelsea said both parties “mutually agreed to part ways”.

Pochettino’s exit comes a few days after the conclusion of the 2023/24 season, where the Blues finished sixth in the English Premier League (EPL). He also led the team to the Carabao Cup final before losing to Liverpool.

The Argentine joined Chelsea in May 2023, replacing Frank Lampard, who had been interim manager following Graham Potter’s exit a few months prior.

Speaking on his exit, Pochettino expressed gratitude to the leadership of Chelsea, adding that the club “is now well positioned to keep moving forward in the Premier League and Europe in the years to come”.

“Thank you to the Chelsea ownership group and Sporting Directors for the opportunity to be part of this football club’s history. The club is now well-positioned to keep moving forward in the Premier League and Europe in the years to come,” the manager said.

Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley, Chelsea’s sporting directors, said Pochettino “will be welcome back to Stamford Bridge any time.”

“On behalf of everyone at Chelsea, we would like to express our gratitude to Mauricio for his service this season. He will be welcome back to Stamford Bridge any time, and we wish him all the very best in his future coaching career,” the directors said.

Pochettino’s assistants — Jesus Perez, Miguel d’Agostino, Toni Jimenez and Sebastiano Pochettino — will also leave the club.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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