Barcelona’s embarrassing Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich on Wednesday night made it ten defeats they’ve suffered in just the last four years.
Xavi Hernandez’s arrival in the dugout was meant to signal a new era for the Blaugrana, but it was more of the same in Bavaria, with the Catalans looking no match for their elite opponents.
It’s unfair to throw too much of the blame at Xavi’s door, given how far back the problems date from.
Indeed, the first of those 10 thrashings was in 2017 at the Parc des Princes against Paris Saint-Germain.
That 4-0 almost seemed like an accident, given it occurred to a Luis Enrique team that contained the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Andres Iniesta.
And the 6-1 remontada back at the Camp Nou certainly papered over the cracks that the Parisians had exposed.
But it was a sign that an era was ending, and the 3-0 loss to Juventus three weeks later confirmed just that, as did the exits of Luis Enrique and Neymar.
The humbling results in Europe came thick and fast in the ensuing seasons, with the 3-0 reverse at the hands of Roma in 2018 followed by the well-documented 4-0 to Liverpool.
But worse remarkably was to come with the now infamous 8-2 hammering by Bayern in 2020, a result that led Messi to send his Burofax message demanding a transfer.
The little maestro ended up staying but the embarrassments continued, with a 3-0 loss to Juventus followed by a 4-1 defeat to PSG.
As such, and with the club’s issues so well known, the beatings have been more expected this term but no less painful, going down 3-0 twice to Bayern and also to Benfica.
That makes up the 10 terrible nights, and now comes the ignominy of competing in the Europa League after their group phase exit from the Champions League.
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Paul Onuora Football Tournament Begins
By Esther Kainebi-Daniel
Committed to promoting unity among Nigerians through sports, especially football and empowering more than 500 youths between ages 15 and 17, the maiden edition of Hon. Paul Onuora and St. Eve football competition, has commenced.
Dubbed Hon. Paul Onuora League Tournament, the football competition which began on Sunday with the official flag-off and unveiling of the participating teams from across 20 local government areas in Lagos is taking place at three venues – The Training Pitch, National Stadium; Eagles Club football field, and the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) field, all in Surulere, Lagos.
At the flag-off ceremony the sponsor, Hon. Paul Onuora aka Nwa Jesus said the tournament is a vehicle to extract the best potential from the youths, stressing that it doesn’t matter who the youths are, where they come from or the tribe they are of.
His words: “What matters is how those youth become successful in life, and when they become successful, the new life, they will live. Even if he touches 10 people, their lives will be changed because he has succeeded.
“That’s why anytime, anyday, in my closet, anywhere I’m, I think about how we can better the life of the youth, not even of you going to lie for the poor people in our society. This is very important.”
Asked his expectations from the participants, Onuora said, “I expect them to be of good behaviour, character and association. You can’t be a youth maybe playing football or any other sports and you are into drugs, cultism, armed robbery and other nefarious activities. You cannot succeed because you will go half way.”
“If you are a youth, you have talents, you have good behaviour, you will go far even in the shortest of time, because there is nobody that will see you as a hard working young man that will say no, I will not take this. Anybody who sees you would like to associate with you because of your character and your behaviour,” he added.
On what motivated him to finance the tournament, the businessman, who also plays active football and recently scored against one-time Nigeria number one choice goalkeeper, Peter Rufai aka Dodo Mayana said, “Beyond the tournament, we want to expose the participants to scouts from Europe.
“We are bringing in some managers, scouts that will be looking for players. Some of them are playing football but they have not really played in a good competition. So if they play this competition they will be exposed and they will have more sense of belonging because they will meet people they have not one way or the other interacted with. Because I believe this is from all the local governments and they will see more players that are more talented than them, which will inspire them to do more in what we are doing.”
On her part, Evelyn Okereke, founder of St. Eve, and brain behind the league tournament said the initiative is to encourage the youths, keep them busy during this long vacation, adding that they could play this competition and get opportunities.
He words, “You see what’s happening in Nigeria. As a mother, we thought of a way to help bring our youths and close that gap between the rich and the poor, and there is no better way than sport. Sport (football) is something that is very unique and is a unifying force.”
“Football is one of the biggest sports in the world. Whether you’re a man or you’re a woman, you know when your club or team is winning, you’re jumping and you’re excited; you’re all sharing ideas. Very soon we’re going to be having people worshipping football. It’s going to be the latest thing in the world,” she added.
How Moroccan Footballer’s Wife Discoverd In Divorce Suit Husband Has Nothing Despite Making Millions
Moroccan international, Achraf Hakimi owns nothing to his name despite earning millions of Euros with Paris Saint Germain (PSG) and the Moroccan national football team, his wife Hiba Abouk has discovered.
Abouk filed for divorce and asked for half of all the property and money owned by Hakimi.
She, however, discovered during ongoing divorce proceedings in court that Hakimi, 24, had registered all his properties and monies in his mother’s name.
Whenever the Moroccan footballer needed anything, he would ask his mother to buy it for him, it was revealed.
All his houses, cars, clothes, and jewellery were found to be in his mother’s name, and millions in salary were deposited in accounts bearing his mother’s name.
It was reported that 80 percent of all that he owns is registered in his mother’s name.
The couple began dating in 2018, married in 2020 and have two sons. She filed for divorce around March 2023.
30 percent of Pele’s Assets Go To Widow – lawyer
The 30 percent of the assets of the late legendary footballer Pele will go to his wife,according to his will disclosed by his lawyer.
The will states that Marcia Cibele Aoki, Pele’s third and last wife, will inherit his mansion in Guaruja, a seaside resort town south of Sao Paulo, where the couple lived, according to her lawyer Luiz Kignel.
Other assets belonging to Pele, who died after battling cancer in late December at age 82, include more real estate and a stake in the Pele brand, Kignel said, adding that a complete inventory has yet to be made.
The remaining 70 percent is reserved for Pele’s children, including an unrecognized daughter that he may have.
“He indicated the possibility of the existence of another daughter, whose recognition will depend on a DNA test, which could not be carried out (on Pele) due to the pandemic and the state of his health,” said Kignel.
According to Kignel, the woman in question is a Brazilian national and she has taken legal steps to be recognized as Pele’s daughter.
In September 2022, a court in Sao Paulo ordered Pele to submit to a DNA test, according to the G1 website. The test must now be performed on one of his seven recognized children.
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