Nigeria

Weekend Guide-Recap Birthday Edition

Hey Baba!

I've heard it's your birthday. As a real football enthusiast, I decided to give you the best present. So take your sit back, and enjoy  the best matches we had on our Weekend Recap during the past year.

January 23, Iran – Iraq (AFC Asian Cup)

After the Asian Cup group stage, Iran was one of the favorites for winning the tournament, although the Iraqis had different plans. With amazing 90 minutes, four goals in the extra time and great penalty shootouts, Iraq sensationally qualified for the semifinals.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9QpyXx9znY

March 14, Universidad de Chile – Colo Colo (Chilean Primera División)

Imagine it. It's the biggest derby of your club, in your opponent's stadium. Your team struggled behind, but equalized during the second half. Then, in the additional time, your team gets a penalty. This is the story of this match, and this is how it looks from the POV of Colo Colo fans. Goosebumps.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb_xWIlC2TM

March 22, Al Nasr – Al Ahli (Saudi Premier League)

These two teams were in the race for the title during the season. Al Nasr took the lead quickly, but a great performance by Al Ahli made the change. Despite this victory, Al Ahli failed to win any title, finished second in the league, 4 points behind Al Nasr.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mg46wk5KDH8

April 25, Crvena Zvezda – Partizan Belgrade (Serbian Superliga)

A Goalless draw? That's not a big deal! The derby of Belgrade is always full of passion with its fans and atmosphere. You can see that even with a dull result, the game was great, so maybe until your next birthday you will visit that match! (I know a few guys who can give you some tips).

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxZ-KrUGVv0

June 1, Nigeria – Brazil (U-20 World Cup)

So Baba, I hope you will keep enjoy football, like these talented kids. Keep showing up the beautiful side of the game, and always keep it happy. By the way, Brazil were the runner-ups of the World Cup, I wish that this year you will be the World champion.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vU7MpwqDboI

Weekend Guide 27.8.2015

Get your seats back, this is the BabaGol weekend recap, and we have three tremendous matched for you: A Mexican Clásico match, a top clash in Israel, and a visit to an African superpower scenario, at Nigeria. Enjoy!

(All the hours are in CET local time)

Amateur (Like this guy)

What? Cruz Azul – América (Liga MX)

When? Sunday, 0000

Where? Estadio Azul, Mexico City

Why? Two of the biggest teams in Mexico City will play in El Clásico Joven, The Juvenile Classic. After two defeats in the opening of the season, América won their last four matches and now they are in the 3rd place. Cruz Azul are far behind in the 14th place, but in this league the top 8 will qualify to the Liguilla, the tournament’s playoffs, so everything is possible.

Key Players: Marc Crosas is one of the biggest names of Cruz Azul. The former Barcelona's hot prospect successes Mexico way more than in the European football. In América you should look for the Argentine forward Darío Benedetto, a real goals-machine, with 6 goals in his first 5 league games.

Professional (like this guy)

What? Hapoel Be'er Sheva – Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israeli Ligat Ha'al)

When? Sunday, 1945

Where? Teddy Stadium, Jerusalem

Why? Two teams with big aspirations for title will play in the 2nd matchday of the league. Both of the teams won their first match, but Maccabi Tel Aviv made another great achievement as they qualified to UEFA Champions’ League group stage. Maccabi Tel Aviv also want to win their fourth consecutive title, while Hapoel Be'er Sheva want to win their first title in 40 years.

Key Players: It's impossible to speak about Maccabi Tel Aviv without mentioning Eran Zahavi, the captain and the league top scorer in the last two seasons. One of the main players in Hapoel Be'er Sheva is Ovidiu Hoban, the Romanian national team midfielder, that except from passing, he also knows to score from long-distance range.

World Class (like this guy)

What? Wikki Tourists – Sunshine Stars (Nigeria Premier League)

When? Sunday, 1700

Where? Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi

Why? The race for the Nigerian title is still close as only 5 games left. Enyimba, maybe the best team in Nigeria, lead the league, but these two teams still dream on a title. Wikki Tourists are at the 4th place, 7 points from the top spot, while Sunshine Stars are in 2nd place, with a gap of just 2 points.

Key Players: Wikki Tourists good season is all about Mubarak Umar. As the team’s forward, Umar is one of the top scorers in the Nigerian league. At Sunshine Stars you can find Tunde Adeniji, 19 years old Nigerian youngster, who has the potential to star in Europe one day.

Weekend Guide 28.5.15

One weekend, three games, all the information.

For the last time this season, the weekend guide is here. After 19 editions, over 50 countries, and hundred of teams, it's time to say: It was fun, it was exciting, but.. see you later!

Don't worry, when we finish a phase, we always take a deep look for the future. This is the reason we took the long flight to New Zealand, in order to visit the U-20 World Cup. We will watch some of the biggest stars of the future and some of the greatest stories of the present.

Saturday, 0600, Argentina – Panama
One of the biggest titles a team can hold while arriving this competition, is the South American champions. With this title, Argentina will try to win the U-20 title for the 7th time, a hard mission by accounts. Their first match will be against Panama, the COCACAF Championship runner-ups.
Argentina made a great run to win the South American championship. Seven wins in nine matches, 24 goals for and just seven goals against, are few of the numbers that led Argentina the victory, and now they are the obvious favorites in this World Cup. After they failed to qualify to the last tournament, Humberto Grondona, the son of the former Argentine Football Association, Julio, was appointed as the new manager. Few players in the squad already played for Grondona in the U-17 team who also conquered the continental trophy. One of the biggest names of the team is Giovanni Simeone, son of Diego Simeone, was the leading scorer of the South American tournament with nine goals. Watch also for Ángel Correa, the captain who scored the decisive goal at the final, and Augusto Batalla, one of the most promising goalkeepers in the world.

The football in Panama is in a process of improvement. The country qualified to four out of the previous six tournaments, and now they made it once again. Their CONCACAF Championship campaign was sensational when they finished the first round with five wins in five games, including 1:0 against United States. They almost won the title, but lost by penalty shootouts gave the title to Mexico. Except from two players, all the squad is based in the domestic league and its stars are Luis Pereira and Jaime de Garcia, who won the Golden Ball and the Golden Glove titles in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship, and Chin Hormechea, one of the dominant players of the local team Arabe Unido.

Argentina, one of the best football nations in the world, will try to win the U-20 World Cup once again. Will they go through their first match in a positive way?

Sunday, 0300, Qatar – Colombia
Unless there will be any surprising change, Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup. The Middle Eastern country was never qualified for the tournament, but is now cultivating its players for the occasion. From the other side, Colombia wants their next generation will join Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez, in becoming a new worldwide power. It is the 3rd appearance for Qatar in the competition. Their AFC U-19 Championship campaign was finished with their first ever title, winning 1:0 against North Korea. In order to improve the young Qatari prospects, the football association have appointed Félix Sánchez Bas, former Barcelona academy coach, and now part of ASPIRE Academy's staff. Not only that the academy supply the best coaches they can, but also the best players are traveling to foreign academies like the Austrian LASK Linz and the Belgian Eupen, which co-operates with ASPIRE. The leading players of the team are Ahmed Moein Doozandeh, the AFC U-19 tournament’s MVP, Ahmed Al Saadi, the tournament’s top scorer, and Akram Afif, who scored the winning goal in the final.
Colombia sees the qualification for this competition as a tool to improve their growing national players’ pool. The 80's generation was the basis for the Colombian golden generation in the 90's, and as the players of the last decade were the basis for the current Colombian squad, this team is tipped to be the future of the Colombian football. Colombia finished second at the South American Championship, making great results in the final stage like draws against Argentina and Uruguay and a victory over Brazil. The stars of the team are Andrés Tello and Alexis Zapata, who both plays abroad in Italy, Jeison Lucumí, one of the dominant players of América de Cali last season, and Joao Rodríguez, who’s a Chelsea player that getting experience in loans around Europe.

Two teams with big hopes for the future, this is a chance to see the future of the football in two of the emerging nations of the game.

Monday, 0300, Nigeria – Brazil
Nigeria and Brazil are two teams which always have the biggest prospects in the U-20 World Cups. Scouts from all over the world will watch this game, knowing that some of them will be the future stars of the biggest clubs in football. It will be the 4th meeting of the teams in the U-20 World Cups, and the record is in favor for Brazil: three wins and single draw.

Nigeria, the reigning African champions, wants to make history and finally win the U-20 World Cup. They qualified twice for the final, and in both of them they lost to two legendary teams – Portugal in 1989 (with players like Fernando Couto and Paulo Sousa) and Argentina in 2005 (with Lionel Messi and Pablo Zabaleta). This time, Nigeria is coming after winning the Continental title against Senegal. The coach, Manu Garba, led the U-17 team to winning the World Cup two years ago, and now he wishes to do it once again. You can find in the Nigerian squad one player that already made two caps for the senior team, Moses Simon, who won the Belgian championship with Gent. Other key players that were part from the African title winning squad are Musa Muhammed from Beşiktaş and of course, 18 years old Kelechi Iheanacho, the exciting talent of Manchester City, who was the star of the Super Eagles U-17.
After their absence from the last World Cup, Brazil will try to win the title for the 6th time. Their qualification was difficult, as the team failed to win against Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia, and eventually finished 4th, the last qualifying spot. That's not their only problem. Alexandre Gallo was the coach who decided the squad, but in the beginning of May, the CBF decided that Gallo will be fired and replaced by Rogério Micale. Anyways, Brazil has lots of quality.
Danilo, who played his debut season abroad in Braga, Marcos Guilherme, who was the leading scorer of Brazil in the South American U-20 Championship, and Boschilia, who won the Bronze Boot in the U-17 World Cup two years ago, are the main figures in the squad.

Brazil and Nigeria are always supplying many of the biggest promises of the worldwide football, and this is the chance to see some of them.

Bonus Match – Monday, 0300, Germany – Fiji
In this match, we will focus the interesting story of the team from Fiji.
As New Zealand is the host of the competition, the Oceanian teams have a great chance to make a historic appearance in the tournament. A great OFC Oceanian Championship led Fiji for the sensational title and a qualification to the World Cup. The staff of Fiji is led by a local coach, Ravinesh Kumar. The team also guided by the senior team coach, Frank Farina, who recently was appointed for the job. Some of the interesting names are Saula Waqa, who scored five goals in the OFC Champions League in this season for Ba, Nickel Chand, who was dominant in Suva's Champions League campaign, and Praneel Naidu, one of the experienced players in the squad with 19 caps for the U-20 team.