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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said he was ‘a bit annoyed’ by Barcelona earlier this month – but Lionel Messi did not put it quite so politely in 2006.

 

The Camp Nou legend, in no uncertain terms, described an incomparable hatred between the two clubs – and one that has been reignited this summer.

 

Kounde looked set to join Chelsea but now appears to have changed his mind and picked Barca

“There are players here who hate Chelsea more than Real Madrid,” Messi told the News of the World when he was 19.

 

‘I never thought I would hear myself say that.

 

“I also never thought I would see something worse than the Boca and River Plate rivalry or Brazil v Argentina – but this is.

 

“We would rather play Arsenal, Manchester United or anyone else than be on the pitch with Chelsea.”

 

When it comes to negotating transfers, the Blues must be feeling that way about the Catalans right now.

 

Spanish outlet SPORT ran with the headline ‘Barcelona 5-0 Chelsea’ after the LaLiga giants emerged as the favourites to sign Jules Kounde from Sevilla.

 

This is despite Chelsea agreeing a £55million deal – and it is not the first time that has happened this summer.

 

The Blues thought they had secured the signing of Raphinha from Leeds for £60m, only for Barca to hijack that deal as well.

 

They also snapped up free agent Andreas Christensen, who opted for the Camp Nou instead of a new deal at Stamford Bridge.

 

Chelsea were hoping Ousmane Dembele might head in the opposite direction when his Barca contract expired, but the France forward eneded up agreeing fresh terms.

 

 

Chelsea have lost out to Barca in numerous races this summer

 

Chelsea have lost out to Barca in numerous races this summer

The Blues also missed out on Robert Lewandowski – no prizes for guessing where the Poland superstar ended up.

 

And just to twist the knife, Barca are trying to lure Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta and fellow defender Marcos Alonso to Spain.

 

It is understood Chelsea are blocking those deals as a result of the Kounde hijack – and it is beginning to feel like 2006 all over again.

 

Bad blood between the two sides appeared to have simmered down, with just two meetings in the last ten years.

 

 

It all started with a red card for Drogba in 2005

 

It all started with a red card for Drogba in 2005

However, between 2005 and 2012, they featured in four Champions League knockout ties which went down in history.

 

Although it is unusual for rivalries in football to travel across borders, familiarity breeds contempt, as does a totally different belief system.

 

It all started during Jose Mourinho’s first spell at Stamford Bridge – and Didier Drogba was at the centre of it – when they travelled to the Nou Camp for a last-16 clash in 2005.

 

Mourinho’s men were leading the first leg at half-time, before Anders Frisk gave Drogba a controversial red card which turned the game on its head.

 

 

This tackle on Messi infuriated the Argentine in 2006.

 

This tackle on Messi infuriated the Argentine in 2006

The Chelsea manager sensationally (and wrongly) accused Frisk of meeting with Barca boss Frank Rijkaard at half-time – and the referee later received death threats from angry fans, forcing an early retirement aged 42.

 

And Mourinho didn’t rest there when it came to his mind games.

 

Before the second leg, Mourinho named the Barcelona starting XI as well as his Chelsea XI, getting Rijkaard’s team spot on – but deliberately getting his own wrong.

 

One of the all-time great Champions League clashes followed, as the Blues raced into a three-goal lead inside 20 minutes – with Damien Duff among the scorers, even though Mourinho said Eidur Gudjohnsen would start over the Irishman.

 

Chelsea 4-2 Barcelona, 8 March 2005

 

This was one of the all-time great European clashes

They were pegged back by some Ronaldinho brilliance, featuring that iconic toe-poke, before John Terry capitalised on Ricardo Carvalho’s tug on Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes to send the Blues through.

 

It can’t get any more dramatic than that, right? Wrong. Mourinho’s comments about Frisk got him in hot water with UEFA, who banned the Chelsea boss from the dressing room and the touchline for two upcoming quarter-final legs against Bayern Munich.

 

However, in classic Mourinho style, the Portuguese manager snuck into Stamford Bridge in a laundry basket.

 

But back to the Barca rivalry. The Catalans would have their revenge in 2006 after another ill-termpered tie saw Asier del Horno sent off for a brutal tackle on Messi in the first leg – which sparked the Argentine’s comments.

 

Messi and Drogba have been at the centre of the rivalry

Momentum shifted to Spain as Barca eliminated Chelsea – but the Blues did not have to wait long to get their own back.

 

They edged Barca to top spot in the group stage in late 2006, with Drogba at the heart of it once again.

 

He scored the winner in a 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge and equalised in the last minute in a 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp.

 

Amazingly, the two rivals had not yet played their most iconic ties, and this was all just scene-setting for what was to come.

 

This still haunts Blues fans

With Chelsea chasing an elusive European crown in 2009, they were denied by Barca in the most horrible circumstances.

 

The Blues were denied four clear peanlties by referee Tom Henning Overbo – who has since admitted his errors – and got knocked out by a last-gasp Andres Iniesta volley.

 

As Drogba famously ranted and swore at the TV cameras, it was arguably the most sickening moment in Chelsea history, made all the worse for the fact it was Barca going wild in front of the Shed up.

 

But it was also what made 2012 so much sweeter for Blues fans.

 

Drogba imfamously shouted ‘it’s a f****** disgrace’ live on TV

 

Drogba imfamously shouted ‘it’s a f****** disgrace’ live on TV

Another semi-final against the Catalans awaited, but few gave Chelsea a chance.

 

Even still, with a parked bus against the greatest team on earth, the Blues edged the first leg thanks to a goal from – yes, him again – Drogba.

 

Then Roberto Di Matteo’s side went to the Camp Nou and pulled off one of the most extraordinary triumphs in modern football.

 

Down to ten men after losing John Terry and needing a goal after Barca scored twice, Ramires popped up with a sumptuous chip from nowhere to hand Chelsea the advantage on away goals.

 

This moment has gone down in Chelsea folklore

This moment has gone down in Chelsea folklore

Not only did they hold on for an entire half without the ball, the Blues went and won the tie outright when Fernando Torres ran up the other end and sealed the deal in stoppage time.

 

You can imagine what the Spanish press thought of Chelsea’s tactics.

 

The nature of the win and what went before it made Chelsea feel like stars had alligned to right their wrongs – and it was only fitting Drogba scored the equaliser and winning penalty against Bayern Munich in the final that year.

 

Six years passed and things were square between the two sides – until 2018 and Barca wiped the floor with Chelsea as Messi finally scored against them after numerous attempts.

 

Now that Chelsea’s entire summer has been ruined by Barca in the transfer market, those at the Camp Nou can probably claim the upper hand.

 

But Blues fans would not swap that night in Spain ten years ago for any player – not even Messi.

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NFF President, Ibrahim Gusau Hosts Primate Ayodele, Presents Customized Jersey 

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The Leader Of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, Primate Elijah Ayodele has been received by the president of the Nigeria Football Federation, Alh Ibrahim Gusau at his Abuja office.

 

In a statement released by his media aide, Osho Oluwatosin, it was revealed that the NFF president expressed his gratitude to Primate Ayodele for his support towards his emergence as the president.

 

Gusau, who was joined by his team to receive the renowned man of God made it known that He hasn’t met the prophet before but was surprised that He continued to mention his name as the best choice to become the next NFF president after Amaju Pinnick.

He noted that Primate Ayodele’s prayers and prophecy was instrumental to his emergence as the NFF President while affirming that he is indeed a true man of God.

 

In his response, Primate Ayodele explained that He is only doing what God asked him to do by supporting Gusau in prayers to become the next president of the NFF as God revealed.

 

He then urged Gusau to use football to unite the country because the sector has so much to offer in curbing disunity and insecurity in the country.

 

He expressed his surprise at the performance of Morocco in the ongoing FIFA World Cup, noting that Nigerian can do more in the next World Cup with Gusau’s administration.

 

He then advised Gusau to start preparation towards international competitions, create space for the country’s ex-professional footballers, carry local players along and ensure God is involved in the affairs of the nation’s football.

 

“ We can use football to unite Nigeria. When there is football, Nigerians comes together as one body.”

 

“I was impressed seeing Morocco at that stage and I believe Nigeria can do more. We can go as far as getting to final stage of the next World Cup if we start the preparations now. We can stop insecurity with sports. Let’s create a space for Most of these professionals and ex footballers, they can make impact.”

 

“If Nigeria goes to world cup and we get the finals, the country will be better. I encourage you to also carry home-based players along.”

 

“Also, in your commitee, some will not like your policies, not all will be your friend, there are some who just want to be there, they won’t be there with all their heart, let’s do everything with the fear of God and love because that’s the beginning of success.”

 

“Let’s also mix prayers with football because it will help us so much. Before picking a coach, let’s put it in God’s hands.”

 

“Nigeria must come home with the next AFCON, we are going to Egypt too next year to ensure that we win the cup. Let’s do it with love and fairness. We need to commit our football in the hands of God for us to excel.”

 

“Supporters club is a mess because they are not united, I urge you to please call them to order so they can come as one body. Our fields too, take your proposal to FIFA, let there be activities in our stadiums.”

 

“I will support you with prayers, God will support you.I congratulate you once again for your victory, it’s my prayer that God will lead and be with you. Let’s all work in love and unity.”

 

In his reactions, Gusau appreciated Primate Ayodele for his prayers while assuring that the federation will always listen to the man of God after which he presented a customized jersey to the man of God.

 

“I thank you for this important visit, I want to assure you that we will always listen to you, we believe in prayer and we will continue to pray.”

 

“We will continue to pray, this is your own time, if you can say it and It came to pass, my success will also be your success. I know God will be with you and I wish you good health and under my leadership, I will not disappoint Nigerians and do my best to ensure I get the best for Nigeria.”

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Winner Of 61st First Bank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship Gets listed in The World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR)

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L-R Kayode Oguntayo, Director, Concierge Sports Limited; Taiwo Okeowo, Deputy Managing Director, FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited; Dr. Anthony Oboh, Golf Captain, Golf Section of Ikoyi Club 1938; Olusegun Alebiosu, Executive Director, Chief Risk Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Limited presenting the trophy to Emmanuel Ojeabulu, winner of the 61st Lagos Open Golf Championship; Nkoli Moka, Lady Captain, Golf Section of Ikoyi Club 1938; Akinwumi Akintola, Vice Chairman, Ikoyi Club 1938 and Ibukun Obatoyinbo; Director, Concierge Sports Limited at the prize presentation and awards dinner of the 61st FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship held recently at the Golf Section of Ikoyi Club 1938, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Emmanuel Ojeabulu, winner of the 61st FirstBank Lagos Open Golf Championship has been listed in the WAGR.

 

The premier golf championship which held from 18 – 20th November at the golf section of Ikoyi Club 1938 was keenly contested by over 190 low handicap players from several golf clubs in the country.

 

Benin based Emmanuel Ojeabulu won the 3-day championship.

Playing three-shots off the pace going into the last 18-holes, Ojeabulu played one of the best golf of his life, maintaining steady pars for a closing 74, 3-over the course par to win the World Amateur Golf Ranking recognized event by two shots.

Ojeabulu started his game with an opening 75, a second day score of 78 and a closing 74 to replace Ilorin based Aminu Kadir, the tournament defending champion on the winners list.

Overnight leader, 20-year-old product of David Mark Golf Academy, George Paul who was tipped to win the tournament collapsed under pressure closing with an unimpressive 79 to lose by two-shots.

 

In the third position is Muyideen Olaitan, three-time winner of the coveted FirstBank Lagos Open trophy while Iyare Osaze was further down on the winners chart by one-shot, leaving perennial contender, Olajide Owolabi, who shot tournaments best score of 72 on day two of the competition in the fifth position.

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, sponsors of the annual Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship has pledged its commitment to the continuous sponsorship of the tournament which is one of the longest running golf tournaments in Nigeria.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 61st edition of the tournament in Lagos on Sunday, the Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan who was represented by Executive Director, Chief Risk Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Limited Mr. Olusegun Alebiosu said “This year made it 61 years of our undiluted commitment to this cause, and we are absolutely delighted with the amazing support and partnership we have enjoyed from Ikoyi Club 1938 thus contributing to building a legacy not only for golf and golfers, but sports in its entirety.

 

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