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Paris Saint-Germain suspend club operations

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Paris Saint-Germain’s players have been told to remain at home after the club cancelled all operations following the suspension of Ligue 1.

Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed they have suspended all club activities up until Monday after Ligue 1 was postponed.

The spread of coronavirus across the globe has led to the mass cancelation of sporting events, the Ligue de Football Professionnel confirming on Friday that all fixtures in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 are suspended “until further notice”.

It had initially been agreed earlier this week that all games would be played behind closed doors until April 15 but, after advice from the French government, games will now be postponed.

In the wake of the announcement, Ligue 1 leaders PSG – who defeated Borussia Dortmund at an empty Parc des Princes on Wednesday and sit 12 points clear in France’s top flight – confirmed they have closed down all operations.

“All the departments of the club and its sports sections are concerned, women’s and men’s football, handball and judo,” a statement on PSG’s website read.

READ   Reports: Real Madrid target heading to PSG as Neymar back up

“All training is cancelled until [and including] Sunday. Athletes are invited to stay at their homes during this period. The medical service of the club and its external experts are to follow the evolution of the situation and recommend from Sunday evening the measures to take for the following days.

“The club remains attentive to the decisions to be announced by UEFA on March 17 on the holding of its competitions.”

No date for a resumption of the French leagues has been announced, though a further update is expected after a meeting of the 55 UEFA member associations on Tuesday.

As it stands, all of Europe’s major leagues are currently on hold until the start of April at the earliest, with the Bundesliga having cancelled its fixtures for this weekend, while the Premier League has also postponed games.

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France

France: Discover The 11 Nominees Of The Prestigious Marc Vivien Foe Award

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prix marc vivien foe 2020

Radio France Internationale (RFI) has announced the list of nominees for the yearly Marc-Vivien Foé Award. The winner, recognized as the best African footballer in the French Ligue 1 championship over a 12-month period will be known on June 29th  2020.

Hailing from 6 different countries, with a domination from Senegalese and Nigerian players, this year’s nominees highlight the breadth and wealth of African talent playing in the French Ligue 1 championship. These players will be vying to succeed Ivorian forward Nicolas Pepe, winner of the 2019 award. A shortlist of just three nominees will be unveiled in early June, with the laureate to be announced later in the month.

The award is named after late Marc-Vivien Foé, former Cameroonian defensive midfielder footballer who suddenly passed away during a FIFA confederation cup match against Columbia on 26 June 2003 in France.

These are the nominees:

Yunis ABDELHAMID (Morocco / Stade de Reims) – Defender

Yunis ABDELHAMID

Yunis ABDELHAMID

The “Lion of the Atlas” is one of the great craftsmen of 6th placed Reims in the French ligue 1 championship. Yunis is the Moroccan figure in the All best season’s XI established by the renowned French magazine France Football and was rated as best defender by the newspaper L’Équipe. The 32-year-old player could finally discover the European Competition as his club is on the brink of participating in the Europa League.

Denis BOUANGA (Gabon / AS Saint-Etienne) – Forward

Denis Bouanga DR

Denis Bouanga DR

Arriving from Nîmes last summer, the 25-year-old Gabonese had a little trouble adjusting in his club during the first weeks of the championship. He was quick to catch up and resum with last season’s rhythm and performance that saw him rose from Nîmes to Saint Etienne.  The versatile striker finished the season with 10 goals and 3 assists to his name in 26 Ligue 1 games. With “Les verts”, he has progressed to the lamp light, arousing the lusts from some big clubs.

Andy DELORT (Algeria / Montpellier HSC) – Forward

Andy DELORT

Andy DELORT

The African champion continued this season with an uprise momentum, after a radiant summer with the Algerian national side. Though he scored 9 goals in 26 games this season against 14 in 36 games during the 2018-2019 season, the 28-year-old striker seems perfectly fulfilled in his native region.

READ   Favre wary of 10 PSG players, not just returning Neymar

Habib DIALLO (Senegal / FC Metz) – Forward

Habib DIALLO

Habib DIALLO

The former resident of Génération Foot Fc (Senegal) perpetuates the tradition of talented Senegalese players who is walking in the footpaths of his predecessors through Metz FC (That has nursed Jules Bocandé, Ismaïla Sarr, Papiss Cissé and Sadio Mané over the years). After helping Metz move up to Ligue 1 in 2019, the 24-year-old center-forward helped the club be maintained in the french top flight with 12 goals in 26 games.

Idrissa GUEYE (Senegal / Paris SG) – Midfielder

Idrissa GUEYE

Idrissa GUEYE

Rarely has a defensive player been expected to produce as much as Gueye in a major club. Even if he is not a pure defensive midfielder, the Senegalese aged 30, recruited last summer by Everton (England), filled a glaring shortage in this position, with much consistency, rigour and ardour.  this, to the point of quickly attracting the sympathy of PSG fans.

Edouard MENDY (Senegal / Stade rennais) – Goalkeeper

Edouard MENDY

Edouard MENDY

The “Lions of Teranga” are assured with the save hands of Mendy and Alfred Gomis, two excellent goalkeepers of Ligue 1. Gomis could also have been on this list if not of an injury contracted in early February. The goalkeeper of Stade Rennes, in any case, has confirmed with Rennes his fine performances from the seasons spent in Reims.

M’Baye NIANG (Senegal / Stade rennais) – Forward

M'Baye NIANG

M’Baye NIANG

At 25, the former great hope of French football has certainly not yet unleashed his full potential. But in Rennes, the one who opted for the Senegalese national side demonstrated that he was an imposing striker, scoring 10 goals this season.

Victor OSIMHEN (Nigeria / Lille LOSC) – Forward

 

Victor OSIMHEN

Will the Nigerian be the fifth Lille player to becomr the best African player of the Ligue 1 championship, after Gervinho (2010, 2011), Vincent Enyeama (2014), Sofiane Boufal (2016) and Nicolas Pépé (2019)? The 21-year-old center-forward in any case illustrates the LOSC’s ability to find nuggets. With 13 goals and 4 assists in 27 games, the “Super Eagle” excelled above expectations.

Moses SIMON (Nigeria / FC Nantes) – Midfielder / Forward

Moses SIMON

Moses SIMON

Loaned by Levante, the Nigerian signed up for 4 years with Nantes where he has just been elected player of the season. This eccentric midfielder/twirling winger, aged 24, has split 5 goals and 5 assists in Ligue 1. Among the “Canaries”, Moses Simon has accumulated experience, haven played in the Netherlands, Slovakia, Belgium, and Spain. Nantes seems to be a favourable ground to find stability that will permit him be a starter with the “Super Eagles”.

READ   Coronavirus: Ligue 1 and 2 suspended until further notice

Islam SLIMANI (Algeria / AS Monaco) – Forward

Islam SLIMANI

Islam SLIMANI

Through Portugal, England, and Turkey. Slimani is known for his precious goals and his ceaseless efforts. At Monacco, we discovered his technical finesse and his generosity in assists (8 assists and goals). The African champion has formed a beautiful duo with Wissam Ben Yedder. But, despite his high-class performances, the 31-year-old did not always have the confidence of the new Monegasque coach, Robert Moreno.

Hamari TRAORÉ (Mali / Stade Rennes) – Defender

Hamari TRAORÉ

Hamari TRAORÉ

Good side backs don’t run the streets. So Rennes will no doubt have to insist on keeping the Malian international. At 28 years old and after three seasons in Brittany, this straight side and full of drive aspires for greater challenges. The prospect of competing in the Champions League might push him to extend the adventure with the “Red and Black”.

It should be noted no Cameroonian is on the list, two Nigerians and a majority of Senegalese players. Rennes, more than any other club is most represented with 3 players.

 

Former winners of the Marc-Vivien Foé Prize Award

  • Year      Player                                  Club
    2009  Marouane Chamakh (Girondins de Bordeaux)
    2010  Gervinho                      (LOSC Lille)
    2011  Gervinho (2)                 (LOSC Lille)
    2012  Younès Belhanda         (Montpellier HSC)
    2013  Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (AS Saint-Étienne)
    2014  Vincent Enyeama          (LOSC Lille)
    2015  André Ayew                    (Olympique de Marseille)
    2016  Sofiane Boufal               (LOSC Lille)
    2017  Jean Michaël Seri          (OGC Nice)
    2018  Karl Toko-Ekambi         (Angers SCO)
    2019  Nicolas Pépé                    (LOSC Lille)
  • 2020:
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Coronavirus: I felt worse than Mbappe when he was tested for COVID-19 – Herrera

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Kylian Mbappe was tested for coronavirus earlier this month, but Ander Herrera was in a worse condition.

Ander Herrera revealed he felt worse than Kylian Mbappe when his Paris Saint-Germain team-mate was tested for coronavirus.

Mbappe tested negative for coronavirus earlier this month, just days out from PSG’s Champions League last-16 second leg against Borussia Dortmund.

But Herrera said he was in a worse condition than Mbappe, with the midfielder missing the clash due to a thigh injury.

“It was two days before PSG v Dortmund and the previous weekend Neymar had a group meal and I had been by his side,” he told Cadena SER on Thursday.

“I was worse than him.”

PSG’s win over Borussia Dortmund behind closed doors which sent them into the Champions League quarter-finals was their last match with sport around the world brought to a standstill by the coronavirus pandemic.

The financial impact of the suspended, and potentially cancelled, seasons is set to be felt and Herrera is open to taking a pay cut.

READ   Coronavirus: Ligue 1 and 2 suspended until further notice

“We have to be consistent with the situation of the clubs,” he said.

“Personally, I am very grateful to PSG for having me here and of course I would listen to them.”

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Neymar v Lautaro Martinez: Who should Barcelona sign?

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Neymar and Lautaro Martinez have been strongly linked with a move to Barcelona. We use Opta data to see who would best suit the Catalans.

Football may be on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Barcelona are reportedly already planning their transfer business ahead of the window reopening.

The LaLiga champions have been short of options up top this term as a result of injury lay-offs for Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele and reinforcements are being sought.

Two players continue to be continually linked with a switch, with Barca supposedly torn between a move for Inter striker Lautaro Martinez or ex-Camp Nou favourite Neymar.

Martinez has once again starred for Inter this season and the possibility of a move to Catalonia has been talked up by compatriot Lionel Messi.

But speaking earlier this week, Rivaldo claimed Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar would be a better option for his former club given his added experience.

Using Opta stats, we compare the form of the two players in all competitions this season and establish just who would be the better signing for Barcelona.

 

GOALS

Whoever Barcelona bring in to lead the line, they will need to have the ability to link up with others in the final third and continue getting the best out of star man Messi.

READ   Thomas Tuchel at a loss to explain PSG’s dip in form

But first and foremost, Quique Setien’s side need a goalscorer that can find the net and make a difference in key games.

Both Neymar and Martinez have the ability to do just that, scoring 18 and 16 goals respectively in all competitions this term.

However, Neymar has played nine games fewer than Martinez, giving him a minutes-per-goal ratio of 106 compared to 152.

ALL-ROUND ABILITY

There is little between the two players in terms of where their goals are scored, each netting two apiece from strikes outside the penalty box this term.

Neymar is comfortable using both feet to find the net, though, using his left foot seven times and his right 10 times to beat the opposition goalkeeper.

Inter striker Martinez, by comparison, has only managed a couple of goals with his weaker left.

But the Argentina international is better in the air, the stats suggest, given he has scored three headed goals in 2019-20 – two more than Neymar.

 

ASSISTS

The deciding factor in which of the two players Barcelona should sign may well come down to their relationship with Messi.

Neymar knows Messi well from his previous four-year stint at Camp Nou, while Martinez regularly links up with the six-time Ballon d’Or winner at international level.

READ   Reports: Arsene Wenger wants return in management with Ligue 1 giants but they prefer ex-France coach

In terms of pure team play, this is another category Neymar edges having assisted nine goals this season, with Martinez lagging behind on two.

 

BIG GAME CREDENTIALS

If Barcelona are to spend a nine-figure sum on a player, they will expect to be reimbursed with goals in big matches and at key moments in games.

It is arguably Martinez’s form on the biggest club stage of them all, the Champions League, that has fuelled rumours of a move to Barcelona.

The 22-year-old scored in four successive Champions League games during the group stage, making him the fifth Argentinian player to do so, though it was not enough to prevent Inter from exiting the competition.

PSG remain alive and well in the competition and that is in large down to Neymar, who scored in both legs of the last-16 comeback win against Borussia Dortmund.

In fact, since joining the French giants in 2017, Neymar has been involved in a goal every 70 minutes in UEFA’s showpiece competition.

It is that ability to have a say on the biggest matches, plus his individual brilliance and underrated ability to set up others, which just gives Neymar the edge over Martinez at this moment in time.

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