Thursday, 5 September 2013

The Welshman made a world-record move to Real Madrid this summer but, as Goal reveals, his fee could have purchased a club a wealth of talent

When Real Madrid spent an astonishing €100 million to lure Gareth Bale to the Spanish capital from Tottenham this summer, they smashed their own transfer world record. Of course, los Blancos were not the only club to be active in the transfer market and Goal is here to present an entire XI purchased for just under €98m.

Maarten Stekelenburg - Roma to Fulham (€5.6m)

The 30-year-old has been deposed as Dutch No.1 under the Louis van Gaal regime after enduring mixed fortunes during his time in the Roma goal. It could prove to be a bargain for Fulham as they have acquired the services of man who, on his day, can be regarded as the best in his position. Immediate among his concerns will be to re-establish himself as the Netherlands first-choice goalkeeper ahead of the World Cup. He then might depart Craven Cottage for a more high-profile team like his compatriot Edwin van der Sar.

Dani Carvajal - Bayer Leverkusen to Real Madrid (€6.5m)

The Real Madrid cantera prospect was widely regarded as the best right-back in the Bundesliga last season. He has made the return trip from Leverkusen to the Spanish capital after proving his worth to the hierarchy at the Santiago Bernabeu. The 21-year-old is challenging Alvaro Arbeloa as the starting right-back in Carlo Ancelotti's team and will be knocking on the door for a World Cup place under Vicente del Bosque next summer.

Benoit Tremoulinas - Bordeaux to Dinamo Kyiv (€6.5m)

France international left-back who took the opportunity for a fresh start in a move from Bordeaux to Dinamo Kyiv during the summer. An experienced Champions League campaigner, Tremoulinas is moving into his prime as a player and represents a fine bit of business for the club vying to wrest control of Ukrainian football back from Shakhtar Donetsk.

Diego Reyes - Club America to Porto (€7m)

The Olympic gold-medalist will find it tough to break into the heart of the Porto defence but hopes are high at the Dragao that the assured, confident Mexican can become the new Ricardo Carvalho. Porto are renowned for their ability to spot talent in South America but have cast their radar further north this summer by securing the services of two of the most sought-after Mexican talents in the game. Hector Herrera and Reyes will bank huge profits for the Portuguese giants when the time comes to move on.

Mamadou Sakho - PSG to Liverpool (€17m)

Due to the volume of arrivals it was inevitable that Paris Saint-Germain were going to have to start shedding players at some stage. In defence, after the signing of Marquinhos, it is highly-regarded youth team product and former captain, Mamadou Sakho, who is expendable. A cast-off of a new regime he may be but he is no less a player for his exit. An awesomely powerful centre-back who can pass the ball well from the back, Sakho is worth every cent the Reds paid to land him.

Luiz Gustavo - Bayern Munich to Wolfsburg (€17.5m)

The odd man out of Bayern's midfield following the acquisition of Mario Gotze from Borussia Dortmud, Gustavo surprisingly opted for a move to Wolfsburg when a deal with Arsenal looked at one stage to be close. The Brazil international was keen to keep playing first-team football, something which could not be guaranteed to him by Pep Guardiola in Bavaria. Gustavo's quality comes at a relatively high price but his is a statement signing and he will help Wolfsburg challenge for a Champions League berth.

Jeremy Toulalan - Malaga to AS Monaco (€5m)

The former France midfielder was a key part of Malaga's run to the brink of the Champions League semi-finals last season and possesses the experience and nous to help the newly-minted Monaco up the Ligue 1 table. Due to Malaga's financial predicaments, Toulalan was available for a relatively small fee but will complement the more dynamic talents of Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez perfectly.

Dimitri Payet - Lille OSC to Marseille (€10m)

L'OM are back in the Champions League and this summer brought a departure from their austerity campaign of 12 months previous. Big money was lavished on the cream of French domestic talent, spearheaded by the signing from Lille. Payet is a wide player of growing repute and is hoping that his move south will bring with it a place in les Bleus' 2014 World Cup squad.

Juan Quintero - Pescara to Porto (€5m)

Porto have quite possibly bagged themselves the bargain of the summer in the shape of Quintero, Colombia's intelligent, vibrant playmaker. A small fee was required to spirit him away from relegated Pescara in Serie A and he has hit the ground running in his new surroundings. After selling James for €45m, Porto have upgraded for around 10 per cent of that price.

David Villa - Barcelona to Atletico Madrid (€2.1m)

Atletico Madrid have a long, illustrious history of boasting supreme strikers in their line-up and this summer they have signed another. David Villa, for a minuscule fee has replaced the outgoing Falcao and hit the ground running with a Supercopa goal against his former employers Barcelona. Spain's record goalscorer and a bonafide modern day legend, El Guaje guarantees goals.

Mario Gomez - Bayern Munich to Fiorentina (€15.5m)

Gomez is a Champions League winner with something to prove following his exit from Bayern Munich. The 28-year-old is a consistent goalscorer but was deemed unsuitable by the new Bayern manager Pep Guardiola who let him go. The Germany international will light up Serie A with goals and could help fill a Gabriel Batistuta/Luca Toni-shaped hole in the hearts of the Viola faithful.

Teenage stowaway's father speaks, I didn't abandon him

Culled from Punch
Two weeks after his son flew from Benin City to Lagos in the wheel compartment of an aircraft belonging to Arik Air, Daniel Ohikhena’s father denies claims that he abandoned his family.
Little is known about Daniel Ohikhena, the 13-year-old stowaway who flew from Benin City to Lagos in the wheel compartment of a plane belonging to Arik Air, by his schoolmates at Ogbe Junior Secondary School in the Edo State capital.
Shortly before his celebrated escapade, Daniel’s mother, Mrs. Evelyn Ohikhena, had withdrawn him from a private secondary school for want of money to pay his tuition fees. She had enrolled him in OJSS, which was about 500 metres from her residence.
Investigation by our correspondent shows that the teenager had spent only a term in his new school before embarking on the dangerous adventure. A source said, on condition of anonymity, that Daniel joined the school, popularly known as ‘Ezoti Junior’ just before the end of the third term.

A youth named Festus, who also resides in the same neighbourhood as the stowaway boy, said the latter was not popular in the area.

“We hardly know him. It was recently that we heard he lives in the neighbourhood. I have not seen much of him. He was very quiet at school. I have not known him for long,” he said.

However, events took a dramatic turn on Tuesday when the boy’s father, Osaigbovo Ohikhena, 44, materialised as if from nowhere. Earlier, his wife (Daniel’s mother) had claimed that they did not live together.

Mr. Ohikhena, who is a driver by profession, said he had been separated from his family for a year because of a misunderstanding between him and Daniel’s mum. But he denied the latter’s claim that he abandoned his family.

“I always pay my children’s school fees and provide money for their feeding regularly, contrary to claims that I abandoned my family. After I lost my job, I decided to move to a cheaper apartment and told my wife that they should move in with me. But she refused and continued to stay in the three-bedroom flat. My new residence is located on Siluko Road. I decided to come here (Government House) to tell the world that I am the father of Daniel.

“Initially, when I heard the news, I thought my son was kidnapped. But my wife said I should calm down and she promised to get back to me when everything is finally okay. I never dreamt of going to America nor am I married to another woman. My wife refused to give the DSS my phone number when they asked for it,” he said.

Giving an insight to what could have been responsible for the teenager’s strange behaviour, an expert and sociologist at the University of Benin, Dr Kingsley Omoyibo, described him as suffering from maladjusted personality, due to inability to mix. Omoyibo did not only warn against labelling the teenager a criminal because of his action; he recommended that the youngster be made to undergo rehabilitation.

Noting that what happened to Daniel could have resulted from his experience in his home, the don urged the boy’s parents to live up to their responsibilities in order to prevent untoward behaviour from their children in the future.

He said, “Like we learnt, the boy is a recluse. He has a withdrawn personality because he does not mix. This is why he acts the way he does. This condition is capable of making him do damage not only to himself, but to his siblings and his immediate environment.

“The boy needs to be rehabilitated. Although we cannot say that his attempt to stowaway in the wheel compartment of an aircraft is criminal behaviour, it is a devious act that must have been propelled by lack of adequate parental care. I do not know the background, but what we can extrapolate from this is that the home is not stable.

“You will find out that there is a lacuna in the upbringing of the boy and consequently, it has affected the way he reasons and appreciates societal issues. The way he sees the complexity of society is different from a child that has complete socialization. The boy is suffering from maladjusted personality.

“Indeed, that child, I still maintain, is not a criminal. In the process of maladjustment, he is exposed to odious things. For a child to keep all night watching films, it tells a lot about his state of mind.”

Now that a group known as De RAUFS has offered the teenage stowaway scholarship up to university level, it is the duty of his parents to seek ways of reshaping his character for a better future.  

FG approves 5-year jail term and N200, 000 fine for exam cheats

The minister of Education, Prof Ruqayyat Rufai, announced yesterday that students caught from now on cheating during exams will face a five year jail term or N200,000 fine or both.
This decision was reached during the Federal Executive Council weekly meeting that held in Abuja yesterday. The new law states in part...
“(Any candidate caught cheating) shall not take or be allowed to take or continue the examination; in addition, he shall be prohibited from taking any examination held or conducted by or on behalf of the Council for a period of two years immediately following upon such contraventions. If a candidate aforesaid has already taken any papers at the examination, his result therefrom shall be cancelled. In addition, the candidate may be prosecuted and if found guilty, shall be liable on conviction to a fine of N200, 000 or imprisonment for a term of five years or to both such fine and imprisonment.”
The Education Minister said the Ministry of Justice has been directed to take further necessary action on the subject. Students una dey hear? No more exam your books!

Jay Z’s apparently selling (at least some of) his ownership stake in the Nets to coach Jason Kidd

Jay Z and Jason Kidd pal around during a party at NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans in February 2008. (Johnny …

We've known that Jay Z would have to sell his part-ownership stake in the Brooklyn Nets since April, when Yahoo Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the rapper and mogul had decided to expand the Roc Nation Sports management concern he co-created with the powerful Creative Artists Agency into representing NBA players like three-time scoring champion Kevin Durant. But as Jay has spent the last few months both "Magna Carta Holy Grail"-ing around and securing deals with athletes like New York Yankees second baseman Robinson CanoNew York Giants wide receiverVictor Cruz and New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith, among others, questions persisted about who would take his spot (however large it might be) in the Nets' ownership group.
On Wednesday, The New York Post's Page Six column reported a result few likely expected: that the shares will pass from one Jay to another, first-year Nets head coach Jason Kidd.
We’re told Kidd will take over Jay’s .067 percent (1/15th of a percent) stake in the team for about $500,000. [...]
A source told us, “Other owners want to give Jason a part ownership of the team, and urged Jay to sell his shares to him.” [...] We’re told that, unlike Jay, the coach owning minority shares in the team would not be seen as a conflict of interest.
Just how much of Jay's stake Kidd will actually purchase — and, apparently, the size of the piece the artist/businessman/business, man actually holds — remain unclear, however, according to follow-up reporting from SB Nation Nets blog NetsDaily citing a source with "knowledge of the transaction" who says Kidd will buy "half the entertainer's shares" in the team:
According to the source, Jay Z controlled 0.1608 percent of the Nets, or roughly 1/6 of 1 percent through Nets Sports and Entertainment (not 1/15th of one percent, as reported by the Times last year and the Post Wednesday.) [...] Jay Z, whose name is Shawn Carter, suggested during his opening night concert at Barclays Center that the real number was higher than what the Times' David Halbfinger had reported. He has never revealed the specific number.
The source said that Jay Z had originally planned to sell half his shares to another suitor, but that Kidd asked he sell the stake to him. The transaction would close the circle for Jay Z and J-Kidd. It was Kidd who reportedly was the first to suggest that Jay Z buy into the Nets 10 years ago. That conversation took place at Kidd's 30th birthday party, held at Jay Z's 40/40 Club in Manhattan, according to reports. Not long after, Jay Z met with Bruce Ratner. There are conflicting accounts as to how much Jay Z paid initially with one report suggesting $100,000, another $400,000.
As for a potential conflict, the source said there is none, that coaches can own part of a team. Players cannot.
It's not unheard of for a coach to hold an ownership stake in a team. Pat Riley famously carved out a piece of the Miami Heat when he moved south from the New York Knicks in the mid-1990s before reportedly selling it in 2006. More recently, Eduardo Najera became an ownership partner when the D-League's Texas Legends made him their head coach, and a piece of the franchise was reportedly one of the sticking points in last fall's disintegrating negotiations between Phil Jackson and the Los Angeles Lakers. It is rare, though, and somewhat surprising when you consider that it puts Kidd — who, you'll recall, got the Nets coaching job literally days after retiring as an active player — in this sort of sentence alongside legendary names like Riley and Jackson before he's manned the sidelines for anything more than a Summer League affair.
That said, you could argue that it's very much of a piece with the Nets' approach to Kidd from the second he hung up his high-tops — you're arguably the greatest player in franchise history, a surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer and the most visible/available tether to our organization's last period of sustained success, so let's get you in the door and on the bench. Let's get your face up on posters and in front of cameras, and your jersey up in the rafters (maybe), to make a splash and reconnect past fans with the present franchise ... and yeah, OK, sure, let's deepen our mutual investment by giving you a piece of the pie, because we want you all-in and on-board as we try to win a title right flippin' now, and we want everyone to know that we take care of our own.
A sale this small probably wouldn't wind up having any actual impact on the Nets organization if neither the seller nor buyer were famous, instantly recognizable people, but they are, so it moves the interest needle at least a bit, and it adds even more altitude to a meteoric post-playing rise that has seen Kidd skyrocket from nothing-left reserve to head coach of an extremely expensive burgeoning glamour franchise and now to a part (however small) of Mikhail Prokhorov's group.
Kidd's gone from labor to ownership in less than three months, with daily responsibility for and control over the actual on-court product, to boot. It'd be hard to remember the last owner to have that kind of sway with that small a piece of the pie ... if it wasn't for the guy Kidd's reportedly cashing out, of course.

Dangote Signs $3.3b Deal With 11 Banks For Refinery, Fertiliser Plants

Aliko Dangote, CEO, Dangote Group
Aliko Dangote, CEO, Dangote Group
The Dangote Group on Wednesday sealed a $3.3bn medium term deal with 11 local and foreign banks to finance the building of a petrochemical plant consisting of a refinery and fertiliser plant in the country.
The investment initiative is in form of a loan agreement for the construction of a petrochemical plant to be located at the Olokola Free Trade Zone in Ondo and Ogun states.
The refinery, according to the President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, will become operational in 2016 and generate over 10,000 direct jobs and end the importation of refined petroleum products into the country with the attendant multiplier effects on the manufacturing sector.
When completed, he said the refinery would to be the largest in Africa, thus turning Nigeria into a petroleum exporter.
The loan facility was coordinated globally by Standard Chartered Bank and was co-financed in Nigeria by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Ecobank Nigeria Limited and Fidelity Bank Plc.
Other co-financiers are First Bank of Nigeria Limited, United Bank for Africa Plc, First City Monument Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, FirstRand Bank and Standard Bank of South Africa Limited.
Speaking at the signing of the loan agreement in Abuja on Wednesday, Dangote said the investment was a way of dealing with the threat posed to Nigeria’s economy following the discovery of shale oil and gas by buyers of the country’s crude.
The investment, he said, was also a good step to support the Federal Government’s efforts at diversifying the economy.
Dangote said “As an investor who believes in Nigeria, knows Nigeria well and whose prosperity was made in Nigeria, we have responded to the challenge with our recent decision to invest over $9bn in a refinery/petrochemical and fertiliser complex to be located at the OKLNG Free Trade Zone. This complex will be the largest industrial complex project ever in the history of our great nation.
“Funding for the project will come from a $3.3bn medium term loan, the agreement for which we are signing today, and also an additional $2.25bn from the Development Financial Institutions to augment our equity contribution of $3.50bn.”
The business mogul pointed out that when operational, 2.75 metric tonnes per annum of Urea and Ammonia would be produced from the fertiliser plant, while the refinery would have the capacity to process 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
Speaking after a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House, Dangote gave an assurance that Nigeria would no longer import petroleum products once the plant commenced operation.
Dangote met the President in company with some officials of his company, members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and chief executives of the participating banks, who raised the $3.3bn credit.
He said, “Now, Nigeria is going to be taken out of the list of countries that import petroleum products. We will produce 20 million metric tonnes, which is equivalent to what Nigeria consumes currently.
“Today, we did the signing ceremony, the vice-president came to witness the signing but we insisted on coming to thank Mr. President so much for his policies.
“Without good government policies, there is no way the private sector can invest in Nigeria, because we are not Father Christmas at all. The policies have to be right.”
Also speaking at the event, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, associated the deal to the success of the banking sector reforms by the central bank.
This, he noted, had boosted lending to the real sector.
Sanusi said the success of the reform was a testimony to the fact that Nigerian banks could offer credit when any project that could add value to the real sector was being provided.

Suspected Gay Docked For Raping 7yr Old Twin

wpid-police-logo.jpegThe police in Rivers State have arraigned a 30-year-old Godface Ibama before a Port-Harcourt Magistrate Court for defiling a seven-year-old twin brothers.
The suspect alleged to be gay was arrested by the police at a waterfront in Mile 1, Diobu area of Port Harcourt for sexually abusing the victims.
Ibama, who is facing a two-count charge of unlawful carnal knowledge of the minors pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Mr Elkawah Fubara, the trial magistrate, consequently ordered the suspect to be remanded in police custody and adjourned till September 11, for hearing of the accused bail application.

Nigeria Vs Malawi: Eagles Promise Victory

Super-Eagles-360x225Super Eagles have promised to pick up the full points against the Flames of Malawi when they meet on Saturday. The team stand-in captain, Vincent Enyeama, who spoke on behalf of his teammates on Wednesday, said that the stake was too high to be toyed with.
He said, “The camp is amazing and I thank God for that. The first training we had here was great with 12 players and I am optimistic that come Saturday we will win. Almost everybody is in camp now.”
And in a reference to the initial controversy raised by Malawi over the security situation in Calabar, the goalkeeper said that Nigerians should ignore such statements as everyone who truly knows the country could vouch for the city as one of the safest places to be in the world.
He added, “Calabar is one of the most secured places in Nigeria. I do not really know where they got the information that Calabar is not secure. Calabar is also quiet. But I want the Flames to come out and play their game, have fun and be happy.
“We are professionals we know what is at stake and what is expected of us. We are not under any pressure, we are going out there to wear the colours of Nigeria which we are also proud of,” he said.
On the competition for the goalkeeping spot, Enyeama said the zeal to be fielded has been quite positive as it has continued to help bring the best out of the three top goalkeepers. Austin Ejide ,who was on duty in the country’s last match against South Africa last month, and Chigozie Agbim are the other two goalkeepers in the team.
He said, “All of us are good and I must say I am not in competition with any of them neither are they with me. Nigeria is blessed with great talents and it’s always good when you are called up to play.”
Coach Stephen Keshi said the team was not under any pressure to beat Malawi. He said that the team and the coaching crew believed in hard work to get the maximum points.
He said, “I have always believed in hard work. I do not believe in anything that is do-or-die. I am not under any pressure. We are only going to give our best on Saturday.”
The heavy rains of Wednesday in Calabar prevented the team from training. The Super Eagles need just a draw in the final Group F qualifier for Brazil 2014 World Cup.

Lamar Odom Checks Into Rehab But Leaves Khloe Kardashian In The Dark

Lamar Odom has finally checked into rehab to deal with his raging drug addiction but Khloe Kardashian is totally unaware despite the fact she lead the campaign for him to get help in the first place.

According to TMZ; Sources close to the couple tell us Khloe never got so much as a heads-up about Lamar's plans, and was completely blindsided by the report he's checked in for treatment.

We're told one big reason for that is Khloe and Lamar have not been talking at all since she issued an ultimatum last weekend -- get help or our marriage is over -- intending to force his hand on the issue of rehab.

As we previously reported ... Lamar started a treatment program last summer in San Diego, but bailed after only 3 weeks.

One source says although Khloe's been kept outside the loop this time -- she does hope wherever Lamar is ... he's actually getting professional help.

GEJ's PDP threatens Atiku's PDP with suspension, prosecution

Y'all know there are two PDP factions now so to distinguish them we have to call one - President Jonathan's PDP and the one that broke away last weekend - former VP Atiku Abubakar's PDP. So the chairman of President Jonathan's PDP Bamanga Tukur today held a press conference in Abuja where he threatened members of Atiku's PDP with suspension, called them impostors and said the police should regard them as such. Lol. 2015 will be interesting. What he said at the press conference below.
Our reason for being here is to neither inform you without any iota of doubt that the Peoples Democratic Party has no faction and there is neither room nor reason whatsoever for such a claim under any guise.
The PDP has only one duly elected National Executive Committee (NEC) under my Chairmanship. I wish therefore to state with all emphasis that any group of persons parading themselves as leaders of NEC or any other organ of our party are impostors and I urge all Nigerians, especially the security agencies and other institutions of democracy to regard them as such.

Let me state categorically that the PDP as the sole custodian of the sacred mandate of over 160 million Nigerians and who in the last fourteen years has lifted high the banner of democracy will not fold its arms while some  undemocratic and unpatriotic elements destroy our common destiny by causing divisions and confusion among the people.

Consequently, we shall ensure that any person who is not duly elected into any leadership position in our great party and has not been duly assigned any role but goes ahead to arrogate such to himself will be made to face the full wrath of the law.

Similarly, all persons elected on the platform of our great party at all levels who identify with these enemies of the oneness and greatness of our party shall have their seats declared vacant as required by law.

We shall leave no stone unturned to ensure that such persons and indeed any other individual who attempts to subvert the leadership of the PDP shall reap in full, the consequences of such actions.

I wish to emphasize that the PDP has adequate mechanism for internal conflict resolution. All party members are therefore advised to ventilate their grievances through this medium.

There is only one lawfully recognized PDP and I am firmly in charge,” Bamanga Tukur declared.
Meanwhile 26 Senators and at least 57 members of the House of Representatives have declared loyalty to “The New PDP” chaired by Abubakar Baraje.
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US Senate panel gives Obama authority to use military force against Syria

Hmmm...wahala dey for Syria o. A US Senate panel voted today to give President Barack Obama the authority to use military force against Syria in response to a deadly chemical weapons attack in Damacus on August 21 that killed over 1,400 people as they slept in their homes.

The vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was the first in a series as the president's request makes its way through congressional panels before coming before the two chambers of Congress for a final vote.

The full Senate is expected to vote on the measure next week. Obama's top advisers on Wednesday took the argument for action to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where the support seen in the Senate will be harder to find.

The resolution would permit Obama to order a limited military mission against Syria, as long as it doesn't exceed 90 days and involves no American troops on the ground for combat operations. (Associated Press)

Meanwhile some Arab countries have offered to pay for US military invasion in Syria.
Secretary of State John Kerry said at Wednesday’s hearing that Arab counties have offered to pay for the entirety of unseating President Bashar al-Assad if the United States took the lead militarily.
“With respect to Arab countries offering to bear costs and to assess, the answer is profoundly yes,” Kerry said. “They have. That offer is on the table.”

Asked by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) about how much those countries would contribute, Kerry said they have offered to pay for all of a full invasion.
“In fact, some of them have said that if the United States is prepared to go do the whole thing the way we’ve done it previously in other places, they’ll carry that cost,” Kerry said. “That’s how dedicated they are at this. That’s not in the cards, and nobody’s talking about it, but they’re talking in serious ways about getting this done.

Aluu 4: Gone but not forgotten

The men standing in court (right photo) took the lives of these four vibrant university students (left) who had their whole lives ahead of them before it was tragically cut short in the most cruel manner. It's exactly eleven months since we lost these young men, and today we remember them. May their souls continue to rest in peace...and may their killers get what they deserve.