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Diego Maradona, football legend is dead

Benjamin Ukpabi

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Diego Maradona, football legend is dead

Diego Maradona, widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, has died at the age of 60.

Maradona was the inspiration and captain for Argentina’s World Cup success in Mexico in 1986, winning the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player.

He scored twice against England in a memorable 2-1 quarter-final win, his first goal being dubbed ‘the hand of God’ and the second winning the ‘Goal of the Century’ award on the FIFA website in 2002.

Maradona’s spokesman, Sebastian Sanchi, said he died on Wednesday of a heart attack, two weeks after being released from a hospital in Buenos Aires following brain surgery.

The Argentine FA confirmed the news in a statement on Twitter which read: “The Argentine Football Association, through its President Claudio Tapia, expresses its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona.

“You will always be in our hearts.”

Brazilian great Pele led the tributes on Twitter, writing: “What sad news. I lost a great friend and the world lost a legend. There is still much to be said, but for now, may God give strength to family members. One day, I hope we can play ball together in the sky.”

Following the 1986 triumph, Maradona led his country to the final of the 1990 tournament in Italy, although his international playing career ended in shame when he failed a drugs test at the 1994 World Cup in the United States and he was notorious for a wayward lifestyle throughout his life.

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Maradona was also banned from football in 1991 after testing positive for cocaine while playing for Napoli.

Diego Maradoa has been feeling unwell for some times, it was reported
Image:
Maradona underwent brain surgery at the start of November
However, he remained a revered figure at the Italian club, where he won two Serie A titles. He also played for Barcelona, Sevilla, Boca Juniors and Newell’s Old Boys.

Maradona underwent brain surgery at the start of November and his lawyer said he would continue to be treated for alcohol dependency.

Diego Maradona of Argentina holds the World Cup trophy after defeating West Germany 3-2 during the 1986 FIFA World Cup Final match at the Azteca Stadium on June 29, 1986 in Mexico City, Mexico
Image:
Diego Maradona holds the World Cup trophy after Argentina defeated West Germany 3-2 during the 1986 World Cup final
The 1986 World Cup winner had an emergency operation for a subdural hematoma, which is an accumulation of blood between a membrane and his brain.

Maradona was initially admitted to another clinic in La Plata with signs of depression, anemia and dehydration, before being moved to Olivos when the subdural hematoma was discovered.

Dr Luque said an accident likely caused the subdural hematoma but that Maradona did not recall any falls or mishaps.

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Maradona felt ill on October 30 while coaching first-division team Gimnasia y Esgrima. He had left before the end of the first half, raising questions about his health.

Diego Maradona was crowned the best player at the tournament when Argentina won the World Cup in 1986
Image:
Maradona was crowned the best player at the tournament when Argentina won the World Cup in 1986

Diego Maradona was loathed by a nation for the ‘Hand of God’ in Mexico City but adored by the world for his moment of genius just four minutes later.

The combustible Argentine, who has died at the age of 60, was without doubt one of the greatest football players in history.

Maradona – a fiery, indomitable personality, a man so drastically different in his world view from Brazil’s beloved Pele – was an unstoppable force on his course to reaching the very top of the game.

But, after winning the World Cup in 1986, his fall from grace was swift, bizarre and, like the man himself, totally unpredictable.

Football world pays tribute to Maradona
Argentina’s all-time top goalscorer Lionel Messi wrote on Instagram: “A very sad day for all Argentines and football. He leaves us but does not leave, because Diego is eternal. I take all the good moments lived with him and send condolences to all his family and friends. RIP.”

Cristiano Ronaldo tweeted in Portuguese alongside a picture of him and Maradona: “Today I say goodbye to a friend and the world says goodbye to an eternal genius.

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Gary Lineker, who was in the England side beaten by Maradona’s Argentina in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final, led the tributes on Twitter, writing: “By some distance the best player of my generation and arguably the greatest of all time.

“After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully he’ll finally find some comfort in the hands of God. #RipDiego.”

Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford also posted a message on Twitter, while Jamie Carragher wrote: “I’ll never forget watching Diego Maradona as an 8 yr old at the World Cup in Mexico. Never seen anything like it on that stage since. Sad news.”

“One of the best ever. An unparalleled magician. He leaves too soon, but leaves a legacy without limits and a void that will never be filled. Rest in peace, ace. You will never be forgotten.”

From his days at Boca Juniors, to Napoli and various World Cups, relive some amazing imagery from a quite extraordinary career.

 

In Europe, he is remembered for his world-record breaking move to Barcelona and his subsequent transfer to Napoli, where he became a World Cup winner and a club legend.

But before he returned to Argentina, there was one final stop-off on the European adventure of Diego Armando Maradona. It is his forgotten season. His lost weekend.

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Smackdown Friday results 15th Jan 2021

Benjamin Ukpabi

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Smackdown Friday results 15th Jan 2021

Here are the results for WWE smackdown

Jey Uso vs. Shinsuke Nakamura on SmackDown

Back on SmackDown, the match was underway and Uso had the upper hand early as he wailed on Nakamura in the corner before hitting a slam for a near fall. Nakamura locked in a chin lock and sent him into the corner with some kicks before Cesaro made his way to the ring. (Smackdown Friday results)

Nakamura drove Uso into the ring post and after a short break, Cesaro was on commentary and Uso resumed control of the match. Cesaro announced his Royal Rumble entry and said that he planned to eliminate Daniel Bryan.

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Nakamura came back in with a knee strike and took back control before taking a boot to the face. Uso hit a Samoan Drop for a near fall and then another with a neck breaker.

Shinsuke set up for the Kinshasa but Uso countered with a superkick. Uso went for a dirty pin but the referee caught him and broke the count. Shinsuke rolled Uso up and then hit the Kinshasa as he was arguing with the ref and picked up the win on SmackDown.

Result: Shinsuke Nakamura def. Jey Uso (Smackdown Friday results)

Liv Morgan vs. Natalya on SmackDown

Billie Kay was now an unofficial member of the Riott Squad and came out with them before joining the commentary team.

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Natalya started off strong and taunted Liv before Morgan came back with some kicks in the corner but was driven into the turnbuckles. Natalya was about to get the pin but Morgan managed to roll her up.

Tamina was at ringside on SmackDown and Billie joined her before being chased into the ring. The distraction caused Natalya to pick up the win on Morgan with a roll-up.

Result: Natalya def. Liv Morgan

Apollo Crews vs. Sami Zayn on SmackDown

 

After an altercation on SmackDown with the referee, Zayn got the exploded suplex in the corner but Apollo caught him with a rollup and a handful of tights to get the pin.

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Result: Apollo Crews def. Sami Zayn (Smackdown Friday results)

 

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“I’m The Happiest Man On Earth, I Fulfilled My Dream” – Footballer, Odion Ighalo

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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The Nigerian and Manchester United Striker Odion Ighalo says he is the happiest person in the world and has also fulfilled his dream of playing for Manchester United.

Odion Ighalo has not featured for the club since this year, and he is also open to join America football league, the MLS and hinted on joining  David Beckham’s Inter Miami.

Ighalo told ESPN “It was a good one and a tough one, before I came to United I never thought I would play”.

“I’m a Reds fan.

If you ask anybody where I grew up, we fight because of Manchester United. We quarrel and argue. So when my team didn’t do well they would start to insult and argue with me and I cried. I can tell you I’m the happiest man on earth for my dream to come true, I fulfilled my dream.

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“I remember the night my agent called me to tell me Manchester United wanted me, it was 10 or 11pm. Shanghai time. I was under my bed naked, I didn’t sleep until daybreak.

“I don’t care about a pay cut, I just want go to Manchester United because this is my dream. I was under my bed shivering and walking around my room and I did not sleep until 6am.

“I’m fulfilled as a football player, if I don’t achieve anything from now when I finish my career I am fulfilled.”

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Wrestling: WWE NXT Results 14th Jan 2021

Benjamin Ukpabi

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Wrestling: WWE NXT Results 14th Jan 2021

Here are the results from yesterday’s WWE NXT matches

Blackheart vs. Candice LeRae w/ Indi Hartwell
Blackheart quickly takes LeRae down to start the match, but she misses a splash against the ropes. Blackheart counters a neckbreaker and kicks her back before connecting with a cross-body block for a one count. Blackheart applies an arm bar and rolls LeRae around the mat. LeRae fights the hold before getting a foot on the bottom rope. LeRae boots her back and goes to the second rope, but Blackheart pulls her off, snapping LeRae’s neck off the top turnbuckle. Blackheart picks up a two count. Blackheart applies a modified wristlock before transitioning to a hammerlock. LeRae fights up and drives her into the corner. LeRae takes her down and puts her on the apron. Blackheart punches her back, and they’re fighting on the apron with the ring post between them. Blackheart pulls her into the ring post, knocking LeRae onto the steps. LeRae gets up, and Blackheart hits a flying knee off the steps. (Wrestling)

Indi Hartwell gets in Blackheart’s face. LeRae gets in the ring and distracts the referee while Hartwell pulls her off the apron. LeRae hits a baseball slide followed by a springboard cross-body to the floor.

 

LeRae sidesteps Blackheart to drive her into the turnbuckle before hitting a dropkick. LeRae follows up with a low superkick for a near fall. LeRae goes to the ropes, but Blackheart kicks her feet out. LeRae quickly takes her down and applies a Gargano Escape. Blackheart counters out with a roll-up for a two count. Blackheart powers LeRae up and hits a swinging facebuster. Blackheart hits a running high knee in the corner followed by another DDT. Blackheart goes to the top rope. Hartwell gets on the apron, but Blackheart punches her away. LeRae quickly scales the ropes and hits a super spinning neckbreaker for the win.

Winner by Pinfall: Candice LeRae (wrestling)

 

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 1st Round Match
Ever-Rise (Matt Martel and Chase Parker) vs. Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson and James Drake)
Zack Gibson locks up with Matt Martel to start the match. Martel slaps Gibson in the back of the head and backs up. Chase Parker tags in, so Gibson kicks him down. James Drake tags in and hits a headlock takeover. Parker fights up and whips him off, dropping down twice, but Drake still fights back with a hip toss. They lock up, and Parker wrenches the arm. Drake rolls through, but Parker pulls him down by the hair. Parker kicks away at him and knocks him out of the ring. Parker shouts that Ever-Rise rules. Gibson holds an irate Drake back and gets him to calm down.

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Gibson tags in and locks up with Parker. Gibson takes Parker down and punches Martel on the apron. Drake tags in and dropkicks Parker in the leg. Gibson hits a low dropkick to Parker and jumps off Drake to dropkick Martel off the apron. Drake talks trash and punches Parker to the corner. Drake applies a headlock and punches him before hitting a bulldog. Drake punches Parker out of the ring and tags Gibson in. Gibson grabs Parker at ringside, and the Grizzled Young Veterans hit a plancha/backbreaker combo. Gibson gets Parker in the ring and hits a back suplex. Gibson goes for a single leg crab, but Parker fights it. Drake tags in and hits a spinning wheel kick for a two count. Gibson tags back in and kicks away at Parker. Drake tags in, but Parker fights them off. Drake stops Parker from tagging Martel and holds him back. Parker punches him, but Drake won’t let go. (Wrestling)

Martel eventually tags in and punches away at Drake. Martel knocks Gibson down and punches Drake. Martel chops Drake before sending him to the corner. Drake rolls up the turnbuckle and lands on his feet. Martel hits a belly-to-belly overhead suplex before clotheslining Gibson on the apron. Martel follows up with a big clothesline on Drake. Ever-Rise goes for a double-team on Drake, but Gibson blocks it. Ever-Rise still hits a double-team spear on Drake, but Gibson breaks it up. Ever-Rise takes Gibson down. Martel is the legal man, but Drake pulls Parker out of the ring. Martel attacks Gibson, so Drake dropkicks him. Gibson tags in, and they hit Ticket to Mayhem for the win.

Winners by Pinfall: Grizzled Young Veterans

 

Non-Title Match
NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano w/ Austin Theory vs. Dexter Lumis
Gargano angrily holds the caricature up and rips it up in Lumis’ face. Lumis coldly punches him down and boots him in the face. Lumis hits a Lou Thesz Press and punches away at Gargano. Gargano avoids an avalanche and rolls him up, but Lumis rolls through and scares Gargano with a stare. Gargano gets out of the ring, and Lumis crawls after him. Lumis avoids a kick and punches Gargano. Gargano fights back and goes for a dive off the apron, but Lumis uppercuts him into the ring. Gargano punches Lumis getting on the apron. Lumis goes to the top rope, but Gargano cuts him off and goes for a superplex. Lumis fights it and punches him down to the mat. Lumis goes for a senton bomb off the top rope, but Gargano moves. (Wrestling)

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Theory distracts Lumis again, giving Gargano an advantage. Lumis fights out of One Final Beat. Lumis then locks in Silence. Theory gets on the apron, so Lumis attacks and applies Silence. Gargano rolls Lumis up, also bringing Theory into the ring. Gargano picks up the win.

Winner by Pinfall: Johnny Gargano

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 1st Round Match
Jake Atlas and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. MSK (Wes Lee and Nash Carter)
It’ll be Nash Carter starting against Jake Atlas. They lock up, and Atlas hits a headlock takeover. Carter grapevines the head, but Atlas kips up. Atlas hits an arm bar takedown. Atlas avoids an attack and hits a back elbow for a two count. Scott tags in, but Carter quickly takes him down. Carter sends him into the ropes, drops down and leapfrogs him, and hits a springboard twisting cross-body for a two count. Wes Lee tags in and wrenches Scott’s arm. Lee takes Atlas down, but Scott distracts. (Wrestling)

 

Atals and Scott go for a double-team superplex. Carter rips Atlas off the ropes to the floor. Lee then knocks Scott to the mat. MSK hit a modified Hart Attack for the win.

Winners by Pinfall: MSK

Xia Li w/ Boa vs. a local talent
Li immediately punches the woman down and connects with a spin kick for the win.

Winner by Pinfall: Xia Li (wrestling)

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Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 1st Round Match
Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango) vs. Undisputed ERA (Adam Cole and Roderick Strong) w/ Kyle O’Reilly
It’ll be Adam Cole starting against Tyler Breeze. They lock up, and Breeze applies a side headlock. Cole whips him off, but Breeze shoulder blocks him down. Breeze leapfrogs him and they both tease superkicks. They back up and regroup. Breeze’s back is covered in cupping bruises. They lock up and exchange waistlocks. Cole takes him down, but Breeze fights up. They’re at a stalemate again.

Roderick Strong and Fandango tag in. They do a test of strength, and Strong takes Fandango down. Strong wrenches the arm and cinches it in. Fandango fights up and takes Strong down. Fandango hits a back body drop and drops some knees on Strong’s shoulder. Fandango hits a spinning wheel kick for a two count.

 

Strong and Fandango tag in. Strong takes Fandango down and hits a backbreaker. Strong then attacks Breeze with forearms and slams him onto Fandango for a near fall. Cole tags in. Strong hits a gutbuster, and Cole follows up with a big knee for a near fall. Fandango ducks a Last Shot and kicks Cole away. Breeze tags in and runs into a pump kick. Cole goes for a suplex, but Breeze knees him. Breeze knees him in the midsection and hits an inverted backstabber for a near fall. Breeze dropkicks Strong, grabs Cole, tags Fandango, and hits a catapult. Fandango follows up with a slingshot elbow, but Strong breaks it up. Breeze knees Strong, and Cole superkicks him. Cole pump kicks Fandango, and Fandango turns him inside out with a clothesline. (Wrestling)

Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan, and Danny Burch assault O’Reilly at ringside. They pull him into a scaffold, but Finn Bálor runs down to cut him off. They fight Bálor off, and Dunne forearms O’Reilly in the injured jaw. Dunne then kicks O’Reilly’s head into the barricade.

Cole looks concerned. Fandango superkicks Cole and puts him on the top rope. Strong kills Breeze with a huge kick. Fandango counters out of Panama sunrise and comes off the top rope, but Cole superkicks him out of midair for the win.

Winners by Pinfall: Undisputed ERA (wrestling)

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