Did Dean Smith’s Aston Villa overachieve last season? Well, it is arguable that Dean Smith set a bar of expectation too high for himself with the heroics of his Aston Villa team. Jumping up the table as far as Europa League spots, the odds were enticing from the best global bookmakers on liontips.com for Dean Smith to propel Aston Villa into contention for titles in the 2021/2022 season.
Dean Smith built shoes too big for himself
Of course, this doesn’t look too much of a big ask when the season began. Yes, their homeboy hero, in the person of Jack Grealish, had packed his bags and jumped off to Man City. But it was not necessarily an acrimonious divorce as Aston Villa pocketed a hefty £100 million in return.
Punters jumped on liontips.ng to cash in on beautiful odds from their favourite bookies for Aston Villa to comfortably clinch a mid-table position after Aston Villa went on a shopping spree with £100 million in their wallet. The likes of Danny Ings and Emi Buendia were brought in.
Well, the story took an unpredictable twist. Today, Dean Smith has been kicked out after a miserable run of five consecutive defeats.
With fans incinerated, Aston Villa executives flew to Scotland. No, they didn’t go to enjoy Scotland’s renowned Whisky or admire her historic castles. They came for Steven Gerrard, and yes, they left with him!
Gerrard, as a player, needs no introduction. But as a manager, it would be flattery to call him the most qualified for the Aston Villa hot seat.
Aye, Gerrard had excelled at Rangers, landing a Mike-Tyson uppercut on Celtic, leaving the latter sprawling on the ground and giving up their dominance of the Scottish league.
Gerrard presided over 196 games at Rangers, winning about 125 of them. Mathematically, this sums up into a 64% win rate, landing Rangers their first taste of the Scottish league title in over 10 years.
Not bad for a coach, eh?
On November 11, Steven Gerrard – braving the media inferno from the disgust of Scottish faithful – became Aston Villa’s coach.
How well has Gerrard fared at Villa Park?
Take it from us: saying Gerrard has underperformed (or even performed averagely) at Aston Villa is a prosecutable offence!
Yes, since Gerrard took over, the psychological atmosphere at Villa has been dramatically transformed. Yes, a significant slice of that transformation can be traced to the enormity of Gerrard’s legendary status in the Premier League.
But the fascinating upturn in results has contributed to the resurgence in morale. Gerrard has been barely two months old in Aston Villa. He has presided over just ten premier league games.
Of this, he has won five, lost four, and drawn one. Oh, you would say four losses is woeful. But then we would quickly remind that these losses were against impregnable sides like Man City and Liverpool.
And it was not like Aston Villa fell flat on their face from the beginning of the contests against these sides. Liverpool had it very hot from Gerrard’s men.
Klopp’s men only managed to sneak away with all three points when Mohammed Salah scored late for the Reds.
Ignoring the memorable 2-2 draw Gerrard’s men masterminded against Manchester United would be unjust.
Down 2-0 and apparently coasting away with victory, Man United fans are yet reeling from the shock of the magical turnaround that followed Coutinho’s introduction.
A goal and an assist from the former Barcelona maestro condemned Man United to another draw, exposing Ralf Ragnick’s men to a barrage of missiles from an unforgiving press.
Gerrard’s star power gives Aston Villa the edge in the transfer market
Aston Villa performed a football miracle when they landed Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona. It is not every day that players leave Barcelona for Aston Villa – at least not such a pricey acquisition that cost Barcelona north of £140 million.
Gerrard’s influence was central to this move. Coutinho trusts the Englishman as the best man to resurrect his ailing career. Gerrard has done more than pull in Coutinho.
The Liverpool hero pulled another smart one, wriggling Lucas Digne from Everton to Aston Villa. To seal this move, Gerrard’s Aston Villa had to beat off contenders like Chelsea, who desperately needed the Frenchman to cover for Ben Chilwell.
This was followed by the acquisition of Robin Olsen and then a stunning move for Callum Chambers from Arsenal. With each piece falling into place, we can’t deny that Gerrard is progressively moulding Aston Villa into a team after his image.
The future is once against bright for Aston Villa – at least till Gerrard finishes his “internship” there before graduating to the Liverpool position when Jurgen Klopp leaves.
Inevitably, we all know Liverpool is where Gerrard will end up, don’t we?
Nigeria Reverses Ban on International Basketball Competitions
By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigerian authorities have reversed their decision to suspend the country’s basketball teams from all international competitions.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Ismaila Abubakar, disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday.
He explained that the decision to lift the ban on international basketball competitions was based on a letter of appeal from the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), signed by Mr Musa Kida.
“President Muhammadu Buhari, being one that is committed to youth development and desirous of ensuring that they are availed of all opportunities in sports and other endeavours, considered the appeal and in the overriding spirit of national interest, love for our youth, and in order to avoid sending basket development into a long period of suspension when NBBF has now committed to the resolution of the issues which precipitated the withdrawal in the first place has approved the return of Nigeria to international basketball immediately,” Mr Abubakar said in a statement after the briefing.
“In securing this approval, of note is the caution that the laws of Nigeria cannot be subjugated to any other law, and every Nigerian entity must respect Nigerian laws and authority governing various sectors. Failure to do this, as with any constitutionally bound sovereign nation will attract sanctions,” he stated further.
He explained that the “appeal letter also critically gave some key undertakings: to immediately set in motion the process of status review or constitutional amendments from stakeholders as collated by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development; to set up a high-powered team to reconcile all contending parties in the basketball family at home and abroad, and a commitment to work with the Ministry in the governance and development of basketball among other things.”
Mr Abubakar said President Buhari has mandated the ministry to ensure the implementation of the undertakings by the NBBF and “report back to Mr President on progress”.
Even with this, the Nigerian female basketball team has missed out on the window to participate in the upcoming Federation of International Basketball Association (FIBA) world cup.
Before the reversal of the ban, FIBA had replaced the D’Tigress with Mali ahead of the FIBA Women’s World Cup to be held later in the year in Australia.
Highest Paid Nigerian Footballer – How Much Do Nigerian Footballers Earn
Highest-Paid footballer from Nigeria
The phrase “Naija no dey carry last” has been evident in football recently as there has been an influx of Nigerian footballers playing abroad. Football is the most popular sport in Nigeria with millions of fans supporting their clubs abroad. Nigeria has always been a home of incredible football talents and with more amazing young footballers showing in recent years, the weekly wages of Nigerian footballers has been on a rise.
The huge wages being paid to Nigerian footballers isn’t a surprise as the impact of the players is evident in those teams. Aside from the high wages they earn, Naija footballers are being traded for a huge amount of money. In the summer of 2020, Victor Oshimen became the most expensive African footballer of all time as he joined Napoli from Lille for about $80 million-plus add-on. Hardly any top European league without a Nigerian footballer performing at a high level and earning huge wages. A good sign for the Super Eagles as the national squad is now full of top talents.
We have decided to go on an adventure to reveal the highest-paid footballers from Nigeria, who are also featured in the best football predictions bettors will find on Takebet Nigeria. We have searched all leagues where Nigerian players compete, from European leagues such as English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1, Bundesliga to other top leagues.
Let’s dig into the list of the highest-paid footballers from Nigeria.
Odion Ighalo – Striker, Al-Hilal – $170,000 (last know)
Odion Ighalo is one of the most popular Nigerian players. The striker became the first Nigerian international to play for Manchester United after he joined the club on loan from the Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua in January 2020. Odion Ighalo scored five goals in 23 appearances before returning to Shanghai Shenhua at the end of his loan.
The Nigerian international joined Saudi Arabia’s Al Shabab from the Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua in 2021. Ighalo scored 10 league goals in 19 appearances for Shanghai Shenhua. Odion made his debut in 2005 and moved to Europe in 2008 where he joined Udinese. The Nigerian international joined Watford during the 2014-15 and scored 36 league goals in 90 appearances for the club.
Odion Ighalo represented the Super Eagles during the 2018 World Cup. The Nigerian international holds the record for the most goals scored during a single Africa Cup of Nations with seven goals in 2019.
Ighalo earned $170,000 per week in Al Shabab. Odion Ighalo joins Al-Hilal, another Saudi football club, after the AFCON 2021. His salary in the new club is currently unknown, but the striker is sure to keep his #1 spot.
Victor Osimhen – Striker, Napoli – $110,000
Victor Osimhen is currently one of the best strikers in Europe. The Nigerian international has been amazing for Napoli this season after a slow start to life in the Italian Club. Victor Osimhen became the most expensive Africa striker in history after he joined Napoli from Lille for a fee of about $80 million in the winter transfer of 2020.
The Napoli striker has scored 19 goals in 45 appearances for the Italian side. Osimhen had an incredible rise to glory as he wasn’t able to join either Zulte Waregem or Club Brugge in his early days due to Malaria. Victor was in Nigeria’s under-17 team that won the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The Nigerian international won the Golden Boot in the tournament with 10 goals. He also won the Silver Ball award during the tournament.
Osimhen missed out on the 2018 World Cup squad. He made his debut for the national team in 2017. The Nigerian international made the squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and has been brilliant since then. He has scored 10 goals in 18 appearances for the national team.
Victor currently plays in Napoli and he earns $110,000 per week.
Wilfred Ndidi – Midfielder, Leicester City – $100,000
Wilfred Ndidi is currently one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. The Nigerian international has been incredible since he joined Leicester City from Genk in the winter transfer of 2017 for $20m. Ndidi has scored 10 goals in 196 appearances since he joined the club.
The Nigerian international won the most tackles in the Premier League (138) during the 2017-18 season. He also won the most tackles in the league in the following season of 2018-19. Wilfred Ndidi was an important player of the squad that won the 2020-21 FA Cup as they defeated Chelsea by a goal to nil.
Ndidi represented Nigeria during the 2016 Summer Olympics. He made the squad for the 2018 World Cup as they were knocked out in the group stage. Ndidi also represented the Super Eagles in the 2019 and 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. He has 47 caps for the Nigerian national team.
Wilfred Ndidi currently plays for Leicester City and earns $100,000 per week.
Kelechi Iheanacho – Striker, Leicester City – $80,000
Seniorman Kelz as he is widely regarded came into the limelight after an impressive outing during the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The Nigerian international won the Golden Ball award as the Super Eagles won the tournament. Iheanacho scored six goals during the competition as he won the Silver Boot.
Kelechi Iheanacho joined Manchester City in 2015. Iheanacho scored 21 goals in 64 appearances for Manchester City as he won the English Football League Cup. The Nigerian international joined Leicester City for a fee of about $30 million in the summer of 2017. Iheanacho was brilliant during the 2020-21 season as he scored 12 goals in the Premier League, overperforming his expected goals of 8.20.
Iheanacho represented Nigeria during the 2018 World Cup. The Leicester City striker also represented the Super Eagles during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. Iheanacho has scored 12 goals in 42 appearances for the national team.
Kelechi Iheanacho currently plays for Leicester City and earns $80,000.
Alex Iwobi – Midfielder, Everton – $68,000
Alex Iwobi started his club career with Arsenal as he joined the youth team in 2004. The Nigerian international made his senior debut in 2015 for Arsenal against Sheffield Wednesday.
Iwobi scored 15 goals in 149 appearances for Arsenal as he spent four seasons with the senior team. The Nigerian international joined Everton from Arsenal for a fee of about $45 million in the summer of 2019. Iwobi won the FA Cup and two Community Shields with the Gunners. The Nigerian international has scored six goals in 80 appearances for Everton.
Alex made his international debut for Nigeria in 2015 although he started as a youth international for England. The Everton player has scored nine goals in 53 appearances for the Super Eagles. Iwobi scored the winning goal against Zambia to secure a spot for the Super Eagles in the 2018 World Cup. He was featured in the 2018 World Cup as Nigeria was knocked out in the group stage.
Iwobi played for the Super Eagles in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. The Nigerian international was sent off in the Round of 16 of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations as the Super Eagles suffered a 0-1 defeat to Tunisia.
Alex Iwobi currently plays for Everton and earns $68,000.
Victor Moses – Midfielder, Spartak Moscow – $56,000
Victor Moses was a popular player amongst Nigerian fans after he played a huge role in Chelsea’s Premier League triumph during the 2016-17 season. The Nigerian international started his club career in Crystal Palace before joining Wigan in 2010. Chelsea signed Moses in the summer of 2022 from Wigan. Moses went on loan to Liverpool, Stoke City and West Ham United before returning for the 2016-17 season.
The Nigerian international was converted to a right wing-back under Antonio Conte as Chelsea won the league. Moses was later loaned out to different teams such as Fenerbache, Inter Millan and Spartak Moscow. The latter club signed the player on a permanent basis in July 2021. Victor Moses scored 18 goals in 128 appearances while playing for Chelsea. He won the Premier League, FA Cup and two UEFA Europa League titles with the Blues.
Victor Moses scored 12 goals in 37 appearances for the Nigeria national team. The Spartak Moscow player was an important player in Nigeria’s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations triumph. Moses featured for the Super Eagles in the 2014 World Cup and the 2018 World Cup where he scored a goal in the 1-2 defeat to Argentina.
Victor Moses currently plays for Spartak Moscow and earns $56,000.
Moses Simon – Winger, Nantes – $40,000
Moses Simon was Nigeria’s best player during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. The Nigerian international started his senior club career with AS Trencin in 2014 where he scored 17 goals in 39 appearances before joining Gent in 2015. Moses scored 21 goals in 136 appearances with Gent as he spent four seasons at the club before joining Levante. The Nigerian international won the Belgian Pro League and Belgian Super Cup while in Gent.
Moses joined Levante on loan for the 2019-20 season with an option to buy. The deal was made permanent the following season as he signed a four-year deal. Moses has scored 17 goals in 85 appearances for Nantes.
Simon made his debut for the Super Eagles in 2015 against Uganda. He has scored six goals in 45 appearances for the national team. Simon represented Nigeria during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
Highest paid Nigerian footballer FAQ
Who is the highest-paid footballer in Nigeria?
Odion Ighalo is the highest-paid Nigerian footballer. Ighalo joined Al Shabab from Shanghai Shenhua in January 2020 where he was being paid $402,000. The Nigerian international was the first player to play for Manchester United after he took a pay cut and received $200,000 to join the club on loan.
The Nigerian international was paid $170,000 in Al Shabab, and he is thought to stay in the same salary range in his new Saudi club, Al-Hilal, which he joins after the AFCON 2021.
Who is the richest Nigerian football player overall?
John Obi Mikel is the richest Nigerian footballer with a net worth of about $57 million. The Nigerian international is one of the greatest footballers in the country’s history. Mike Obi made his fortunes while playing for Chelsea in the Premier League. He spent 11 seasons at Chelsea where he scored six goals in 372 appearances for the club. Mikel won two Premier League titles, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Europa League, three FA Cup, one English Football League Cup and one FA Community Shield during his time at Chelsea.
Mikel Obi is currently a free agent after his contract with Kuwait SC was terminated just four months after joining the club.
Who is the most expensive footballer from Nigeria?
Victor Osimhen is the most expensive Nigerian footballer. Osimhen joined Napoli from Lille for a fee of about $80m in 2020 after scoring 18 goals in 38 appearances for the French club. The Nigerian international has scored 19 goals in 45 appearances for Napoli. Osimhen is being paid $110,000 per week in Napoli.
Best Super Bowl Betting Apps for 2022
Sports betting in America has broken all the records of legal betting in 2022. It has been stated that over 31.4 million Americans wagered and recorded almost $7.61 billion in the Super Bowl LVI championship this year. By seeing the success, the sportsbooks are already looking ahead to Super Bowl LVII, which is scheduled for February 12, 2023. The expectation has become high, and it is estimated that more players will be involved in the next season of the tournament.
If you want to start betting in the most popular league of the NFL, then here are some of the best Super Bowl Betting apps for 2022. Or, in case you are a fan of good old betting sites, you can bet on Sbobet.
Top 10 Super Bowl Betting Apps
The Super Bowl is the popular championship game of the National Football League played on the second Sunday in the month of February. It all started in 2022 and found a high success rate in sports betting. To start your sports betting career, let’s see some of the best mobile applications you can bet on for the Super Bowl championship.
Funduel is America’s first online sporting betting site which has recently launched its application for Android and iOS users. This platform gives some exciting offers for the new players where you will get $200 for free betting when you sign in for the first time. And when you place your first bet for $5, you will get another $200 if you win. But first, you have to deposit $10 and more and start wagering with at least $5. The offer expires within 14 days, so you have to use the offer before the time limit.
It is the first online legal betting platform in America that oversees the safety and security of the customers. Excepts for most major payment options and provides easy and fast withdrawals of the rewards directly from your bank account. The rewards are transferred within 2 hours, making it one of the fastest and most trusted betting sites. The Moneyline, point spread, player props, and multiple games are available on Funduel through which the players can earn real money.
Besides, some exclusive offers are introduced consistently in Funduel for new and existing customers, including boosted odds and the best promotions.
2) BetMGM App
BetMGM is another name you can rely on for sports betting and actively operating its casino industry in the USA. It quickly jumped on the chance to expand its business and provided a platform for sports betting for enthusiastic players. It also has a mobile app for android and iOS users to connect easily with the players.
BetMGN offers free bets up to $1000 for the new players as a welcome bonus and can be used to wager in games like the Super bowl. These platforms operate in almost every state of America, including the states like New Jersey and New York.
Additionally, it has some of the best sporting odds for every major football tournament and is a guide to know about sports betting. And a flexible payment option and easy withdrawal of rewards can be transferred directly to your bank account.
If you want to bet through a mobile app, on your desktop, or one of their retail sportsbook locations, Drafting is available in every field to provide the most convenient place possible. DraftKing is an American sports betting site available on various platforms, and players can assess it easily.
Like Funduel, the DraftKing also integrated bet $5 win $200 in free bet offer for the new customer. You need to sign in and deposit some amount to bet at least $5 and win up to $200 that you can wager in the next game.
It can be the ideal platform for betting as it uses the advanced security that makes it the safest betting platform except for deposits from almost every payment option and presents a quick and easy withdrawal of your winning amount. Apart from that, it has some best sportsbook odds for every NFL game and provides you with a complete guide to teach you how to bet.
4) Caesars App
Caesars is a well-known betting site in the US and operates in almost every state of the country. Recently, Caesars has launched its mobile-based application that offers up to a $1500 free-risk bonus for the new users to bet for the first time. And the amazing part is if you win, it’s well and good, but if you lose, you will get the whole amount back to wager in the next game.
Depositing is easy, and you can find the best odds for Super Bowl on the platforms. Also provides good playoffs on bets and different games to wager on.
BetUS is a US-based sports gambling site that has founded in the year 1994 and serving for 27 years. It is one of the top options for betting is the Super Bowl championship. It provides mobile applications for Android and iOS users and creates a huge player involvement in the platform.
It offers a 125% sign-up bonus, which is almost $2500 for the new players when you join for the first time. It claims one of the fastest payouts that are paid immediately every time you win. All the deposits are transferred directly to your bank account and can be withdrawn easily. It also excepts all the payment options, including cryptocurrencies.
Above are some of the best Super Bowl betting apps that can be used to directly connect to the betting platform you want. These are the apps that can enhance your betting experience.
Betting in America and around the globe is getting popular, and everyone needs easy access to these platforms. Many online sports betting sites understand the market demands and have adopted mobile apps to connect with the players more conveniently. And with the increase in popularity of the Super Bowl tournaments of the NFL, the race of the bookmakers begins for the next season by upgrading themselves and making them available on mobile devices. So, go and explore the app downloading site to begin your thrilling journey to bet on Super Bowl.
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