Keshi’s final list to brazil


After hours of waiting on Monday, Stephen Keshi released the final World Cup list at midnight. And as the drama and suspense that preceded the release, the list also came with some surprises.

Joseph Yobo will play in his third FIFA World Cup finals and have opportunity to become Nigeria’s first-ever century — international after he was named in the African champions’ final list of 23 for Brazil 2014 but African Nations Championship Most Valuable Player, Ejike Uzoenyi and AFCON winner, Sunday Mba failed to make the final cut. Gabriel Rueben and Babatunde Michael made the list.

Also going to their third World Cup are goalkeepers Vincent Enyeama and Austin Ejide, but midfield strongman Mikel Obi will only be attending his first finals after Nigeria narrowly missed Germany 2006 and he was omitted from South Africa 2010 due to injury.

Former junior international defender Elderson Echiejile and Olympic silver medallist Osaze Odemwingie, who were also in South Africa four years ago, make the cut for the biggest showpiece in football, starting in 10 days’ time.

South Africa 2013 top scorer Emmanuel Emenike is joined in the attack by England-based duo of Victor Moses and Shola Ameobi, and former junior international Uche Nwofor, but there is no place for Olympic silver medallist Obinna Nsofor and nimble-footed Nnamdi Oduamadi.

Home-based goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, diminutive midfielder Joel Obi and former U-23 star Nosa Igiebor also miss out on the trip to South America.

One of Nigeria’s first round opponents at the World Cup, Argentina released their list hours ahead of the time Nigerian officials had announced they would release the Super Eagles list on Monday.

Manchester City pair Pablo Zabaleta and Sergio Aguero will join Lionel Messi and others in Argentina’s 23-man squad.

Coach Alejandro Sabella final selection is brimming with attacking talents.

Barcelona talisman Messi will lead the pursuit of global glory this summer, but he will be ably assisted by an enviable array of proven performers at the peak of their powers.

City striker Aguero falls into that category after helping to secure the Premier League title in 2013/14 – alongside fellow countryman Zabaleta.

Final List

Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama, Austin Ejide, Chigozie Agbim

Defenders: Joseph Yobo, Elderson Echiejile, Juwon Oshaniwa, Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Kenneth Omeruo, Efe Ambrose, Kunle Odunlami

Midfielders: John Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, Ramon Azeez, Michael Uchebo, Reuben Gabriel

Forwards: Osaze Odemwingie, Ahmed Musa, Shola Ameobi, Emmanuel Emenike, Babatunde Michael, Victor Moses, Uche Nwofor.

Vicente Del Bosque puts faith in misfiring Fernando Torres for World Cup


Fernando Torres was rewarded for his goal in Spain’s 2-0 friendly win over Bolivia with a place in the 23-man squad for its defense of the World Cup in Brazil.
The Chelsea striker got the nod from coach Vicente Del Bosque Saturday despite an indifferent season for his club side Chelsea.
Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa, who is struggling with a hamstring injury and club teammate David Villa are also included as strikers.
But there was disappointment for another trio of front men, Manchester City pair Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo and Fernando Llorente of Juventus.
Midfielder Ander Iturraspe, and defenders Alberto Moreno and Dani Carvajal have also been excluded from the provisional 30 named by Del Bosque.

But the spotlight was on Torres — who has scored just 20 goals in 110 games since his $84 million move to Chelsea.
His appearance against Bolivia Friday night in Sevilla was his first appearance for the world champions since the Confederation Cup nearly a year ago.
The Chelsea striker put in a generally lively performance at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium and after Bayern Munich’s Javi Martinez was pulled down in the penalty area, Torres scored from the spot on 51 minutes.
But moments later Torres showed the other side of his game, his lack of confidence in front of goal.

Put through by man of the match Andres Iniesta, Torres attempted a chipped finish over the head of Bolivian goalkeeper Romel Quininez, but made a horrible hash of it, sending it high and wide.
Torres held his head in his hands, but the miss did not prove significant and Iniesta wrapped up the victory with a stunning goal six minutes from time.
In a pointer to his final selection, Del Bosque gave a positive verdict on Torres, who has played in the last two World Cups and scored 37 goals for his country.

“We have a lot of confidence in him and that’s why he is here,” Del Bosque told gathered reporters after the win.
“We are pleased with how he worked tonight,” he added.
Spain opens its defense of the World Cup with a tough match against the Netherlands on June 13, a repeat of the 2010 final in which Iniesta scored the only goal of the game.
Meanwhile, England got its preparations for Brazil off to a good start with a comfortable 3-0 win over Peru at Wembley.
Daniel Sturridge scored a stunning first half opener for Roy Hodgson’s men == the third goal in his last five starts for England for the Liverpool star.
Central defenders Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka were on target after the break after well-delivered corners troubled the South American visitors.

Bosnia-Herzegovina was also boosted by a 2-1 success against fellow finalists Ivory Coast.
Its talisman Edin Dzeko grabbed goals in either half before Didier Drogba pulled one back for the Ivorians in the final minute

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Brazuca: Secrets of the new World Cup ball


It’s one of the stars of the World Cup – the paintbrush with which the world’s greatest footballing maestros must create their art.

But is it up to the task? The Brazuca, the official ball of Brazil 2014, is the 12th ball created by Adidas for the World Cup.

The company came under fire four years ago for the Jabulani, the official ball at the 2010 competition in South Africa, which was heavily criticised.

“It’s trajectory is unpredictable,” claimed Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, while Brazilian striker Luis Fabiano branded it “supernatural”.

Adidas claims the Brazuca has improved touch and accuracy.

“We do extensive flight path analysis and the results have shown constant and predictable paths, with deviations hardly recognisable,” Adidas’s football director Matthias Mecking told the BBC.

Experts in aerodynamics interviewed by the BBC outline three factors that are expected to influence how the official ball of Brazil 2014 will behave.

“The most important thing on the soccer ball is how much roughness you have,” explained Dr Rabi Mehta, branch chief at the US space agency’s (Nasa) Ames Research Center in California, and an aerodynamics expert.

The amount of roughness, he explains, “dictates what the critical speed is going to be at which you get maximum ‘knuckling’ of the ball”.

He tested the Jabulani in a wind tunnel and has been looking at the Brazuca. The so called “knuckling effect” occurs when the ball does not spin or spins very little. Dr Mehta explains that when a relatively smooth ball with seams flies through the air without much spin, the air close to the surface is affected by the seams, producing an asymmetric flow. This asymmetry creates forces that can suddenly knock the ball, causing volatile swoops.

But “when the ball is spinning you get the Magnus effect that makes the ball curve”, he explains.

“It’s spin-induced side force. So when you see these banana kicks around the wall – for the free kicks like Bend It Like Beckham… that is exactly the Magnus effect.”

It is the knuckling effect and the smoother surface of the Jabulani, compared to the Brazuca, that explains its unpredictability, according to the Nasa engineer.

Older, traditional balls that have been internally stitched with the standard 32 panels “knuckled” at around 48 km/h (30 mph).

“The smoother you make the ball, the higher the speed at which it knuckles,” says Dr Mehta.

“In essence what happened in my opinion is that with the traditional ball, the critical speed at which you got maximum knuckling was lower than the typical kicking speed in World Cup soccer.

“By making the ball smoother, that critical speed went up and happened to coincide with the typical kicking speeds, about 50, 55 mph (80, 88 km/h), especially in free kick situations.”
By making this year’s ball rougher, according to Dr Mehta, “we’re back to square one”.

The texture of the Brazuca is rougher. “They have what I would call tiny little pimples, which also would help in terms of the aerodynamics,” says Dr Mehta.

“If you compare this to the Teamgeist (the official ball at the 2006 World Cup in Germany), the areas apart from the seams were very smooth. The rougher texture would also help solve other issues, like when you kick the ball there is more friction between the boot and the ball.”

But the major factor influencing the roughness is the geometry of the ball’s seams.

“Seams are important because they determine to a large extent the roughness of the ball,” Dr Mehta told the BBC.

The Brazuca has six thermally bonded propeller-shaped panels, less than the eight of the Jabulani, the 14 of the Teamgeist or the 32 of traditional footballs. Adidas says the new seam geometry will give the ball aerodynamic accuracy and a stable flight.

Fewer panels could actually make the ball smoother, but new ball’s roughness is increased in other ways, says Dr Simon Choppin, a research fellow at the Centre for Sports Engineering Research at Sheffield Hallam University, who has measured the seams of the Brazuca.
“A colleague of mine, Dr John Hart, scanned the surface of the Brazuca and the Jabulani using a laser scanner. This gave us a 3-D model of the balls’ seams to measure and analyse,” Dr Choppin explains.

“We found that the depth of the Jabulani’s seams is around 0.48 mm, while the new Brazuca football has seams 1.56 mm deep – more than three times deeper.

“In addition, I measured the lengths of the seams on each ball by tracing them with string. The total length of the seams on the Jabulani is around 203cm and around 327cm on the Brazuca. Not only are the seams on the Brazuca deeper, but they’re longer too.”

For Simon Choppin, the deeper and longer seams of the Brazuca, compared with the Jabulani, make it more like a traditional stitched football – and wind tunnel tests back up this assertion.

Rougher balls also travel further. As a football flies through the air, its seams stir and agitate the air – like the dimples do on a golf ball or the fluff on a tennis ball, explains Dr Choppin.

“This agitation is essential for fast and reliable flight. A perfectly smooth ball experiences large amounts of drag and high aerodynamic forces.”

He added: “The seams of a football disturb the flow of the air.
“This results in a smaller wake-area of low pressure – behind the ball – reducing the pressure difference and reducing the force, which slows the ball down. The lower drag force means the ball travels for a longer distance.”

So what was the final verdict of the scientists?

“I am pretty sure the Brazuca is going to behave more like the traditional 32-panel internally stitched ball, so the complaints we got in the last two World Cups will be minimised,” says Rabi Mehta.

For Simon Choppin, “the seams are more effective agitators of the air, so the knuckling effect is less likely to occur at high speeds. I think the Brazuca will be more stable at high speed than its predecessors”.

Dr Mehta says it’s the knuckling effect that makes life difficult for goalkeepers.

“What the players have figured out is that it is better to kick the ball with no spin or little spin,” he says.

“They’ve been doing it for years, ever since I was a kid I saw some players kick it with their toes so that it doesn’t spin much and that’s trying to get the knuckling effect.

“For the Brazuca, the critical speed to get maximum knuckling effect is around 30mph (48km/h). For the Jabulani it was more like 50mph (80km/h).

“So if the players are sitting there listening to me they should not kick the ball as hard now compared with 2010.”
Mr baba keshi am talk to you especially,tell which ever striker you are taking to the world cup to sofly kick ball for der o!”

Bring back our Uche, Kalu begs Keshi


Out of favour Eagles’ striker Ikechukwu Uche yesterday received a tremendous boost as former Abia state governor Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu made a passionate plea for his inclusion in Stephen Keshi’s squad.

Kalu, who spoke from London through his Special Adviser Kunle Oyewumi said,”as a passionate football fan, I appeal to my good friend Keshi, to have a change of mind and include Uche in his World Cup team.The boy should be forgiven since he is now remorseful.”

The ex-governor praised the Eagles manager for recalling the duo of Joseph Yobo and Osaze Odemwingie,and prayed that Uche would also get a reprieve.

“Football is a competitive game,we should not allow personal interest to override national aspirations. I salute Keshi for bringing back Yobo and Osaze. I wish he could extend same to Uche,” Kalu added. Uche has been in splendid season for Villarreal and many fans are shocked that he was unable to get Keshi’s nod. The young man whose exclusion was blamed on tactical flaws says there is no love lost between him and the Big Boss.

Another World Cup miss will be an evergreen pain for Uche whose last game for the Eagles was in February 2013.He had also missed the South Africa 2010 Mundial after leading the goals chart in the qualifiers due to injury.

Elder brother Kalu made up for the miss as he scored two goals for the country,leaving something for family and country to keep.

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