Man U Confirm Ibrahimovic Out With ‘Significant’ Knee injury

MourinhoManchester United star Zlatan Ibrahimovic suffered significant knee ligament damage in the Europa League clash between the Red Devils and Anderlecht, the club confirmed in a statement on Saturday.

“Detailed investigations on the injuries sustained by Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic during Thursday’s Europa League match have confirmed significant knee ligament damage in both players that requires specialist opinions over the coming days,” United said.

Reports in the British press suggest the Swede could be out for as long as nine months, but the club did not provide details of how long he and defender Rojo would be sidelined.

“Estimations of time to full recovery will only be possible once definitive treatment plans have been decided after these consultations,” the statement noted.

Ibrahimovic, United’s top scorer for the season with 28 goals, had landed badly during the game and is expected to miss the rest of the season and the chance to add to his legend at age 35.

The outspoken striker is approaching the end of his one-year contract with United and there have been talks of a renewal as well as links to a transfer to the US.

A lot could change with the injury.

Beside the injuries which pose a major threat to Jose Mourinho’s quest for a top four finish in the Premier League and Europa League glory for his side, Thursday’s clash was tragic for football fans in Nigeria.

Many fans who were watching the United-Anderlecht clash at a viewing centre in Calabar were electrocuted when a high-tension wire fell on the roof of the building.

United have since send their condolences to the families of the victim, while President Muhammadu Buhari said he was shocked and saddened by the tragedy.

United will take on Spanish side Celta Vigo in the Europa League semi-finals on May 4 and 11, thanks to the costly victory.

Manchester United Beat Southampton To Claim League Cup

Zlatan Ibrahimovic shines as Manchester United Beat Southampton To Claim League CupZlatan Ibrahimovic scored a dramatic 87th minute winner as Manchester United beat Southampton 3-2 to win the English Football League Cup in a pulsating Wembley final.

Ibrahimovic had given United the lead with a sublime free-kick before Jesse Lingard made it 2-0 from the edge of the box after Marcos Rojo’s cut-back.

Southampton staged a remarkable fightback with two goals from Manolo Gabbiadini.

Ibrahimovic’s powerful header from Ander Herrera’s cross secured Jose Mourinho his first major trophy in his first season as Manchester United manager.

Mourinho Says New Defender Unnecessary For Manchester United

Manchester United, Jose Mourinho, DefenderManchester United Coach, Jose Mourinho, says he will not sign a new defender in January despite losing Eric Bailly to the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Portuguese explained that a new defender would be needless for the club since Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo were performing well.

He added that Phil Jones was also back to full fitness, saying he would manage the three players before Bailly returns.

“No, I’ll wait for Bailly (and) I hope the three can control the situation in those eight matches.

“I will try to rest one in every game. On Saturday (against Reading in the FA Cup) I will rest one, against Hull (in Tuesday’s League Cup semifinal first leg) another.

“We’ll try to make a rotation between these three. We still have Daley Blind as the fourth in case we need him to play there. We have Michael Carrick, so let’s try,” Mourinho told reporters at the Red Devils’ training base.

FIFA Places Ban On Third-Party Ownership Of Players

FIFAWorld football governing body, FIFA, has placed a ban on “third-party ownership” of players which allows outside investors to profit from transfers.

FIFA’s Executive Committee, on Friday, voted to ban “third-party ownership, which places a check on investment companies taking a stake in the economic rights of players believed to be under consideration.

Third-party ownership is popular with agents, investors and clubs in Latin America, Spain and Portugal, but is already banned in England.

Despite this, a number of Premier League clubs reportedly had to buy out third-party owners in order to acquire players this summer.

Eliquim Mangala’s £32m move from Porto to Manchester City, Marcos Rojo’s £16m switch from Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United and Lazar Markovic’s £20m transfer from Benfica to Liverpool were reportedly three such examples.

FIFA discussed the issue on Thursday, the first day of its autumn executive committee meeting in Zurich, Switzerland and the Players’ Status Committee, which oversees issues around transfers is believed to have voted in favour of recommending a ban on TPO earlier in the week.

President Sepp Blatter said that a working group woild draft new rules to be phased in.

The decision on Friday is a political victory for European football governing body, UEFA and President Michel Platini, who have repeatedly urged FIFA to act.

UEFA says the practice drains huge sums of money from the sport, and threatens the integrity of competitions when players are transferred regularly to generate profits.

Meanwhile, supporters of third-party ownership say it helps clubs sign players they could otherwise not afford.

Nigeria Qualifies For Round Of 16 Despite 3-2 Loss To Argentina

Nig vs ArgentinaNigeria has qualified for the round of 16 in the on going Brazil 2014 FIFA Wold Cup  despite losing gallantly to Argentina by 3-2 in Port Alegre.

Lionel Messi scored in the 3rd minute to give Argentina the lead but Ahmed Musa got a much needed equaliser to level up for the African champions.

Messi then scored a wonderful free kick at the stroke of half time but the Super Eagles never gave up, as Musa scored a perfect goal after a nice run of play from the Nigeria midfield.

Argentina were not done as they got a goal from a corner kick by  Marcos Rojo after a sloppy defending by the Nigerian defence.

Thus, Nigeria became the first African country to qualify for  the 2014 World Cup round of 16 while Joseph Yobo made history as he became the first Nigerian to get 100 caps for the Super Eagles.

In the other group F match, Bosnia-Herzegovina bowed out of the World Cup with a 3-1 win over Iran. Goals from  Edin Dzeko, Miralem Pjanic and  Avdija Vrsajevic ensured that they beat the Carlo Quieroz led side who scored a consolation goal by  Reza Ghoochannejhad.

Nigeria will be joined by table-toppers Argentina in the knock out stages while Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran will be booking the next flight to their various countries.