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PSG faces busy February with Bayern and Marseille tests – The Zimbabwe Mail

PSG’s Kylian Mbappe, centre right, celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during the French League One soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Nice at the Parc des Princes in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard)

PARIS, France (AP) – There’s a busy February ahead for Paris Saint-Germain.

Next month will be packed with a series of big matches for PSG and likely to set the tone for the rest of the defending French champion’s season.

But PSG won’t be sorry to see the end of January. It has been struggling since the start of the new year, with two defeats in its last three league matches. Although the 7-0 demolition of amateur team Pays de Cassel in the French Cup on Monday boosted morale, Christophe Galtier’s team is not in the best of form ahead of a loaded period.

PSG will play seven matches in February, including major tests against Bayern Munich in the Champions League and bitter rival Marseille in a domestic doubleheader.

“There are things for us to put right,” Galtier said after his team saw its lead at the top of the league over second-place Lens cut to three points.

In the two league defeats against Lens and Rennes, PSG’s lack of inspiration and rhythm was worrying for a team whose ambition is still to win the Champions League, Europe’s top club competition, for the first time.

“When you are PSG, yes, there is an urgency,” Galtier said. “We must find our game, have much more energy, much more rhythm, much more intensity.”

PSG’s matches in February start at struggling Montpellier before hosting Toulouse. Things are expected to get harder with a trip to Marseille’s Stade Velodrome in the round of 16 of the French Cup in what is the biggest fixture in French soccer.

Then it will be another away game at fourth-place Monaco before Bayern travels to the French capital for the first leg of their round-of-16 match in the Champions League on Feb. 14. After that, PSG will host Lille and travel again to third-place Marseille in the league.

“The calendar is like that, unfortunately,” Galtier said. “With the accumulation of matches, we’ll need to be careful with the players’ management.”

There are concerns surrounding the form of Neymar, who is looking a shadow of the inspired and ruthless player he was in the first part of the season before damaging his right ankle at the World Cup in Qatar.

The picture is not rosier in defense, as Presnel Kimpembe has yet to recover from an Achilles injury, while right back Nordi Mukiele is out with a thigh problem expected to keep him sidelined for weeks.

The good news is that Kylian Mbappe remains unstoppable.

After a stunning World Cup, the France striker became the first PSG player to hit five goals in a competitive game against Pays de Cassel, taking his overall tally with the club to 196 goals — just four shy of Edinson Cavani’s record.

As for the current shape of PSG’s upcoming rivals, Bundesliga leader Bayern has just restarted its season after a two-month winter break, and looked rusty in its error-strewn 1-1 draw with Leipzig last week.

But Marseille is in stunning form, having extended its winning streak to a club-record equaling eight matches in all competitions last weekend.

“We don’t know how far we can go, but we’re aiming as high as possible,” Marseille midfielder Valentin Rongier said.

Marseille won the last of 10 French Cups in 1989.

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Family beams with pride as son leads N.W.T. futsal team to 2 victories in 1 day –

It was a close game, but the N.W.T.’s junior male futsal team eked out a 2-1 win against Alaska at the Arctic Winter Games on Tuesday — and then went on to a sweeping 13-2 win against Team Nunavut.

As team captain Tanaka Muwirimi played that first game at the Syncrude Sport and Wellness Centre in Fort McMurray, Alta., he saw his hero — his dad, Panganai Muwirimi — up in the stands cheering him on.

“He’s my idol, in my opinion. He’s always been there,” Tanaka said after his team won against Alaska. “He coached most of my teams, he really helped me improve my game. He was strong; when I had bad games, he was there. Good games, he was there.”

A portrait of a couple, with the man's hands resting on the woman's shoulders and his head leaning against hers.
Panganai Muwirimi, left, and Philder Nyadembera watched their son play futsal at the Arctic Winter Games this week. (George Maratos/CBC)

Tuesday’s games were just two of 15 futsal matches teams from the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Alberta, Alaska and Nordic countries (Team Sápmi) are playing this week. They also follow a 4-2 loss against Team Yukon on Monday.

Speaking to CBC, Panganai didn’t have the words to express how it felt to watch his son lead his team to victory.

“It’s great to see your son playing, doing what he loves best. And I’m able to be available and present with him, supporting him,” Panganai said.

A portrait of a youth wearing a jersey.
Tanaka Muwirimi, the center back for Team N.W.T.’s futsal team, played at the Arctic Winter Games this week. (George Maratos/CBC)

Philder Nyadembera, Tanaka’s mom, said they’ve been sending videos and photos to their family members back in Zimbabwe, “so they can feel a little bit of what we’re feeling.”

From Zimbabwe to Yellowknife

Panganai and his family moved from Zimbabwe to the U.S., and then to Toronto, where Tanaka was born. They eventually went west to Alberta, before Nyadembera accepted a job at the Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife.

Panganai said he started coaching his son in soccer because he saw the talent Tanaka had and wanted to help him succeed.

Watching Tanaka represent the N.W.T. at the Arctic Winter Games “feels great,” he added.

“Mainly, because Canada accepted us and we feel like we are giving back, and my son is giving back,” he said.

Soccer runs in the Muwirimi family. Panganai played in high school and college when he was younger, and several other family members have played as well.

Tanaka Muwirimi talks about his team’s recent wins at Arctic Winter Games

1 hour ago

Duration 6:56

Tanaka Muwirimi, the team captain for the N.W.T.’s futsal team at AWG2023, and his family tell the story of their journey to the Northwest Territories and what soccer means to them.

Given that family history, Tanaka said, he’d like to one day go pro.

“It’s a passion of ours, we love the sport. It would be very nice to have that in my job, my career path,” he said. “It’s not just talent that brings you there — it’s hard work and dedication that really gets you to where you want to be.”

Hard work and dedication aside, Nyadembera said her advice to her son has always been the same: take time to enjoy what you’re doing.

“In everything, we always tell him to be able to enjoy,” Nyadembera said. “Because there’s no point in you doing things that you don’t enjoy.”

The N.W.T. junior male futsal team plays Wednesday night against Alberta North, which has won two out of the three games it’s played so far, before squaring off against Team Sápmi Thursday afternoon. Team Sápmi has won two of its games and tied a third.

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Marvelous Nakamba lands at Luton Town – Bulawayo24 News

ASTON Villa’s Warriors midfielder Marvelous Nakamba is taking a status downgrade with a loan move to English Championship side Luton Town where he can however, resuscitate his limping career at a team and level he is guaranteed game time, at least.

The 29-year-old whose contract with the Birmingham side expires mid-next year has been living on borrowed time at Villa Park having been openly told by manager Unai Emery to look for an alternative home.

And with no suitors showing up, Nakamba’s situation was increasingly becoming desperate with the clock ticking towards deadline which lapsed last night.

So delicate was the position, Nakamba was facing the sad reality of being offloaded.

However, West Bromwich Albion, who also play in the English Championship where they are 10th on the table had shown interest on Monday but they couldn’t act quick enough.

And they were overtaken by Luton Town who wasted no time in agreeing a loan move for the former Bantu Rovers man.

He underwent his medicals at The Hatters yesterday afternoon with the Zimbabwean joining the Bedfordshire club yesterday evening.

Luton Town confirmed on their website last night they had captured the signature of the Zimbabwean midfielder.

“We are delighted to announce the loan signing of Aston Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba for the remainder of the season” read the statement on Luton Town’s website.

The club manager Rob Edwards hailed Nakamba as a hardworking midfielder who can help his team secure promotion into the EPL.

“We’re so pleased to be able to bring Marvelous in. That position is one we’ve been looking to fill for a while. I think we’ve got a lot of good midfielders, but not many natural, deep midfield players and I really like what he’s about,” Edwards told the club site.

“He’s got a brilliant attitude, great physicality, good quality and I think he really suits the way we play, so he will fit in really well with us.

“He’s had amazing experiences playing in the Premier League and Champions League, and we want him to bring all of that to try to help improve us.

“There are difficult decisions within this window, but everything that we are trying to do is always with an aim to try to keep improving and moving forward, and we feel that being able to get Marvelous in the building to the end of the season is a real coup for us.”

Nakamba was equally elated with the move.

Speaking after finalising his medical at The Brache, Nakamba said: “I’m very happy to be here at Luton Town. I know Henri Lansbury from Aston Villa and Ethan Horvath because I played with him at Club Brugge, so it’s a good feeling to see them again,” he said.

“I spoke with the gaffer and he told me about the project of the club and I told him my situation, that it was interesting for me to come over here.

“I think it’s good for the club, great for me and I love the ambition at the club. I’m looking forward to contributing to help the team.”

Nakamba was told he can leave Villa this month after a conversation with (Villa manager) Unai Emery.

The Villa boss spoke with a number of first-team stars earlier this month to inform them that they could find new clubs before the window shuts. Villa have let go of Cameron Archer and Morgan Sanson on loan, while Fredric Guilbert has joined the midfielder in Strasborg on a permanent contract.”

Nakamba will be hoping to help the Rob Edwards’ side to secure at least a play-off spot by the end of the season.

Luton Town are currently seventh in the Championship table with 42 points in 27 games (before their match against Cardiff City last night).

They are 20 points behind leaders Burnley and 17 adrift of an automatic qualification slot currently occupied by Sheffield United.

They can still get promoted via the play-offs if they can notch a top-six place in the marathon.

And Nakamba, who could as well move permanently to Luton Town at the end of the loan deal according to reports could still bounce back in the top-flight, in style should The Hatters clip promotion.

He is still a highly-regarded individual across England despite some hesitancy by top-flight clubs in that country to draw him to their homes.

Although there was reported interest from Fulham, Nottingham Forest and Newcastle, there were no formal requests made by those teams to Villa.

Nakamba who has accumulated 26 caps with the Warriors, has not featured for Aston Villa this season either under the sacked Steven Gerrard or Emery.

His last appearance for the club came against Manchester City in a 3-2 loss at the end of last season.

The defensive midfielder arrived at Villa Park from Club Brugge in 2019 for a fee in the region of US$11 million and walked straight into the first 11 under former manager Dean Smith.

He played 29 games in his first season before falling down the perking order in the two seasons that followed.

And he will be hoping to find himself again with a fresh start at Luton Town.

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January transfer deadline day deals – SuperSport

Latest news and highlights from Europe’s top soccer leagues on transfer deadline day:


Fulham completed the signing of central midfielder Sasa Lukic from Torino for an undisclosed fee.

Lukic agreed a four-and-a-half-year deal, with an option to extend it by a further 12 months.

“I’m very happy to have signed, and to now be a part of Fulham’s squad,” the 26-year-old said.


Spanish forward Ayoze Perez has joined La Liga outfit Real Betis on loan for the rest of the season from Leicester City.


* Joao Cancelo to Bayern Munich: Loan
* Mykhailo Mudryk to Chelsea: €100 million
* Anthony Gordon to Newcastle United: £45 million
* Cody Gakpo to Liverpool: £37 million
* Benoit Badiashile to Chelsea: £35 million
* Georginio Rutter to Leeds United: €40 million
* Noni Madueke to Chelsea: €35 million
* Leandro Trossard to Arsenal: £27 million
* Malo Gusto to Chelsea: £26.3 million
* Dango Ouattara to Bournemouth: £20 million


Tottenham Hotspur right back Djed Spence has joined Ligue 1 side Stade Rennais on loan for the rest of the season, joining fellow Spurs defender Joe Rodon who joined the French club in August.

Spence, signed for £12.5 million with another £7.5 million in add-ons in July, has made only four substitute appearances in the Premier League.


Leeds United defender Diego Llorente has joined Serie A side AS Roma on loan until the end of the season after losing his spot in the back line to Liam Cooper, Robin Koch and new signing Max Wober.


Aston Villa have recalled Bertrand Traore from his loan spell at Istanbul Basaksehir FK.

The club’s Zimbabwe international Marvelous Nakamba and 20-year-old English fellow midfielder Aaron Ramsey have gone out on loan to Luton Town and Middlesbrough respectively.


Bayern Munich’s Marcel Sabitzer could join Manchester United, who are looking for midfield cover after losing Christian Eriksen to an ankle injury, British media and Sky Germany reported.


Leicester City completed the signing of Ghanaian striker Nathan Opoku from FDM Field Masters Sporting Club. The 21-year-old will join Belgian side OH Leuven on loan for the remainder of the season.


Fulham mutually agreed to terminate the contract of midfielder Josh Onomah, who made only two substitute appearances this season.


Manchester United have lost Christian Eriksen to an ankle injury for three months but manager Erik ten Hag said they would not sign a replacement on deadline day.

“On deadline day it’s difficult, you can’t make policy on such bad injuries,” Ten Hag said.

“But we have players in the midfield department, good players. We have players who can fill the gap.

“It’s quite clear Eriksen brings top quality to our squad and he has some specifics that are hard to replace, such as his impacts in the final third with his final ball.”


Arsenal said midfielder Mohamed Elneny has a “significant injury” to his right knee and required surgery, which has prompted the club to seek a replacement.

The club were knocked back in their attempt to sign Moises Caicedo from Brighton & Hove Albion but look set to sign Jorginho from Chelsea.


Chelsea midfielder Jorginho is poised to make a deadline day switch to Arsenal, with British media reporting the Italian is undergoing his medical ahead of a £12-million move.


Manchester City full back Joao Cancelo has completed a loan switch to Bayern Munich, who have the option to buy the Portugal international at the end of the season.


Scottish right back Harrison Ashby has joined Newcastle United from West Ham United.

“Harrison is a very talented young player with a lot of potential so we are delighted to sign him. He has very good attributes so we are looking forward to working with him in this exciting new chapter of his career,” coach Eddie Howe said.


Highly-rated youngster Diogo Monteiro has joined Leeds United on a three-and-a-half year deal from Swiss Super League side Servette, where the defender made his senior debut at the age of 16. Monteiro has also played for Portugal’s youth teams.


Arsenal winger Marquinhos, 19, has joined second-tier Championship side Norwich City on loan for the rest of the season. He made six appearances in all competitions since joining Arsenal in June.

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