Augustine Azuka "Jay-Jay" Okocha is a Nigerian former professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. A quick and skillful playmaker, considered as the best Nigerian and one of the best African players of all time, Okocha was known for his confidence with the ball, technique and dribbling skills, as well as his use of feints, in particular the stepover. Due to his skill, he was described as being'so good that they named him twice'. Augustine Azuka "Jay-Jay" Okocha was born in Enugu State, his parents were from Delta State, Nigeria. The name Jay-Jay was passed down from his elder brother James, he began playing football on the streets just like many other football stars with a makeshift ball. In an interview with BBC Sport he said, "As far as I can remember, we used to play with anything, with any round thing we could find, whenever we managed to get hold of a ball, a bonus! I mean it was amazing!" In 1990, he joined Enugu Rangers. In his time at the club he produced many spectacular displays including one where he rounded off and scored a goal, against experienced Nigerian goalkeeper William Okpara in a match against BCC Lions.
That year, he went on holiday to West Germany, the country that had just won the 1990 FIFA World Cup, so he could watch German league football. His friend Binebi Numa was playing in the Third Division for Borussia Neunkirchen, one morning Okocha accompanied Numa to training, where he asked to join in; the Neunkirchen coach was impressed with Okocha's skills and invited him back the next day before offering him a contract. A year he joined 1. FC Saarbrücken, but stayed only a few months with the 2. Bundesliga side before a move to the 1. Bundesliga with Eintracht Frankfurt. Okocha joined Eintracht Frankfurt in December 1991, where he linked up with many well-known players including Ghanaian international striker Tony Yeboah and Thomas Doll, he continued to shine for the German side, one highlight being a goal he scored against Karlsruher SC, dribbling in the penalty box and slotting the ball past goalkeeper Oliver Kahn going past some players twice. The goal was voted Goal of the Season by many soccer magazines, voted as 1993 Goal of the Year by viewers of Sportschau.
In 1995, Okocha and Maurizio Gaudino were all involved in a feud with manager Jupp Heynckes, which led to their departure from the club. Yeboah and Gaudino left for England, while Okocha stayed until the end of the season when Frankfurt were relegated to the 2. Bundesliga, before signing for the Istanbul club Fenerbahçe. Okocha joined Turkish club Fenerbahçe for £1 million following Eintracht Frankfurt's relegation to the 2. Bundesliga. In his two seasons with the team, he amassed 30 goals in 62 appearances, many of them coming from direct free kicks, which became something of a trademark for him at the club. Okocha acquired Turkish citizenship as Muhammet Yavuz while playing for Fenerbahçe. In 1998, French side Paris Saint-Germain spent around £14 million to sign Okocha, making him the most expensive African player at the time. During his four-year stint with PSG, he played 84 scored 12 goals, he has served as a mentor, at the time, for young Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho during his time in Paris.
Okocha joined Bolton Wanderers on a free transfer after leaving PSG in the summer of 2002 after the FIFA World Cup. His debut season, despite being hampered by injuries, made him a favourite with the Bolton fans, with the team printing shirts with the inscription "Jay-Jay – so good they named him twice", he steered the team away from relegation with seven goals, including the team Goal of the Season in the vital league win against West Ham United. This was voted Bolton's best Premier League goal in a fans vote in 2008; the next season saw Okocha receive more responsibility as he was given the captain's armband following Guðni Bergsson's retirement. As captain he led Bolton to their first cup final in nine years where they finished runners-up in the 2004 Football League Cup to Middlesbrough FC. In 2006, he was stripped of the captaincy – something he said he had seen coming, as there had been a change in attitude from some staff members; this had been due to his proposed move to the Middle East, growing in speculation.
At the end of the season, he refused a one-year extension. Following Bolton's relegation from the Premier League in 2012, Okocha stated that his time at the club was now rendered a waste of time, because the club had not invested and improved on the foundations, laid during his time there. After just one season in Qatar, Football League Championship side Hull City signed Okocha on a free transfer in 2007, after the player had been linked to Real Salt Lake and Sydney FC, it was a move he made saying that "God had told him to do so". He however was not able to contribute to Hull's promotion campaign due to fitness and constant injury problems, playing only 18 games and scoring no goals. Hull still succeeded in winning promotion to the Premier League, for the first time in their 104-year history. At the end of the season, after changing his mind on a proposed retirement due to Hull's promotion, he was released by the club, which sent him into retirement. On 21 February 2015, Okocha was elected as the Chairman of the Delta State Football Association.
In April 2015, Okocha expressed his interest in becoming the Nigeria Football Federation president.
2012 Africa Cup of Nations
The 2012 Africa Cup of Nations known as the Orange Africa Cup of Nations for sponsorship reasons, was the 28th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, the football championship of Africa organized by the Confederation of African Football. The competition took place between 21 January and 12 February 2012 and was co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon; the bidding process for hosting the tournament ended in September 2006. The matches were played in four stadiums in four host cities, with the final played at the newly built Stade d'Angondjé in Gabon's largest city, Libreville. Fourteen teams were selected for participation via a continental qualification tournament that began in July 2010; the 2012 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations took place against the backdrop of political turmoil. Libya and Tunisia qualified for the tournament as the Arab Spring brought upheaval and regime change to both nations. Traditional African footballing nations such as reigning champions Egypt, as well as Cameroon, Algeria and South Africa had failed to qualify.
Players from third-placed Mali had pleaded for the insurgency in the north of their country to end. In the first round of the tournament finals, the teams competed in round-robin groups of four teams for points, with the top two teams in each group proceeding; these eight teams advanced to the knockout stage, where three rounds of play decided which teams would participate in the final. Both host nations, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, were eliminated from the competition at the quarter final stage. In the final, unfancied Zambia, the Southern African regional body's 2009 COSAFA Cup runner-up, defeated third-time finalists Ivory Coast after a dramatic penalty shootout in the final, giving Zambia their first continental title; the Zambian team dedicated their win to the members of the national team who died in a plane crash near the final's venue in Libreville in 1993. Bids: Angola Gabon / Equatorial Guinea Libya NigeriaRejected Bids: Benin / Central African Republic Botswana Mozambique Namibia Senegal ZimbabweOn 4 September 2006, the Confederation of African Football approved a compromise between rival countries to host the Africa Cup of Nations after it ruled out Nigeria.
CAF agreed to award the next three editions from 2010 to Angola, Equatorial Guinea and Libya respectively. They assigned Angola in 2010, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, which submitted a joint bid in 2012, Libya for 2014; this edition was awarded to Gabon and Equatorial Guinea to rotate the hosting of the cup and give hosting chance for first-timer nations. Two-time former host Nigeria is the reserve host for the 2010, 2012, 2014 tournaments, in the event that any of the host countries fails to meet the requirements established by CAF; the 2014 tournament was pushed forward to 2013 and subsequently held in odd-numbered years to avoid year-clash with the FIFA World Cup. The qualification process involved ten groups of four, one of, reduced to a group of three after the withdrawal of Mauritania, one group of five; the top team from each group goes through, as well as the second placed team from the group of five. The two best second place teams qualify. At the end of the qualification process, fourteen teams would have qualified, as well as the two host nations.
The first qualifiers were held on 1 July 2010. Togo were banned from the 2012 and 2013 Africa Cup of Nations tournaments by CAF after they withdrew from the 2010 tournament following an attack on their team bus. Togo appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, with FIFA president Sepp Blatter stepping in to mediate; the ban was subsequently lifted with immediate effect on 14 May 2010, after a meeting of the CAF Executive Committee. Togo were therefore free to play in the 2013 qualifiers. On 30 June 2010, after Nigeria's exit from the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan punished the team for a poor campaign by imposing a two-year ban from international competition; this would have resulted in the Nigerians missing out on both the 2012 qualifying phase and the 2012 African Cup of Nations. However, on 5 July, the Nigerian government dropped the ban after FIFA threatened to impose harsher international sanctions as a result of the government interference. Nigeria competed in qualifying for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations as scheduled but failed to qualify.
The opening match, one semi-final and the third place match were held in Equatorial Guinea, while the other semi-final and the final were held in Gabon. The draw for the final tournament took place on 29 October 2011 at the Sipopo Conference Palace in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea; the draw ceremony was attended by the two presidents from the host countries, President Ali Bongo of Gabon and President Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea. The draw saw the 16 qualified teams being pitted into four groups of four teams each; the two top teams from each group will qualify for the quarter finals with the winners progressing to the semi finals and final eventually. The two hosts were automatically seeded into pot 1; the other 14 qualified teams were ranked based on their performances during the previous three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments. For each of the last three African Cup of Nations final tournaments, the following system of points is adopted for the qualified countries: Moreover, a weighted coefficient on points was given to each of the last three editions of the Africa Cup of Nations as follows: 2010 edition: points to be multiplied by 3 2008 edition: points to be multiplied by 2 2006 edition: points to be multiplied by 1The teams were divided into four pots based on the ranking.
Each group contained one team from each pot. The following referees were chosen for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations; each team's squad
Argentina national under-20 football team
The Argentina national under-20 football team is the representative of Argentina in FIFA sponsored tournaments that pertain to that age level. Argentina is the most successful nation in the FIFA World Youth Championship, winning the competition a record six times; the team has participated in 14 of the 20 World Championship events, since the 1979 edition, which they won. Argentina has won five South American Youth Championships. Many of Argentina's top players came through the ranks of the youth teams, including Sergio Agüero, Pablo Aimar, Nicolás Burdisso, Esteban Cambiasso, Ángel Di María, Ramón Díaz, Fernando Gago, Diego Maradona, Jorge Burruchaga, Javier Mascherano, Lionel Messi, Juan Román Riquelme, Oscar Ruggeri, Gabriel Calderón, Sergio Goycochea, Sergio Romero, Maxi Rodríguez, Luis Islas, Luciano Galletti, Juan Pablo Sorín, Franco Costanzo, Walter Samuel, Javier Saviola, Jorge Borelli, Leonardo Biagini, Diego Simeone, Carlos Tevez, Erik Lamela, Éver Banega, Manuel Lanzini and Pablo Piatti, among others.
Argentina did not participate of the first youth championship held in Tunisia. The first appearance of a national team in an under-20 competition was two years at the 1979 FIFA World Youth Championship in Tokyo; the team, coached by Menotti with the help of Ernesto Duchini, won the tournament showing a fine style of playing consisting in high possession of the ball and long passes, dribblings, a solid defense and a powerful offensive line that scored a total of 20 goals along the tournament. Diego Maradona and Ramón Díaz were most notable players of the squad; the tournament was the first official championship played by Maradona in a national team. After his frustration of 1978, Maradona made the most of his performances during the tournament, being the playmaker of the team due to his passing moves, dribblings to rivals, his accuracy to shot free kicks and the six goals he scored. Argentina debuted in Group B thrashing Indonesia 5–0 in the first match, beating Yugoslavia 1–0 in the second and defeating Poland in the third match, 4–1.
The youth squad finished first in the group with ten goals scored and only one conceded. En route to the final, Argentina hammered Algeria 5–0 defeated arch-rival Uruguay 2–0. In the final against the Soviet Union on 7 September, the team won 3–1, becoming the World Youth Champions for the first time. Ramón Díaz won the Golden Shoe as the topscorer, with eight goals, while Maradona was awarded the Golden Ball as best player of the tournament. Apart from Maradona and Díaz, other notable players of the team were Juan Simón, Hugo Alves, Gabriel Calderón, Juan Barbas and Osvaldo Escudero; that team is still regarded as one of the best Argentine national squads ever. Argentina attended the next tournament, hosted by Australia in 1981; the squad was defeated by the local host achieving a draw with England and beating Cameroon 2–1. Argentina did not qualify to the next stage, earning only three points after three matches played; the national team made a much better performance at the 1983 championship hosted by Mexico, reaching the final with Brazil.
On the first round, Argentina thrashed China 5–0 widely defeated Austria and beat Czechoslovakia in the last game, 2–0. The team finished first in the group with zero goals conceded. In the quarter-finals, Argentina defeated Netherlands 2 -- Poland 1 -- 0 in the semi-finals. On 19 June 1983, Argentina played the final against Brazil; the team was coached by Carlos Pachamé, designated by the Senior team coach, Carlos Bilardo, to work with youth players. Some of the players of that team were goalkeeper Luis Islas, defenders Fabián Basualdo, Jorge Theiler, Carlos Enrique. Argentina did not qualify to play the 1985 and 1987 championships, but the team participated in the tournament held in Saudi Arabia as one of the three qualified in the South American championship. Argentina was defeated by Spain in the first match; the team recovered winning the second game to Norway 2–0, but although it lost the last match to Iraq, Argentina qualified for the second round. In the knockout stage, the team was beaten 1–0 by Brazil.
For the 1991 championship held in Portugal, Argentina was coached by Reinaldo Merlo, designated by then-senior coach Alfio Basile as it had been in the precedent era. Argentina made its worst campaign in youth tournaments, finishing last in their group with only one point earned from three matches; the team lost to SouthKorea 1–0 in the first match were defeated by hosts Portugal 3–0 in a match where three Argentine players were sent off for their rough play which culminated in a brawl on the pitch between both teams. As a result, FIFA punished the Argentina Football Association with a two-year suspension, as well as a one-year suspension for Esnáider and a two-year suspension for Norberto Recassens, both of whom insulted the referees in their dressing room at the end of the match; some of the players that took part of that team were goalkeeper Leonardo Díaz, defenders Diego Cocca, Mauricio Pochettino and Pellegrino. Because it was banned, Argentina did not participate in the 1993 World Cup in Australia.
The Argentina Football Association had opted to name a new coach independent from the senior team coach as had been until then. Selected was Jo
Lars Edvin "Lasse" Lagerbäck is a Swedish football manager and former player. He is the manager of the Norwegian national football team. Lagerbäck has managed a number of national teams prior to his current position, he managed the Swedish national team from 1998 until 2009, leading Sweden to five consecutive championships. He resigned as manager in 2009 after Sweden's failure to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. After a short stint as manager of Nigeria, he led Iceland to unprecedented success as they qualified for their first finals competition, Euro 2016, reached the quarter-finals, beating England in the last 16. Apart from his coaching duties, Lagerbäck has in recent years been a pundit for Premier League and UEFA Champions League broadcasting on Swedish television, he holds the record for managing a team in the finals of the European Championships with 4 appearances. Born in Katrineholm and raised in Ovansjö, Medelpad, in his youth, Lagerbäck played for Alby FF; when he was 13 years old, he began playing for their P16 team.
After completing his upper secondary school studies at the end of the 1960s, Lagerbäck studied political science and economics at Umeå University in northern Sweden. On the side of his studies, he played football for Gimonäs CK under the guidance of Calle Lindelöf, he continued to play there until 1974 and worked as a club clerk from 1970. Over the course of the following years, he played twice for the club in the qualifying rounds to division two in the Swedish League without success. Lagerbäck himself played midfielder, but was an unused substitute. In 1974, he attended Gymnastik- och Idrottshögskolan, where he was a classmate of current assistant coach Roland Andersson. In 1977, he was called up to the senior team, it was former teammate Kjell Pettersson. He coached the Division IV team until 1982. In 1983, he moved to Arbrå IK until 1985. In 1987, he took over Hudiksvall ABK but left in 1989. In 1990, Lagerbäck took a job with the Swedish Football Association, he began as a coach for the junior levels.
He helped Tord Grip with the Swedish national team. In 1996, Lagerbäck took over the Sweden B national team, until 1997. In 1998, Tommy Söderberg chose him to be the assistant coach for the Swedish national team. In 2000, he was promoted to dual-coach, a responsibility he shared with Söderberg until 2004. Under his guidance, the Swedish national team qualified for the Euro 2000 but was eliminated in the group stages. In 2002, he led Sweden to the World Cup, where Sweden were drawn in the'group of death', together with England and Nigeria. Sweden subsequently lost against Senegal in the first knockout round. In 2004, Sweden qualified for their third straight championship. In the Euro 2004, Sweden made it to the quarter-finals; that same year, Tommy Söderberg left the Swedish national team to coach the U21 team. After the departure of Söderberg, Lagerbäck appointed Roland Andersson as assistant coach. In 2006, Lagerbäck took Sweden to their fourth consecutive championship, the first time in Swedish history.
He led Sweden to the 2006 World Cup. Under Lagerbäck, Sweden qualified for UEFA Euro 2008, however they were eliminated in the group stage after losing 2–0 against Russia; the team's early dismissal from the tournament led sport columnists to ask Lagerbäck to be sacked. Despite this, he signed an extension, which kept him until the end of the 2010 FIFA World Cup campaign. After Sweden's unsuccessful qualification campaign, Lagerbäck resigned. On 26 February 2010, Lagerbäck signed a five-month contract that would see him lead Nigeria in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Despite Nigeria's poor performance in the World Cup, the Nigeria Football Federation offered Lagerbäck a contract extension for another two years. Lagerbäck declined the offer. Around this time, Lagerbäck was a candidate for the position of manager of the Welsh national team. On 4 October 2011, KSÍ's chief executive Geir Þorsteinsson reported that talks had begun over the appointment of Lagerbäck as the new manager of the Icelandic national team.
The appointment was confirmed ten days later. Under Lagerbäck, Iceland qualified for the play-off stage of the qualification tournament for the 2014 World Cup, but Croatia were the victors over two legs. Shortly thereafter Lagerbäck signed a new contract, this time as joint manager with his former Iceland assistant Heimir Hallgrímsson, who took over as sole manager with Lagerbäck's retirement following Euro 2016, where Iceland famously reached the quarter-finals, beating England in the last 16, they went out to France in the quarter-finals. On 1 February 2017, Lagerbäck was announced as the new manager for Norway, signing a contract lasting until the end of 2019. On 26 March 2017, Lagerbäck took charge of his first game as manager of Norway, which resulted in a 2-0 defeat to Northern Ireland in Belfast; as of 26 March 2019 Sweden Nigeria Iceland Norway Lars Lagerbäck profile
Perth Glory FC
Perth Glory Football Club is an Australian professional soccer club based in Perth, Western Australia. It competes in the country's premier competition, the A-League, under licence from Football Federation Australia. Founded in 1995, Perth Glory is one of three A-League clubs to survive from the now defunct National Soccer League. Glory entered the A-League competition for the inaugural 2005–06 season, eight years after the club's formation in 1995. Perth won their first silverware in the A-League era; the club plays at Perth Oval known as HBF Park for sponsorship purposes, with a seated capacity of 20,500. A youth team competes in the Y-League, a women's team competes in the W-League. Both the youth and women's team play at various locations across Perth, most played at Dorrien Gardens. Perth first showed interest in joining the National Soccer League prior to its inaugural year in 1977. However, a series of logistical problems and financial concerns meant that the league was not keen to include a Western Australian side.
While the state representative side continued to perform well in national and international cup competitions, WA continued to be unrepresented at a senior club level until 1994. In 1994, a group of businessmen led by Joe Claudio formed the Perth Kangaroos IFC; the club competed in the 1994 Singapore Premier League along with the Darwin Cubs. At the time, there were visions of establishing an Asia-Pacific Super League which could become a sporting and financial empire in the east, it turned out to be something of a farce. The Kangaroos finished the league season undefeated and won the Singapore league title. However, with dwindling support and resources, the experiment proved to be a financial disaster and Perth Kangaroos IFC soon folded. In 1995, another consortium led by Nick Tana made a bid for entry into the National Soccer League. Perth Glory was subsequently licensed to join the 1996–97 NSL season and on 1 December 1995 the club was launched. From a unheralded start, the club would develop beyond all expectations and help commercially re-establish Association football in a state where Australian rules football dominates the media and Rugby league was commercially about to fail.
Former Adelaide City player and Perth Kangaroos coach Gary Marocchi was appointed coach for the first two seasons and won many fans with his bold, attacking style. Believed to be nothing more than a token participant, Perth surprised many by only just missing the cut for the finals; the exciting style of "you score three, we score four" drew fans – including many British expatriates. Players like NSL-title-winning sweeper Vinko Buljubašić, Perth-based striker Bobby Despotovski and young local star Vas Kalogeracos were brought into the team and achieved cult status. New Zealand international Gavin Wilkinson was signed while local midfielder Gareth Naven was appointed captain. In their first match in the NSL, Perth Glory lost to Sydney Olympic 4–1, with veteran Scot Alan MacKenzie scoring the first goal for Glory and Doug Ithier winning the first Man-of-the-Match award. Large crowds and good results soon followed with an exciting win over defending champions the Melbourne Knights thrilling a huge crowd.
Glory needed only a point in their final match of the season but were defeated by the Knights and fell just short of making the finals. Glory midfielder Paul Strudwick was sent off during the match in controversial circumstances while trouble in the crowd marred the match. In the 1997–98 season, despite again narrowly missing the top six and signing more high-profile players like Ernie Tapai, Danny Hay and Nigerians Samson Siasia and Peter Anosike it was a disappointing season for the Glory. Fan support was further consolidated in the era of Bernd Stange; the former East German national coach became a media star after replacing Gary Marocchi, sacked and took the team into the competition playoffs. The success of the team created record attendances along with record exposure in the local media. During Stange's reign, Glory competed in its first-ever NSL Grand Final in 1999–2000 after having won the League championship. In his first season, Stange had taken Glory to their first finals series the previous season and had fallen in the preliminary final against Sydney United.
With new signings John Markovski and Con Boutsianis fitting straight into the side, local player Jamie Harnwell started to develop into a key defender and made the step to replace the injured Vinko Buljubašić. A horror form slump at the height of summer denied the Glory a top two place but massive crowds still attended their two home finals at the WACA Ground against Adelaide City and Marconi Stallions; the following year, Glory recruited young players Ivan Ergić, Jason Petković and Olyroo Kasey Wehrmann. The 1999/2000 grand final is remembered. Earlier in the Championship Playoff series, Perth had narrowly beaten the Wollongong Wolves in a two-legged Major Semi Final – needing a dramatic 80th-minute penalty and goal in extra time to advance. In the grand final, Perth again faced the Wolves and led 3–0 at half time against a miserable Wolves outfit. Yet, the Wolves rallied superbly and Perth experienced a series of defensive blunders to be pegged back to 3–3 at full-time. Perth subsequently lost on penalties, but this defining moment galvanised the team and would be a motivating force for years to come.
James Afkos, a young defender and son of Glory co-owner Paul Afkos saw his penalty saved, which gav
Football Club de Nantes referred to as FC Nantes or Nantes, is a French association football club based in Nantes, Pays de la Loire. The club was founded on 21 April 1943, during World War II, as a result of local clubs based in the city coming together to form one large club. From 1992 to 2007, the club was referred to as FC Nantes Atlantique before reverting to its current name at the start of the 2007–08 season. Nantes play in the first division of French football. Nantes is one of the most successful clubs in French football, having won eight Ligue 1 titles, three Coupe de France wins and attained one Coupe de la Ligue victory; the club is famous for its jeu à la nantaise, its collective spirit advocated under coaches José Arribas, Jean-Claude Suaudeau and Raynald Denoueix and for its youth system, which has produced players such as Marcel Desailly, Didier Deschamps, Mickaël Landreau, Claude Makelele, Christian Karembeu and Jérémy Toulalan. As well as Les Canaris, Nantes is nicknamed Les jaunes et verts and La Maison Jaune.
The club was founded in 1943. The first match played by Nantes as a professional team took place at the Stade Olympique de Colombes against CA Paris, where Nantes triumphed 2–0; the first home match was a defeat of the same score against Troyes. The club finished fifth at the end of this first season following which the club's manager Aimé Nuic left the club following a dispute, was succeeded by Antoine Raab, who took over in a player-coach role. After winning 16 consecutive matches, Nantes lost 9–0 to Sochaux. In July 1991, the club re-instated Jean-Claude Suaudeau, in July 1992, after spending a fortnight in the second division due to an administrative decision by the DNCG, FC Nantes was renamed FC Nantes Atlantique, was able to take its place in the first division back, they won the French championship in 1994/95 and in 2000/01. In 2005, Nantes narrowly avoided relegation on the final day of the season by defeating Metz 1-0; the following season Nantes finished last in Ligue 1 and were relegated to Ligue 2 after spending over 40 consecutive seasons in Ligue 1.
In 2007, Nantes were promoted back to Ligue 1 at the first attempt but the following season they were relegated back to Ligue 2 after finishing 19th on the table. After spending 3 seasons in Ligue 2, Nantes were once again promoted to Ligue 1 in 2013. In their first season back in the top division, Nantes avoided relegation finishing 13th on the table. After two years of stability, in the 2016/2017 Ligue 1 season, Nantes finished a respectable 7th on the table. For the 2017/2018 season, former Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri took over as manager and after 10 games in charge had Nantes sitting 3rd on the table just behind big spending Paris Saint-Germain and AS Monaco. In the second half of the 2017/2018 season, Nantes managed to only win 3 more games and finished 9th on the table. Claudio Ranieri announced his departure from the club after only one season. Nantes' home ground since 1984 has been the Stade de la Beaujoire-Louis Fontenau, which has a capacity of 38,128. FC Nantes former stadium was The Stade Marcel Saupin which the club played at from 1937 to 1984.
A new stadium is expected to be built and replace the Stade de la Beaujoire-Louis Fontenau as Nantes' home ground in 2022. As of 16 February 2019. Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality; as of 1 February 2019. Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Below are the notable former players who have represented Nantes in league and international competition since the club's foundation in 1943. To appear in the section below, a player must have played in at least 100 official matches for the club. For a complete list of FC Nantes players, see Category:FC Nantes players Ligue 1 Winners: 1964–65, 1965–66, 1972–73, 1976–77, 1979–80, 1982–83, 1994–95, 2000–01 Coupe de France Winners: 1978–79, 1998–99, 1999–2000 Coupe de la Ligue Winners: 1964–65 Trophée des Champions Winners: 1965, 1999, 2001 UEFA Champions League Semi-finalists: 1995–96 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Semi-finalists: 1979–80 Cup of the Alps Winners: 1982 FC Nantes at UEFA Official website
Al-Hilal Saudi Football Club is a Saudi Arabian professional multi-sports club based in Riyadh. The football team plays in the Saudi Professional League. Founded on 16 October 1957, it is one of four teams to have participated in all seasons of the Saudi Professional League since its establishment in 1976. Overall, they have won 58 official titles on the national and international stage, more than any other Saudi club. In domestic competitions, they have won 45 trophies: a record 15 Professional League titles, a record 13 Crown Prince Cup titles, a record 7 Federation Cup titles, 8 King Cup titles, 2 Super Cup title, the title winner of Saudi Founder's Cup. Internationally, Al-Hilal have a record 6 Asian Football Confederation trophies – the AFC Champions League in 1991 and 2000, the Asian Cup Winners Cup in 1997 and 2002, the Asian Super Cup in 1997, 2000. In September 2009, Al-Hilal was awarded Best Asian Club of the 20th Century by the IFFHS. Al-Hilal Club was known as the Olympic Club during its founding by Abdul Rahman Bin Saad Bin Saeed on 15 October 1957 in Riyadh.
The club's name lasted for only one year before it was changed to its current name on 3 December 1958 by King Saud Bin Abdul-Aziz. He changed the name after he attended a tournament, contested between the Olympic Club, Al-Shabab, Al-Riyadh and El-Kawkab clubs; as soon as the club's establishment, Al-Hilal enjoyed not only grassroots support but royal attention. After spending their formative years building a squad, the club made their first mark by lifting the King's Cup trophy in 1961; that began a period. Al-Hilal recaptured the King's Cup in 1964, with a penalty shootout victory over two-time Asian champions Al-Ittihad; the club were the inaugural winners when the Saudi Premier League came into existence in the 1976–77 season. Al-Hilal won the title another 12 times and finished runners-up on 12 occasions in the space of 32 years. Al-Hilal have seven King's Cup, twelve Crown Prince Cup and eight Saudi Federation Cup titles. With the success, a number of players and coaches from outside Saudi Arabia joined the club in the 1970s, including Brazilians Mario Zagallo and Roberto Rivelino.
In 1991, they won Asian Club Championship. They won it again in 1999–2000. In 1997 they captured the Asian Cup Winners Cup and the Asian Super Cup of that year, which they lifted again in 2002; the last time they got their hands on a continental trophy was in 2002, when they won the Asian Cup Winners' Cup. Al Hilal is the only Asian team. Al Hilal reached the final of the AFC Champions League in 2014, where they faced Western Sydney Wanderers; the Australian club won 1–0 on aggregate. Al-Hilal plays their home games at King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh and at King Fahd International Stadium a stadium, constructed in 1987 with a capacity of 67,000 supporters; the club's reserve team stadium, Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium, was used in 2011–12 when King Fahd Stadium was under renovation. When prince Abdulrahman bin Musa'ad became the owner of the club in 2008, there was some serious idea of making Al-Hilal home avenue but it was shortly declined. On, King Saud University had their new spectacular stadium offered for an annual contract and Al-Hilal was the club with the best offer.
Al-Hilal has a long-standing rivalry with Al-Ittihad. From the start of national competition the clubs were seen as representatives of two rival cities: Riyadh and Jeddah. Matches between the two are called'El Clasico's. After the success of Al Hilal in Asia when they won two Asian Club Championship in years 1991 and 1999–2000, Al Ittihad has won AFC Champions League two times in a row, in 2004 and 2005. Al-Hilal won the clasico 62 times, while Al-Ittihad has won it 50 times and two sides have drawn 35 times; the biggest win was when Al-Hilal defeated Al-Ittihad 5–0 in 2009–2010. Another rivalry is with their neighbors Al-Nassr, called Riyadh's Derby, they have met 148 times, Al-Hilal has won 59 times, lost 48 times, while 41 ties have ended in a draw. The biggest win is for Al-Hilal when they defeated Al-Nassr 5–1 in 2016–17; the rivalry with Al-Nassr is violent between them more than the rivalry with Al-Ittihad. As an example, when Al-Hilal reached the 2014 AFC Champions League Final, in 2nd leg Al-Nassr fans awaited Western Sydney Wanderers arrival at the airport to spur them on against Al-Hilal and tried to sabotage Al-Hilal's ticket plan.
Mobily was the main sponsor of Al-Hilal, as part of the sponsorship deal, their logo was displayed on the front of the club's shirts and a plethora of other merchandise. The Mobily deal was announced by the club's previous President Abdulrahman bin Musa'ad on 14 October 2008, is worth a Saudi record SAR 517 million, to be paid over six years; the previous president Prince Abdulrahman bin Musa'ad made a contract with Omar Almady, CEO of Volkswagen Group in Saudi Arabia. The contract period is 6 years and was signed on September 18, 2014. Al-Hilal receives SR 4.5 million per year from the Saudi Arabia Football Federation as the federation sell the complete matches' right in one package and all the clubs in the Saudi Professional League share the revenue equally. The income may increase in near future as clubs will have the rights to sell their own matches' broadcasting rights; the club's president and other board members pay any extra money required to run the club as the total expenses of the club in recent seasons surpassed SR 140 million.
This increase in expenses is due to the high level foreign and national players the club signed with such as Thiago Neves, Mirel Rădoi, Christian Wi