The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) over the years as always being a league that is very difficult for the teams involved to participate in, and as such it has always being a fight till the end for every team due to the toughness of league.
In 2012 or thereabout, the NPFL was named 4th best league by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics, and 53rd in the world as at then, perhaps due to the high grit of the league, however that isn’t our focus, Today Cheapgoals is taking a look at 5 teams that are most likely to win the 2019/20 NPFL title.
The Makurdi based team is gradually growing into the form they were in the 2017/18 season when the league season ended abruptly.
In other to meet up with the October 15 deadline of Confederation of African Football for countries to complete their registration for 2018/19 continental competitions, and as such Lobi was declared winner by the League Management Company (LMC), haven’t racked up forty-three points from the twenty-four games as at that time, Lobi won the league and were declared league champions and presented to CAF as Nigeria representative for the Champions League.
The Pride of Benue as Nigeria representative in the CAF champions league did struggle as they were pitted in the toughest group and against three former champions Wydad in 1992, 2017, Sundowns in 2016, and ASEC in 1998, but in the end, they were ousted from the tournament with a match to go and four-point.
Though the Benue boys are not playing on the continent this season, with what they’ve shown with their performance so far in the league this campaign, they are arguably one of the top five teams that could go on to win the league. They’ve played fifteen games this season, and sit second on the NPFL log with 28 points, same with table topper Plateau United who leads the log on goals difference.
If Lobi continues with their good run, they might end up being the champions of the NPFL, and also went on to represent Nigeria at the continent which would be their third outing at the CAF Champions League, but then only time would tell as the season is still very young in matchday 16, as such the league is still very open.
Life in the NPFL hasn’t been so easy for the Jos based side before now, but they’ve been knocking on the door of success for a long time, though they failed, yet they kept trying.
Plateau was promoted to the Nigeria Premier League for the 2010-11 season by winning on the last day against Mighty Jets, but couldn’t perform well the following season, as such they were relegated back on the last day of the season. Fortunately for them, they got promoted back to the top league on the last day of the 2015 season.
In 2017, their zeal for success came to the fore when they won the Nigerian Professional Football League for the first time in 2017, with a team led by coach Kennedy Boboye, since then Plateau United has been riding on confidence in the NPFL.
This season, they started the league with a lot of confidence and dexterity, and as such, they’ve been taking their opponents to the cleaners. At matchday 16, at home where they blew their opponents away was a testament to the fact that Plateau United won’t rest on their oars in going all out to win the league.
As it stands, they top the league table with 28 points the same as Lobi in second, if they must win the league, the Jos based side must be consistent home and away till the end.
Two seasons before now, the Akure based side didn’t really perform well in the NPFL, in 2017-18 season they finished 18th on the NPFL log, and the following season didn’t go as planned for them in the league.
The Owena Waves currently sit fourth on the log in the NPFL, with 26 points haven’t played sixteen matches so far this season.
The Akure gunners, as they are usually called sometimes, are punching above their weight this season, perhaps they might go all the way to win the league this season, and also have the privilege to represent Nigeria on the continent just like they did in 2017 in the Champions League and 2011 in the confederation cup.
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However, the task ahead is still very tough considering the fact that they just lost their talisman Israeli Abia who is the top scorer in the league to Rangers, it might affect them going forward, but then if the Owena Waves really desires the league, they must be consistent till the end of the league.
Rivers United FC has remained in the top flight since its first season in 2016 after the state government got permission to merge Dolphins FC and Sharks FC.
The Pride of Rivers finished second in the Nigerian Premier League in 2016 which qualified them for the 2017 CAF Champions League for the first time but were kicked out in the first round by Sudan’s Al-Merrikh 4-3 on aggregate, which was a testament to the fact that they’ve been consistent in the league since the merger of Sharks and Dolphins.
Rivers currently sits third on the log, 28 points tied with Plateau United and Lobi Stars, haven’t played sixteen matches so far, however, if things went smoothly for the rivers based side this season, they could go on to win the league, but then they need to keep marching forward and never lose focus.
Dakkada F.C. formerly Akwa Starlets got promoted into the NPFL in 2019, prior to winning the Nigerian National League title.
In October 2019, the club management officially re-branded the club changing the name from Akwa Starlet F.C. to Dakkada F.C. and since then they’ve been a pro force the regular NPFL teams couldn’t shove off easily.
Dakkada currently sits 5th in league with 26 points, haven’t played 16 matches in the NPFL.
Their last three matches in the league isn’t that bad, they won one, lost one and drew the recent one in the matchday 16 away from home against the in-form Lobi Stars side, with the performance they’ve put on so far this campaign, perhaps they might go on to lunch an assault and snatch the title away from the prominent teams. But then, only time would tell if they can actually pull the plug.
Top 10 Football Dribblers Of All Time
The beautiful game of football is arguably the only sport that entertains its fans with the opportunity to witness a genuine instance of sheer genius with a series of beautiful nutmegs. The display of skills, footwork, eye-catching dribbles by different players makes the game more entertaining.
A lot of players around the world can dribble, go past a defender with a single flick and pace. However, good dribblers can be considered as one of the most important key players of a team, as they can unlock any kind of defense.
There are tons of Football dribblers, but only the best have made it onto the CheapGoals list.
10. Roberto Rivelino
Rivelino’s magic with the ball was unbelievable, doing things nobody ever has or will do on a football pitch, and also had a quality of certainty about himself when he was on the ball.
He would not only wind past his opponents but also mortify them and smash defenders’ confidence. Sudden speeding up, various body bluffs would see him outfox defenders on numerous occasions, as some would say Garrincha made the ball talk to his feet.
Other than being authoritatively one of the best footballers to ever graced the beautiful game and lived with three World Cup medals, this iconic Brazilian player was incredible at dribbling. Being able to control the ball in front of defenders and going past them with ease and confidence is something an aspiring footballer would dream of.
8. George Best
Undoubtedly one of England’s greatest players, having scored 137 goals in 361 appearances for Manchester United in a career that spread over more than a decade for the Red Devils. He had the confidence to make use of the ball within and outside of his boot so well that he could cut around players quickly and easily.
De Lima is known for dribbling past defenders and after that going ahead to score a goal. only a few players have aced the popular ‘step over’ dribble as Ronaldo always proved to be a match-winner time over time with his solo dribbles.
6. Johan Cruyff
One of Cruyff’s best abilities was that he had the ability to recognize any weakness and shortcoming in a defender. Like De-lima, he had a move named after him called “The Cruyff Turn”. It would appear as though he was passing the ball to a teammate but instead to kick the ball, he would turn 90 degrees and drag the ball within his foot behind his back leg. This sudden 90-degree move always left the opponent over to the cleaners.
Talking about football dribblers, Garrincha compared to Pele was generally viewed as the best dribbler ever. His extraordinary speed combined with his stunning ball control always leaves defenders powerless, and unfit to deal with his mesmerizing dribbles. At just 5ft 6inches Garrincha’s low center of gravity helped him weave around opponents effortlessly.
4. Diego Maradona
Maradona uses a style of dribbling called “Gambetta” in which he would use his body position to trick into going the wrong way.
Maradona is an impudent, supreme football dribbler – who uses his small stature to make an extraordinary impact which made him one of the best dribblers in football. His strength and control made it difficult to knock him off the ball.
Considered by many as a standout amongst one of the most skillful players in football, he was commended for his abilities and inventiveness. only if his prime had lasted longer, he may very well have been crowned with Ballon d’Or but Okocha is one of the best football dribblers. Be that as it may, it always a joy to watch the Nigerian dazzle on the football pitch.
The former PSG forward and Brazil legend came into the limelight amid his time with Barcelona scoring 70 goals in 145 caps for the club. Dinho brought his mesmerizing pattern of football from the streets of Brazil onto the world stage, and defenders couldn’t deal with his skills and frills.
Every little thing about him appeared to be so superb. From his sly bluffs to his sudden change in increasing speed, all that he did was accompanied by a smile all over his face. His most popular trick was ‘Snake Bite’ where he would trick defenders by pushing the ball sideways, however, all of a sudden pulling the ball back the other way. He is considered one of the best football dribblers.
Having for all intents and purposes wins everything minus a World Cup, the four-time Balon d’Or winner is magnificently unstoppable on his day. The Barcelona forward has scored lots of stunning goals, beating three, four, even five players before firing it in the back of the net.
Mathias Sindelar, Zinedine Zidane, Micheal Laudrup, Adama Toure, Magico Gonzalez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr, Ariel Ortega, Eden Hazard,Dennis Bergkamp.
This is CheapGoal’s top 10 football dribblers, if any of our loving readers feel otherwise or have their preferred special list, pls don’t hesitate to drop and comment…
Top 15 Highest Paid Players In Ligue 1
Ligue 1 no doubt harbors quite a number of talented players, as such it’s quite understandable for those considered to be world-class players among them to cash out hugely on what they earn at the end of the month.
As of late, the players’ salaries have given indications of solid development, on account of the tremendous income pouring into the game. The fierce rivalry between the country’s top football clubs has brought the nature of the competition higher than ever. The league has more than its own fair share of highly paid players.
Here is a rundown of the top 15 highest-paid players in the Ligue 1
- Neymar Jr – (Paris Saint Germain, – €3.06 Per Month )
Behind Ronaldo and Messi, the Brazilian forward is regarded as the third-best player in world football since moving from Santos to Barcelona in 2013 for a deal reported worth €86.2million.
After apparently growing and widening his status as a footballer with his achievement on and off the pitch, it was evident that the former Puskas Award winner would go on to attract top elite clubs.
With the Parisian club brimming with a lot of cash to flex muscles with high spending clubs, it was just a matter of time before Neymar would join them. Fast forward to 2017, the Selecao captain signed for PSG for a world record transfer fee worth €222million, and since then he’s been an important figure of both the club and their project.
Amidst transfer rumors of him returning to his old home Barcelona, plus the fact that the Parisian are also ready to offer him a new deal that would tie him down with the French side for at least another three seasons.
- Kylian Mbappe – (Paris Saint Germain, € 1.91m Per Month)
As a World Cup winner and one of the best prospects in world football, it’s quite understandable for Mbappe to be among the highest-paid players in Ligue 1 and Paris Saint Germain. The 2018 World Cup winner burst into the scene as a young player for Monaco, making his professional debut in 2015 at the age of 15.
The Frenchman signed for the Parisian club in 2017 on loan, which was later made permanent in 2018. He has shown to be a great prospect for both the club and their project in dominating the Ligue 1 and also flex muscles with the top clubs in Europe.
His permanent transfer to Paris Saint Germain is reported to be worth €180million, making him both the second most expensive player and most expensive teenager. Since joining the Ligue 1 Champions permanently, the 22-year-old has scored over 120 goals for the Parisian club.
However, amidst the rumor of Real Madrid prepping up to break the bank in their quest to bring him down to the Bernabeu, the World Cup winner is still actively the second biggest earner in the league and of course Paris Saint Germain.
- Correa Marquinhos & Marco Verratti – (Paris Saint Germain, €1.2m Per Month)
Since the departure of top players such as Edinson Cavani, Zlatan, and recently Thiago Silva, Marquinhos’s status has risen from being a mere squad player in the dressing room into a leader, captain, and one of the best gladiator of the club.
As a 19-year-old teenager, the Brazilian was signed in 2013 on a five-year deal by Paris Saint Germain from AS Roma for a fee of around €31.4million. And as reported by BBC Sport, the deal was said to be the highest transfer fee for a teenager then, while Sky also reports it to be the then fifth highest transfer.
The current form of the Brazilian makes him rank as one of Europe’s most valuable players, most especially as a player who is currently plying his trade with the best team in France.
According to the transfer market rating, Marquinhos market value currently stands at €70million, as such with his years of experience and playing over 313 matches for the Parisian, it’s no surprise that the club captain takes home €1.2m per month tied with the Italian on the same amount.
As for the Italian, he’s also been a very instrumental player for the team since joining the club nine years ago. There have always been rumors concerning his future, either joining Barcelona or go back to Italy, but as it stands his current contract with Paris Saint Germain would expire in 2024.
- Angel Di Maria – (Paris Saint Germain, €1.1m Per Month)
Since joining the Parisian for €63million after a disappointing stint with Manchester United in 2015, the Argentine winger has continued to prove to the world that he’s still one of the best players in football since leaving Real Madrid.
Di Maria isn’t just rank among the highest earner for doing nothing, he earns his pay through his brilliant performances over the years since joining them, accumulating a total of 251 appearances scoring over 88 goals and 104 assists.
The former Real Madrid winger may not stay in the Ligue 1 with Paris Saint Germain for three years or more, as he’s already moving close to the end of his career. However, with his deal still running that makes him the fourth-highest earner in the league.
- Keylor Navas – (Paris Saint Germain, €1m Per Month)
When Navas joined Madrid from Levante in the summer of 2014, no one ever thought he’s going to achieve quite a number of success with Los Blancos based on where he was coming from and his antecedent as a goalkeeper.
After a successful stint with Los Merengues, the imminent arrival of Thibaut Courtois means the Costa Rican goalkeeper days at Real Madrid are numbered.
With his achievement at Real Madrid, it was evident that the Costa Rican won’t find it hard to get good European suitor to come by, as such Paris Saint Germain came calling for his services in 2019 having been told he won’t be Real Madrid number one going forward into the new season.
Following Navas’s move to the French capital, it means his salary would be on the high side based on his achievement and reputation as a Champions League winner with arguably the biggest club in Europe.
As a Paris Saint Germain player, he earns €1m per month, making the Costa Rican one of the highest-paid players in Ligue 1
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- Mauro Icardi – (Paris Saint Germain, €800,000 Per Month)
The imminent departure of El Matador when Icardi joined Paris Saint Germain on loan means the responsibility of goalscoring would be on the shoulder of the Argentine. The former Inter Milan forward made his loan permanent with the PSG following a strong start in Paris.
The Argentine and controversy certainly go hand in hand based on his antecedent with his previous clubs. Everywhere he goes he has always shown he could lead the line perfectly, and since he joined the Parisian permanently no report of controversy has been recorded concerning the former Nerazzurri captain.
Icardi may not be the poster boy of PSG just like his days at Inter, that doesn’t make him less of a player in the dressing room among other star players like Neymar and Mbappe who are no doubt the face of the club.
- Leandro Paredes – (Paris Saint Germain, €750,000 Per Month)
Juan Bernat – (Paris Saint Germain, €700,000 Per Month)
Presnel Kimpembe – (Paris Saint Germain, €670,000 Per Month)
Ander Herrera – (Paris Saint Germain, €650,000 Per Month)
Wissam Ben Yedder – (Monaco, €650,000 Per Month)
Cesc Fabregas – (Monaco, €600,000 Per Month)
Julian Draxler – (Paris Saint Germain, €600,000 Per Month)
Idrissa Guaye – (Paris Saint Germain, €500,000 Per Month)