The year 2020 did not go as well as expected, mainly due to the fallouts of the coronavirus pandemic. However, despite the closure of some sporting events, a number of Nigerians in the country and diaspora performed eminently well in their various sporting disciplines. They’ve scratched the surface and made way for other potential Nigerian stars, while making the country proud.
From the boxing world, to the football world, martial arts, and even table tennis, these athletes have put in notable efforts in their disciplines and changed the face of sports for Nigerians in the year 2020.
These are some of the athletes that impacted Nigerian sports in the year 2020. Tell us which athlete you think we missed out.
1. Anthony Joshua
British Nigerian boxer, Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua, is definitely the biggest Nigerian personality this year, he had a good 2020. Despite a defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019, he bounced back and stunned his opponent with a remarkable win in the rematch at Saudi Arabia late last year, it was also reported that he won a staggering £46 million and has an outstanding net worth of $80 million.
AJ retained his WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles in December 2020, as he defeated Kubrat Pulev in Wembley and he earned £6-10 million.
The Ring Magazine and Transactional Boxing Rankings Board in April 2020 ranked Anthony Joshua as the world’s second-best active heavyweight.
Joshua has some tremendous endorsement deals with Under Armour, Jaguar, Altitude Mask, StubHub, Sky Sports, Beats by Dre, AJ Elite Series, Lynx, BXR Gym, Lucozade, Texo Construction, Dafabet, Audemars Piguet, British Airways, Hugo Boss. AJ left Showtime in 2018 and got a massive deal of 1 billion dollars between his promoter, Matchroom Sports, and streaming service DAZN.
2. Israel Adesanya
Nigerian-born New Zealand professional mixed martial artist, Israel Oluwafemi Owolabi Adesanya alias “The Last Stylebender,” also had an incredible 2020. He defended his title for the first time in March, where he defeated Yoel Romero, and earned over $540,000. He also defeated Paulo Costa in September, and earned up to $600,000. This win brought him his fifth Performance of the Night award.
With his win against Paulo Costa, he maintained his undefeated record of 20 wins. His 2020 was summed up as he emerged the winner of MMA’s ‘International Fighter of the Year’ award.
Adesanya has a net worth of approximately $2 million (£1.6m). He has an endorsement deal with Peak milk and also has a clothing line of his own called “Engage.”
3. Victor Osimhen
Naples and Nigerian footballer, Victor James Osimhen, rose to stardom last year when he moved from Lille to Napoli for a staggering €71.2 million with a further €10.1million add-on summing up the fee to €81.3million; this makes him the most expensive African in history.
He had a hand in 24 goals for Lille where he had 18 goals and six assists in 38 appearances in all competitions. He won Lille’s player of the season award and went on to win the Marc-Vivien Foe prize given to the best African player in Ligue 1.
He has also set the pace in Napoli, having a hand in three goals for the Naples in eight appearances. He signed a five-year deal with Napoli in September, 2020, where he’ll be raking in €101,626 per week and €5,000,000 per year.
4. Asisat Oshoala
Super falcons and FC Barcelona Femení star, Asisat Lamina Oshoala, has been an inspiration to women’s football in Nigeria, taking it to the world at large. Since her move to FC Barcelona Femení in January, 2019, she has been on fire, having a hand in 12 goals in 12 appearances this season.
The 26-year-old also has a foundation of her own called, “Foundation Football4girls Championship” and 2020’s edition took place from December 1 to 3. The tournament, sponsored by Emzor Pharmaceuticals in partnership with the Lagos State Sports Commission, is usually played as an eight-a-side competition in a knockout format for the grand prize of $1000.
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo
Greek-Nigerian professional basketball player, Giannis Sina Antetokounmpo, had a great 2020 with his team, Milwaukee Bucks. He is the NBA’s reigning two-time Most Valuable Player (bagged the award 2019 and 2020). He also won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award that same season and joined Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan as the only players to win it in the same season, making him the third player to achieve the feat in the league’s history.
The 26-year-old, as per Basketball Reference, finished the season with an all-time record for single-season NBA Player Efficiency Rating (PER) with 31.87. In December 2020, he signed a 5-year, $228 million dollar extension, the largest in league history. The deal also includes an opt-out in the fourth year.
According to Forbes, he has a net worth of $47.6 million and earns around $19 million from his endorsement deals. Also, his major sponsors include 2K Sports, Hulu, and Nike.
6. Joseph Yobo
Former Nigerian International football player, Joseph Micheal Yobo, had a great 2020. In February, NFF announced his appointment as the new assistant coach under Gernot Rohr following the dismissal of Imama Amapakabo.
His inclusion to the coaching crew came as a suprise to many; he was also tagged by NFF President as the future head coach of the team. After his appointment, he got to work when Nigeria played during the international break and helped the Super Eagles with three draws and one defeat in four matches.
7. Enku Ekuta
The Akwa Ibom born Judoka, Enku Ekuta, also had a great 2020 in her discipline. She won her first continental open gold medal in 2020 as she made Nigeria proud in the fourth African Judo Open. The African Judo Open took place in Dakar, Senegal, where she defeated the 2019 African Games champion, Helene Dombeu of Cameroun, in the final.
Her victory in the final added 100 IJF world-ranking points to her profile as she continues to gather points to secure her qualification for the 2021 Summer Olympic Games, to hold in Tokyo, Japan.
Ex-Real Madrid Striker, David Barral becomes first-ever footballer to be bought with Bitcoin
Former Real Madrid Striker, David Barral has become the first-ever footballer to be bought with Bitcoin.
Former Real Madrid striker, David Barral, makes transfer history as he became the first-ever professional player to be bought solely with virtual currency, Bitcoin.
Spanish third division side, DUX Internacional de Madrid, simply known as Inter Madrid, has officially signed the 37-year-old after teaming up with their new sponsors, Criptan that deals in cryptocurrency, The SUN reports.
Inter Madrid who are part of DUX gaming, eSports club owned by footballers Borja Iglesias and Real Madrid star, Thibaut Courtois, is yet to disclose the total value of the deal.
The Segunda Division B club went to Twitter to welcome their new signing and thank their sponsor.
“David Barral new player of DUX Internacional de Madrid, welcome to the infinite club! He becomes the first signing in history in cryptocurrencies. Thanks to Criptan, our new sponsor, for making it possible,” the club tweeted.
The 37-year-old, who made over 50 appearances playing in the Real Madrid reserve side, expressed his delight at his latest move. Barral has also played for Spanish La Liga clubs Sporting Gijon, Levante, and Racing Santander.
“Glad to join the project of @interdemadrid with eager ambition and responsibility to continue competing and achieve important challenges in my sports career,” he wrote on his official Twitter handle.
What you should know
- A similar deal was when a Harunustaspor, Turkish amateur side, paid 0.0524 Bitcoin (£385) plus 2,500 Turkish Lira in cash (£841) for Omer Faruk Kıroğlu in 2018.
- Back in December, Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Russell Okung became the first high-profile athlete in the United States to be paid in bitcoin.
- Similarly, the Mark Cuban-owned Dallas Mavericks became the second NBA franchise to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment for both game tickets and merchandise.
Football: Southampton announces £76.1m loss for 2019/20 financial results
Premiere League side, Southampton FC has revealed a UK£76.1m loss in Covid-hit 2019/20 financial results.
English Premier League club, Southampton Football Club, has reported a net loss of £76.1million for the fiscal year of 2019/20 ending in June 2020, due to the significant impact of the devastating Covid-19 pandemic.
Key highlights of its FY 2019/20
- Southampton FC incorporated by St Mary’s Football Group Ltd, posted a decrease in the overall revenue down to £126.6m which represents a nosedive of £23m compared to £149.6 reported in the fiscal year of 2018/19, with the net loss before tax up from £41m.
- As a consequence of the English Premier League ending before 30 June 2020, broadcasting revenue fell to £93.5m compared to £112.8m in 2019 – a drop of £19.3m, despite the Saints finishing 11th in the 2019/20 Premier League season (five places higher than the previous season).
- With the suspension of the league in March 2020, until Project Restart, which led to matches played behind closed doors, matchday revenue fell to £14.5m with a £2.5m drop compared to £17.0m in 2019.
- Project restart also coated them an additional £1.5m of net additional costs of sales and administrative expenses in order to enable the men’s first-team squad to train and conclude the 2019/20 season in a COVID-19 secure environment.
- The Saints reported that the total 2019/20 revenue foregone as a highlight of the significant impact of the devastating Covid-19 pandemic over the financial year was £10.3m, with a further £20.9m revenue deferred into the year ended 30 June 2021.
- However, the club said revenue would have shown up a £8.2m (5.5%) increase up to £157.8m for the 2019/20 fiscal year, had it not been lost or deferred due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
- The transfer business was significantly impacted as the Summer 2020 transfer window did not open until July 2020, after the financial year ended. The sales of Charlie Austin and Gallagher in the Summer 2019 window helped see a profit of £13.9m compared to £20.9m made in 2019.
What the Southampton FC MD is saying
Southampton Managing Director, Toby Steele, said:
- “As with many companies and industries, the group is in the midst of a challenging financial environment due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is reflected in the financial results for 2019/20 and necessitated the group to restructure its debt facility during June 2020. Despite these challenges, our group-wide staff have shown great resilience, facilitating a smooth return to training and matches for men’s and women’s teams across all age groups, as well as the return of fans, albeit briefly, during season 2020/21.
- “We also have great pride in the work of the Saints Foundation, in particular the collaboration with group staff in the ‘Saints as One’ initiative during the early stages of the pandemic. The ongoing support of our fans, many of whom purchased a 2020/21 season ticket at a time when the return of football was unknown, is greatly appreciated and it is our hope to get fans back where they belong, supporting all our teams in person, in greater numbers as soon as possible.”
Manchester City owner, Sheikh Mansour spends £760k on old FA Cup Trophy
Manchester City owner, Sheikh Mansour has paid almost £760,000 to buy the oldest surviving FA Cup.
Manchester City owner, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, purchased the 1896–1910 Football Association Challenge Cup (FA Cup) at an auction.
The FA Cup was the first trophy won by Manchester City 116 years ago when they defeated Bolton Wanderers 1-0 in 1904 final, making the Manchester club the first professional football club from Manchester to capture a major honour. They are now the proud custodian of their first trophy.
The club tweeted, “We are delighted to announce we are now the proud custodian of the 1896–1910 #FACup following the recent purchase of the trophy at auction by Club owner, His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed.”
We are delighted to announce we are now the proud custodian of the 1896–1910 #FACup following the recent purchase of the trophy at auction by Club owner, His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 8, 2021
Etihad chairman, Sheikh Khaldoon al-Mubarak, on commenting on the purchase said: “This Cup is a visible reminder of the rich and long history of English football to which Manchester City is inextricably entwined.
“Winning this actual trophy in 1904 was a turning point for the Club and for the city of Manchester in that it firmly cemented football in the heart of its community.”
What you should know
- The cup was previously the property of West Ham co-owner, David Gold, before he put it up for sale last year September by an anonymous buyer which is now revealed to be Manchester City’s owner.
- Auctioneers Bonhams had announced that a particular item of silverware was sold for £760,000 ($1.03m).
- The cup is the forerunner of the current FA Cup and also the oldest surviving piece of FA Cup silverware in England and the one first used in 1871 stolen from a shop while on display following Aston Villa’s triumph in 1895 and that was the last time it was seen.
- Originally, there were fears that the trophy would be bought privately and taken overseas, before Mansour stepped in to ensure the trophy will remain in England for the benefit of English football.
- The trophy has been offered to the National Football Museum in Manchester, England on loan, where it has been housed for the past 16 years, 2005.