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Brazilian Star Battled Depression After Qatar 2022 World Cup Exit –

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Brazilian Star Battled Depression After Qatar 2022 World Cup Exit -

Brazil striker Richarlison battled with depression after his country’s quarter-final loss to Croatia at the 2022 World Cup and considered quitting football.

Richarlison, who plays for Tottenham Hotspur, said in September that he would seek psychological help after he was photographed crying on the bench when he was substituted during Brazil’s 5-1 thrashing of Bolivia in a 2026 World Cup qualifier.

The 26-year-old, capped 48 times by Brazil, has urged players to seek help for mental health issues.

“I’d just played in a World Cup, at my peak,” Richarlison told ESPN Brasil. “I was reaching my limit, you know? I don’t know, I’m not going to talk about killing myself, but I was in a depression there, and I wanted to give up.

“Even I, who seemed to be mentally strong. After the World Cup, it seemed like it all fell apart.”

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After initial struggles at Spurs, who he joined from Everton for a reported fee of 60 million pounds ($75.68 million) in 2022, Richarlison has scored 11 goals in 26 appearances this season.

“Before I went to training, I wanted to go home, I wanted to go back to my room because I don’t know what was going through my head,” he said. “I even went and told my dad I was going to give up.

“It’s kind of sad to talk like that. What I went through after the World Cup … To go to my father, who was the guy who chased my dream with me, and say, ‘Dad, I want to give up’, is crazy.”

He said going to therapy was the best decision he has made.

“I think the therapist, like it or not, saved me, saved my life. I only thought rubbish … If you need a psychologist, look for one because it’s nice for you to open up like that, for you to be talking to the person,” Richarlison added.

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Everton and Tottenham expressed solidarity with Richarlison after the interview.

“We express our strongest support to our former forward Richarlison and reinforce his important message about the need to take care of your mental health and seek help,” the Merseyside club posted on social media platform X.

-Reuters

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Floored twice in two months, South Africa tremble ahead of treble with Nigeria

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Sadiq Umar, Ndidi And Awoniyi Return To Super Eagles As NFF Secure Friendly Duel With Ghana And Mali In Morocco -

Exactly four months after they were bumped and relegated to the third-place match of the Africa Cup of Nations by the Super Eagles, South Africa’s Bafana Bafana are in jitters as they will come up against the three-time African champions again, in a crucial 2026 World Cup qualifying match in Uyo.

Only three days ago, the Super Falcons pushed the Banyana Banyana, reigning African champions, off the bus to this year’s Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, instead grabbing the ticket to make sure of a first appearance at the glamour tournament for the first time in 16 years.

The assured manner of Nigeria’s victories in the two fixtures have left the hierarchy of South African football flummoxed, and there is no adequate time to recover or rejig strategies before the Bafana Bafana come up against the Super Eagles in a Day 3 encounter of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying series at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo on Friday, 7th June.

With two points from their previous two matches, but aware of the hold they have over the Bafana Bafana, the African vice champions are confident of the three points on the day, which could see them fly to the top of the pool.

It was on 7th February at the Stade de la Paix, Bouake that the Super Eagles kicked Bafana to the third-place match of the 34th Africa Cup of Nations. Despite achieving parity late in the game, the Bafana were cut to size during the penalty shootout with Nigeria’s South Africa-based goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali saving two of the kicks by the Bafana.

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South Africans’ boasts of bouncing the Super Falcons in the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament fixture in revenge, ended belly-up with the Banyana failing to score a goal in 180 minutes of action, with the two teams separated by Rasheedat Ajibade’s goal from the penalty spot in Abuja on Friday, 5th April.

Despite being a point ahead of the Super Eagles in their World Cup qualifying group, the Bafana will fall behind once they submit to the superior strength, skill and savvy of the Super Eagles on another Friday in June.

It can be recalled that when the two teams also met at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019, at the quarter-final stage, Nigeria triumphed 2-1 in Cairo.

Players of the Super Eagles are already getting in the mood to deliver the big punches to Bafana in Uyo in a few weeks’ time. Only on Thursday night, top striker Victor Boniface returned from the injury that kept him out of the AFCON, by coming off the bench to score in Bayer Leverkusen’s Europa League quarter-final duel with West Ham of England.

African Player of the Year Victor Osimhen has also been unable to stop scoring for his Italian Serie A side, SC Napoli.

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Goalkeeper Nwabali remains in awesome shape, and midfielder Alex Iwobi and Ademola Lookman shone brightly in the defeat of Ghana in a friendly in Morocco last month.

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Morocco To Launch World’s Biggest Stadium Ahead Of 2030 World Cup –

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Morocco To Launch World’s Biggest Stadium Ahead Of 2030 World Cup -

There is no end to aspirations. That is what Morocco is doing as they planned the world’s largest stadium as one of their package for the milestone 2030 World Cup which marks the 100th year of the tournament.

A British firm, Populous has reportedly won the  bid for the design of the what is called Morocco’s Grand Casablanca Stadium. It is being designed to hold 115,000 spectators in its bowel.

According to Populous in its website, the stadium derives its identity from the culture of the “season” in Morocco, as its structure is located under a large tent roof that appears as an exciting intervention in the forest landscape, noting that the stadium site extends over an area of 100 hectares in the city of Mansouria in the province of Benslimane (38 km north of Casablanca).

The British company explained that the stadium will be compatible with the FIFA standard. The company’s president, Francois Clément, said that the expected pace of construction “indicates the commitment of all parties concerned to deliver this project on time and within budget, and will constitute a rich asset for the Kingdom of Morocco, as well as raise it to the highest global platform for the development of sports infrastructure.”

The proposed stadium will compete with the Santiago Bernabeu and Camp Nou stadiums in Spain. Morocco is co-hosting the World Cup with Spain and Portugal Preparatory work has already begun to build the stadium on a 100-hectare site after funding for the project was approved last October.

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According to the Morocco World News website, the budget for the new stadium project amounts to 5 billion Moroccan dirhams (460 million euros).

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Japan Handed 3-0 Win After North Korea Call Off World Cup Qualifier –

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Japan Handed 3-0 Win After North Korea Call Off World Cup Qualifier -

Japan have been awarded a 3-0 victory after North Korea called off a World Cup qualifier between the sides that was scheduled to be held in Pyongyang earlier this month, Japan’s Football Association (JFA) said on Saturday.

The JFA said FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee had informed them that the match had been forfeited, which means Japan are guaranteed a top-two finish in their group which also includes Syria and Myanmar.

With 12 points after four games, Japan have qualified for the third round of World Cup qualifiers as well as the 2027 Asian Cup. Japan beaten North Korea 1-0 in another qualifying match in Tokyo this month.

“Although the players lost an important opportunity to play, I see this as a positive step forward,” Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu said in a statement.

“Naturally, we will not be satisfied with this result, but will continue to build up our strength for the national team activities in June, the final qualifying round, and the World Cup.”

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North Korea, which has no formal diplomatic relations with Tokyo, decided not to stage the match in Pyongyang over worries about infectious diseases in Japan and had asked for the game to be moved to a neutral venue.

FIFA said the game would not be rescheduled due to the lack of dates on the fixture calendar.

-Reuters

 

 

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