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Eagles players get tough challenges in Europe

Posted by By John Egbokhan on 2005/08/26 | Views: 652 |

Eagles players get tough challenges in Europe


The first group stage draw of the UEFA Champions League was made yesterday and some clubs with Super Eagles regulars in their fold have been handed daunting challenges.

The first group stage draw of the UEFA Champions League was made yesterday and some clubs with Super Eagles regulars in their fold have been handed daunting challenges.

No fewer than three Super Eagles players, comprising Obafemi Martins, Christian Obodo, Peter Odemwingie are playing in Europe’s top-flight football competition for clubs but it would not be easy riding for these players as their clubs have been placed in groups with clubs that are strong contenders to go into the knockout stage of competition.

Peter Odemwingie’s Champions League adventure may well end in the first round, after his French side, Lille, who are newcomers in the competition were grouped alongside Premiership giants Manchester United, Villarreal, responsible for the ouster of Joseph Yobo’s Everton and Portuguese giants, Benfica.

Another Eagles hitman, Obafemi Martins, who is playing his third season in the Champions League with Inter Milan has to contend with Porto, Rangers and Artmedia. Martins, who failed to score in Inter’s return leg third round qualifier with Julius Aghahowa’s club, Shakhtar would hope that his striking partnership with Brazilian ace, Adriano would provide the goals that would see Roberto Mancini’s Inter into the next round of the Champions League.

But Martins would have to develop extra skin as his club must play all their home matches behind closed doors, consequent upon the four-match ban UEFA placed on them following fans’ violence in last season’s match with rivals, AC Milan.

And the other Nigerian in the Champions League, Christian Obodo is in troubled waters after his Italian club, Udinese, were placed against Spanish giants, Barcelona, Werder Breme and Panathinaikos in what promises to be a keen contest amongst all four clubs.

Although Barcelona, with their array of stars, including World Player of the Year, Ronaldinho and African Player of the Year, Samuel Eto’o are tipped to win the group, Obodo’s club must battle Bremen and Panathinakos for the other qualification ticket.






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