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Otto Addo names John Paintsil and Dauda as backroom staff

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John Paintsil has 89 caps for the national team and brings both playing and coaching expertise to the table. Paintsil's experience playing for Fulham, West Ham United, and Kaizer Chiefs makes his understanding of the game essential. Furthermore, his coaching experience at Kaizer Chiefs and holding of a CAF Licence B demonstrate his suitability for this post. Fatau Dauda, known for his goalkeeping abilities, has represented Ghana 23 times and played a key role in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Dauda's experience as a former custodian, which has included stops at Voradep, Okwahu United, AshantiGold, and Orlando Pirates, is considered to be critical in improving the team's defensive qualities.

Otto Addo, the Black Stars’ coach, has selected two former Ghana players as assistant coaches: John Paintsil and Fatau Dauda, who will work alongside Joseph Laumann.

This follows Addo’s appointment, who will return to manage the squad on an interim basis in 2022.

Joseph Laumann, who holds a UEFA pro-license and had a successful playing career in Cyprus, Germany, and Vietnam, adds valuable expertise to the coaching group. His coaching career has included stops at prestigious clubs such as Standard Liege, VfL Bochum, and Barnsley in the English Championship.

John Paintsil has 89 caps for the national team and brings both playing and coaching expertise to the table. Paintsil’s experience playing for Fulham, West Ham United, and Kaizer Chiefs makes his understanding of the game essential. Furthermore, his coaching experience at Kaizer Chiefs and holding of a CAF Licence B demonstrate his suitability for this post.

Fatau Dauda, known for his goalkeeping abilities, has represented Ghana 23 times and played a key role in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Dauda’s experience as a former custodian, which has included stops at Voradep, Okwahu United, AshantiGold, and Orlando Pirates, is considered to be critical in improving the team’s defensive qualities.

Otto Addo’s hiring followed the retirement of Chris Hughton, whose tenure produced unsatisfactory results, including one of Ghana’s worst Africa Cup of Nations performances in Ivory Coast.

Otto Addo’s return to the head heralds a new era for the Black Stars, building on his prior leadership at the 2022 World Cup.

He will lead the squad in forthcoming friendlies against Nigeria and Uganda before taking on full responsibility in May.

His first competitive game will be against Mali and the Central African Republic (CAR) in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers in June.

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Xavi to stay as Barcelona’s coach until at least June 2025

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Xavi took over as manager of Barcelona in November 2021, after leaving Qatari club Al Sadd, and led the team to the Spanish title in his first full season in charge in 2022–23. However, they are 11 points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid with six games remaining in the current season. Barcelona was eliminated from the Champions League last week after losing to Paris St. Germain in the quarterfinals.

Barcelona coach Xavi will stay with the club until at least the end of his contract in June 2025, having changed his mind about this being his final season.

The 44-year-old stated in January that he will stand down as manager this summer.

However, with president Joan Laporta desperate for him to stay, the former Barcelona and Spain midfielder has made a U-turn.

Xavi took over as manager of Barcelona in November 2021, after leaving Qatari club Al Sadd, and led the team to the Spanish title in his first full season in charge in 2022–23.

However, they are 11 points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid with six games remaining in the current season.

Barcelona were eliminated from the Champions League last week after losing to PSG in the quarterfinals.

Xavi, who won 25 honours during his brilliant playing career at Barcelona, said he felt “liberated” with the revelation that he would leave the position at the conclusion of the season.

When he announced his departure following the defeat to Villarreal, he felt he was not being safeguarded by the club and there was no clear direction.

However, the team’s fortunes have improved since Xavi felt comfortable taking a more casual attitude.

They went ten games undefeated in the league before falling 3-2 to Real Madrid on Sunday.

On Wednesday, there was a meeting at Laporta’s residence, and the club’s desire for him to stay was clear.

If Xavi is unable to strengthen the squad before the conclusion of the 2024-25 season, Barcelona will attempt to persuade one of the high-profile managers out of contract, including Pep Guardiola, Luis Enrique, and Mikel Arteta.

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Zinedine Zidane to join Bayern Munich at the end of season

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He just returned to the Bernabeu in some form, playing a legends match against Porto last month, and explained his departure from the Spanish capital, paving the door for current manager Carlo Ancelotti to take over. In recent weeks, Zidane has been extensively connected with a return to management, with Bayern Munich being mentioned as a possible next destination. The Bavarians and Thomas Tuchel have already agreed to split ways on June 30, and Xabi Alonso, a prospective replacement, was removed off the table when the Spaniard renewed his contract with Bayern's Bundesliga rivals Bayer Leverkusen.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Real Madrid star Zinedine Zidane is “one step away” from taking over as head coach of Champions League semifinalist Bayern Munich.

According to anonymous sources “familiar with the talks” between Bayern and Zidane, negotiations are “practically done” to the point that the Frenchman has already requested additional additions.

Zidane has been out of a job since he left Madrid as manager for the second time, in 2021.

He just returned to the Bernabeu in some form, playing a legends match against Porto last month, and explained his departure from the Spanish capital, paving the door for current manager Carlo Ancelotti to take over.

In recent weeks, Zidane has been extensively connected with a return to management, with Bayern Munich being mentioned as a possible next destination.

The Bavarians and Thomas Tuchel have already agreed to split ways on June 30, and Xabi Alonso, a prospective replacement, was removed from the table when the Spaniard renewed his contract with Bayern’s Bundesliga rivals Bayer Leverkusen.

During a tremendously spectacular campaign in which his club went undefeated, Bayern and Real Madrid icon Alonso won Bayer’s first German championship, ending Bayern’s 11-year supremacy.

In 2024/2025, it appears that Zidane will be the guy in charge of restoring Bayern to their domestic league dominance.

This is because, according to Mundo Deportivo, Zidane is only “one step away” from manning their bench, a formal signing away.

The former Ballon d’Or winner and Julian Nagelsmann were in a two-horse race for the Allianz position, but Nagelsmann renewed his contract with the German national team until after the 2026 World Cup, ending the contest sooner than planned.

MD talked with unnamed people “familiar with the talks” between Bayern and Zidane, and while nothing has been inked, they are “practically done”.

Zidane has allegedly requested reinforcements throughout a team in need of a facelift, with a particular emphasis on defence.

This is one area where Zidane may lose Alphonso Davies, a well-known Madrid target, this summer.

The Canadian’s contract does not expire until 2025, so he might stay for at least one season before moving to the Spanish capital on a free transfer.

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Ghana’s 4x100m relay squad aims for Olympic qualifying against strong competition

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Ghana and Nigeria, along with the other African countries who competed in the event, are among the few nations in the world to have participated in a competitive relay race. This implies that, as the outdoor season advances, the ranking may alter. Other countries may come in with superior times and leapfrog Ghana to qualify.

Team Ghana’s 4×100 relay performance of 38.43 seconds in the 2023 African Games qualifies them for the Olympic Games this year. However, there are several technicalities and a long way to go.

That time, however, puts Ghana in 15th place in the world relay rankings, a very excellent position.

All of this may be null and invalid by the time the Olympics arrive, given this is merely the beginning of the Athletics outdoor season.

Ghana and Nigeria, along with the other African countries who competed in the event, are among the few nations in the world to have participated in a competitive relay race.

This implies that, as the outdoor season advances, the ranking may alter.

Other countries may come in with superior times and leapfrog Ghana to qualify.

Ghana’s relay time falls within a range that several other countries have run or might run before the qualification window closes later this year.

However, the Penn Relays later this month provide Ghana with the potential to improve on their performance in the African Games and remain in respectable positions on the rankings.

The Ghana Athletics Association has already won a berth at the Penn Relays, which begin on April 25.

Ghana will have to stay in the 38-second region since it will be extremely tough considering that there will be many other countries vying for a chance to have a strong position in the rankings.

Many other relay teams will be participating in their first outdoor event of the year. Joseph Paul Amoah, Benjamin Azamati, Edwin Gadayi, and Solomon Hammond’s experience at the African Games might benefit the team.

On May 4, however, the World Relay Championships will take place in the Bahamas. This tournament will be the primary qualification for the Olympic Games. The eight teams that make it to the final will qualify to run in Paris, regardless of their timings.

To ensure a spot in the Games, Ghana must first qualify for the final in the Bahamas. The Bahamas will be a sure bet to qualify. If Team Ghana does not go to the global Relays final, it will be decided based on global rankings and timings accumulated throughout the outdoor season. The top timings will then join the core eight who have qualified for the global relays in the Bahamas.

Ghana may have a terrific race time and is now ranked in the top 15 in the world, but this is not cause for jubilation. There is still a lot of work to be done before we can book a flight to Paris.

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