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Madrid finally give up on Kylian Mbappé



Kylian Mbappé has never been bashful about admitting that it was a childhood dream to play for Real Madrid, but it appears like that dream will be deferred, for 10 months at least.

According to French outlets L’Equipe, RMC and Téléfoot, Real Madrid’s push to sign Mbappé this summer, before Tuesday’s transfer deadline, is off. Madrid, according to multiple reports, had two bids last week rebuffed by PSG, one of €160 million ($188 million) and another of €180 million ($212 million), in its attempt to pry the 22-year-old French star from the European club game’s version of the Dream Team. Mbappé’s contract expires at the end of this season, however, and as a result, Madrid could agree to a pre-contract with him in January and sign him on a free transfer next summer.

The timing of everything has been wild, to say the least. Mere weeks after PSG landed Lionel Messi on a free transfer from Barcelona to team him with Mbappé and Neymar in one of the most formidable front trios of all time, the piece with the brightest future—and the one with the greatest connection to Paris—had expressed his desire to not be a part of it at all, according to PSG sporting director Leonardo.

PSG’s attempts to extend Mbappé have been fruitless, with the player neglecting to follow in Neymar’s footsteps after the Brazilian extended his stay to 2025 in May. Club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi had remained adamant that Mbappé would absolutely be staying for the long term and would most certainly not be sold, and it appears that the latter half will be true. Whether that is good business is another issue entirely. Being able to effectively earn back what PSG paid Monaco to sign Mbappé in the first place, all for a player who has made it clear he wants out and is willing to run out his contract, would seem like a no-brainer from a bottom-line standpoint. But from a prestige perspective and considering the club’s Champions League–or-bust mentality, holding onto Mbappé for at least this season could prove worthwhile enough.

Despite all of the speculation swirling in recent days, Mbappé started for PSG on Sunday and scored both goals in a 2–0 win, looking not at all like a player who had one foot in the Spanish capital. The vaunted trio never played together, though, with Messi making his debut off the bench as a substitute for Neymar. With Mbappé set to stay, barring another 180 in this saga before the deadline hits, they’ll at least have the chance to show the world the possibilities when they do get the chance to all feature as a unit. Mbappé reported to France national team camp on Monday ahead of three World Cup qualifying matches, and in those games he’ll team with Karim Benzema. When camp is over, though, they’ll be going separate ways instead of sharing a trip back to Madrid.

If Mbappé is still 100% convinced that he’ll be making that trip to Madrid next summer instead, then all this development in the transfer soap opera does is delay the inevitable. But it does also give PSG four months to make its case to have Mbappé either extend his current deal or contemplate signing a new one next summer, and it also opens the door for other clubs to enter the sweepstakes. Regardless, Real Madrid can’t sign Mbappé to any pre-contract until the winter transfer window opens, so until then, the goalposts are moved a bit on a done deal for the star forward, who, along with Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, is considered to be one of the elite young talents in the world.

One could certainly question why Madrid, whose debt level and financial situation were used as reasoning by club president Florentino Pérez for his insistence on attempting to launch the Super League, would want to spend so much now (and precisely how it’s able to spend so much) for a player it could sign to a pre-contract and then add without a fee next summer—especially if the player was so solely focused on joining the club. Perhaps after two seasons without an incoming transfer and funds raised from the sales of Raphaël Varane, Martin Ødegaard, Achraf Hakimi and Sergio Reguilón, among others, Madrid felt it was positioned to pull off the blockbuster now and leave nothing to chance. Leonardo thought perhaps that the effort was a bit of a smokescreen, either to present the facade of a club whose financial woes aren’t so bad or as a show to Mbappé that the club gave its best attempt to add him when it never fully intended to.

“It seems like a strategy to try to get a ‘no’ from us, to show that they have tried everything and to wait for a year to get Mbappé for free,” he told RMC last week.

Real Madrid’s only other addition this summer was versatile defender David Alaba, who came from Bayern Munich on a free transfer (but whose leaked contract shows it was still a very costly move), and the club also offloaded longtime captain Sergio Ramos’s wages. Ramos, like Messi, joined PSG as part of an all-time summer class that has included Hakimi, Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and ex-Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.

The five signings, along with the permanent addition of Danilo Pereira following his loan spell, were made in hopes of securing the club’s first Champions League title. Losing Mbappé wouldn’t have necessarily derailed those hopes; PSG is plenty deep. But it certainly would have taken some of the shimmer off the summer as well as delivering a hit to the club’s collective ego, to have Madrid steal its shining light.

This summer has featured some of the most landscape-altering moves the sport has seen in some time, especially in such volume. But one involving Mbappé, the transcendent star who famously had his boyhood bedroom walls plastered with posters of Cristiano Ronaldo during his time at Real Madrid, evidently will not be transpiring. Whether he winds up going next summer remains to be seen.

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Pelumi Nubi: Pioneering Adventure from London to Lagos



In a world of 195 countries, the name Pelumi Nubi stands out. At the youthful age of 27, she had already set foot in 77 of them, spanning six continents. But it wasn’t until January 24th that Nubi embarked on a journey that would etch her name in the annals of history as the first Black woman to travel from London to Lagos by road.

Setting out from London, Pelumi Nubi, a UK-based Nigerian global traveler and content creator, embarked on a monumental adventure fueled by a desire to inspire others and showcase the beauty of Africa. Her journey spanning over two months.

The route was ambitious, stretching from England to France, then down to Spain and Morocco. From there, Nubi navigated the treacherous terrain of the West Sahara desert before crossing into Mauritania, Senegal, and a host of West African countries, including The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Ghana, Togo, and Benin, not just passing through each city, pelumi ensures she spend a couple of days showcasing the food, tourist attraction and hospitality of Africans

However, the road was not without its challenges. Pelumi encountered obstacles such as a 24-hour hold at the Liberian border and being denied entry to Sierra Leone. In Ivory Coast, she faced a terrifying accident that damaged her car. Yet, undeterred by these setbacks, she pressed on, fueled by determination and the unwavering belief in her mission.

After covering a staggering 10,000 kilometers (over 6,200 miles) in her trusty purple Peugeot 107, affectionately named « lumi, » Nubi finally arrived at her ultimate destination – the vibrant city of Lagos, Nigeria. Her journey was not only a testament to her resilience but also a celebration of African diversity and unity.

In recognition of her remarkable feat, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, honored Pelumi Nubi by naming her as a Lagos Tourism Ambassador. Additionally, she was presented with a house and a branded LAGRIDE vehicle, bearing the custom number plate « NUBI 9JA. »

But perhaps the most poignant moment came when Nubi decided to part ways with her beloved travel companion, lumi. Donating the car to the Lagos State Museum, she expressed her hope that it would inspire others to seek adventure and explore the world.

Pelumi Nubi’s journey from London to Lagos is more than just a road trip; it’s a testament to the human spirit’s boundless capacity for adventure and exploration. Through her bravery and determination, she has not only made history but also inspired countless others to embark on their own journeys of discovery. As she continues to blaze trails and push boundaries, Pelumi Nubi remains a beacon of inspiration for adventurers and dreamers around the world.

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Nigerians are celebrating a significant milestone in the aviation sector as Air Peace announces the commencement of its Lagos-London flight services. Allen Onyema, the Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, revealed that the airline has already sold out tickets for these flights until September, reflecting the overwhelming demand for this new route.


The inauguration of the Lagos-London flights on March 30 marked a historic moment for Air Peace, Nigeria’s flag carrier. Speaking in an interview with Arise TV, Onyema expressed his optimism for the future of the airline, emphasizing its plans to expand its fleet to over 60 aircraft.


From the moment Air Peace published its fares, the response has been remarkable. The inaugural flight sold out within days, with bookings stretching all the way to September. Despite the challenges faced in the last 48 hours, including negotiations with Gatwick Airport over security deposits, the airline remains steadfast in its commitment to providing exceptional service.


Onyema raised pertinent questions regarding the disparity in security deposit requirements between Nigerian airlines and foreign carriers operating in Nigeria. He questioned whether British Airways and Virgin Atlantic pay similar amounts to Nigerian airports and highlighted the need for fair treatment and transparency in international aviation regulations.


The journey to launching the Lagos-London route was not without obstacles. Onyema revealed that it took seven years of perseverance and strategic planning to overcome internal and external challenges. Despite facing setbacks, Air Peace remained determined to provide Nigerians with a world-class travel experience.


The overwhelming support from both Nigerian and UK citizens has been instrumental in Air Peace’s success. The airline extends its gratitude to the Nigerian population for their unwavering support and promises to continue making the nation proud.


Air Peace made history with its inaugural flight on March 31, as the Boeing 777 aircraft touched down at Gatwick Airport in London. The company has responded to the high demand by increasing seat capacity on the route, further demonstrating its commitment to meeting the needs of travelers.


As Nigeria’s aviation industry continues to evolve, it is crucial to recognize the contributions of visionary leaders like Allen Onyema. His dedication to advancing the sector reflects a broader commitment to driving economic growth and prosperity in Nigeria.


While challenges persist, including disparities in international aviation regulations, there is hope for a brighter future. With continued support from stakeholders and concerted efforts to address systemic issues, Nigerian aviation can reach new heights of success.


In conclusion, the launch of Air Peace’s Lagos-London flights represents a significant achievement for Nigerian aviation and underscores the potential for further growth and development in the sector. As Nigerians, we stand united in celebrating this milestone and look forward to a future of expanded opportunities and connectivity in the skies.

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In a remarkable turn of events, Senegal has witnessed the inauguration of Bassirou Diomaye Faye as its president, marking the culmination of a swift and dramatic rise for the once well-known opposition. Faye, a left-wing pan-Africanist, assumed office after securing a landslide victory in the March 24 elections, with his reform platform. At just 44 years old, he now holds the record of being the youngest president in Senegal’s history.

Taking the oath of office amidst anticipation and hope, Faye pledged to fulfill his duties as president with unwavering dedication. « Before God and the Senegalese nation, I swear to faithfully fulfill the office of president of the Republic of Senegal, » he declared in Diamniadio, near the capital, Dakar. His commitment extended to upholding the constitution, defending national integrity, and championing African unity.

The transition of power, formalized with outgoing President Macky Sall, signifies a significant moment in Senegal’s political landscape. Faye’s journey to presidency was not without hurdles, notably his recent release from prison less than two weeks before the election, alongside his mentor, Ousmane Sonko, following a political amnesty announced by Sall.

For many Senegalese, Faye’s ascension represents a triumph of democracy and the rule of law, For most Senegalese youth this victory a culmination of a long struggle for democracy and the rule of law… This is a day of celebration for everyone.

The election itself served as a litmus test for Senegal’s democratic stability within West Africa. Months of unrest preceding the polls, fueled by concerns over constitutional term limits and allegations of corruption, underscored the nation’s commitment to democratic principles. Faye’s victory resonated particularly with the youth, who expressed frustration over issues such as unemployment and perceived exploitation by former colonial powers.

In his inaugural address, Faye, affectionately known as Diomaye, reiterated his pledge to combat corruption and implement economic reforms. A practicing Muslim hailing from a modest background, Faye emphasized transparency by publicly disclosing his assets before the election, setting a precedent for accountability in leadership.

The appointment of Ousmane Sonko as prime minister further solidifies Faye’s commitment to inclusive governance and coalition-building. The swift formation of a new government signals a fresh chapter in Senegal’s political landscape, one marked by optimism and aspirations for positive change.

As Africa’s youngest elected president, Faye embodies the hopes and aspirations of a new generation. His rapid ascent from political prisoner to head of state underscores the resilience of Senegal’s democracy and the power of collective determination in shaping the nation’s future.


In a gesture of regional solidarity and support, the president of Nigeria, His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who serves as the chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), felicitated with the new president. This demonstration of camaraderie highlights the interconnectedness of West African nations and the shared commitment to fostering peace, stability, and prosperity across the region. As Senegal embarks on a new chapter under Faye’s leadership, the congratulatory messages from neighboring states serve as a testament to the significance of this historic moment for the entire continent.

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