For most people, every new year offers fresh hope, an opportunity to set new targets, make resolutions and also a feeling of excitement. 2019 saw the end of what was an incredible decade of football, but it is time to look at what 2020 offers.
For some fans, 2019 was not the best of years for their teams, but they will be hoping for a change of fortune in the new year.
While it is not Christmas nor is it my birthday, a new year also offers me the chance to make a wish of what I want. So here are my Football wishes for the year 2020.
PS: This is not a resolution.
Rohr’s Contract To Be Renewed: First on my list is for Rohr to be offered a new deal by the Nigerian Football Federation. Love him or hate him, Rohr is the best thing to have happened in our football in recent years.
Appointed in 2016, the German tactician has lead Nigeria to two major tournaments with a game to spare in each qualifier. He also led the team to a third-place finish at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Off the pitch, the former Bordeaux manager has brought stability to the Super Eagles squad, while he has also been able to convince players of Nigerian heritage born in the diaspora to switch allegiance to the Super Eagles.
However, despite all these achievements, there are indications the former Burkina Faso manager may not be offered a new deal by the NFF following a fallout between the two parties.
Most of the grouse against Rohr is his treatment of NPFL players and also the decision not to live in Nigeria. There’s also the call-out of NFF over the non-payment of his salaries.
While this is a discussion for another time, it will be beneficial for Nigerian football if the NFF put her ego aside and offer Rohr a new deal that will suit him.
The 66-year-old already started the AFCON 2021 qualifiers with two wins out of two, and also with the 2022 World Cup qualifiers starting in March, it will be ridiculous not to offer him a new deal over issues which none are his fault.
Super Eagles Star To Win African Player Of The Year: No Nigerian player has won the prestigious award since Kanu Nwankwo won it in 1999. The likes of Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, John Mikel Obi and Vincent Enyeama have all gotten close, but neither was able to pick up the ultimate prize.
However, 2020 could be the end Nigeria finally end her long drought in the competition. Call it a tall order, I believe the likes of Osimhen or Wilfred Ndidi has what it takes to finally be the first Nigerian to win the award since Kanu won it 20 years ago.
What do they need to do? By doing what they have been doing before consistently.
Liverpool To Win The Treble: Right now, it will take a huge collapse for Liverpool not to win their first league title in 30 years. The Reds are currently 13 points clear of Leicester City, and 14 points clear of champions Manchester City.
But, while they are dead certs for the Premier League title, it will be nice for them to defend their UCL crown, while they also win the FA Cup.
Such a feat means United will not be the only side to have won an unprecedented treble. 2020 please make it happen.
Italy To Win The Euros: With four world cups, Italy are the second most successful national team alongside Germany. However, despite their dominance in the world, the Azzurri’s have not been able to dominate the Euros.
With just one win which came in 1968, the Euros have never been a happy hunting ground for Italy. But 2020 could be the year they add to their lone Euros title.
Having breezed through the qualifiers with ten wins out of ten, Italy are one of the favourites for the 2020 edition which will be hosted across major cities in Europe.
Led by former Manchester City manager, Roberto Mancini, Italy boast of a squad that comprises of both experience and talented youngsters. With a favourable draw also on paper, 2020 could be the year Azzuri’s finally end their long wait for a Euro title.
Bayern and Juventus To Be Dethroned: The two European giants have dominated their respective leagues for over seven years now. But it will be nice to see a change in 2020, and it looks like we could have that.
Leipzig currently leads the Bundesliga table with 37 points from 17 games, four points ahead of Bayern who are in fourth place. While in Italy, Juventus are levelled on points with Inter with 42 points from 17 games also.
With both leagues set to resume from their winter break in January, it is my hope that there are two new champions in the German Bundesliga and Italian Serie A.