Zidane was my all-time hero – Mikel

Monday, 03 September 2018 06:53

Zidane, Okocha, Kanu were my football heroes -Mikel

John Mikel Obi has picked former Zinedine Zidane as the player he looked up to when he was young.

Zidane, a three-time FIFA World Player of the year winner represented the likes of Juventus and Real Madrid in his playing days.

Though Mikel never had the opportunity to play with or against Zidane, he still handpicked the Frenchman as his all-time football hero.

Mikel who is one of the few players to have represent Nigeria at all levels also revealed he drew inspirations from Nigerian greats, Nwankwo Kanu and Jay Jay Okocha.

Mikel told sportsvillagesquare.com, “As a young player, I drew so much inspiration from two of the best stars Nigeria ever produced.

“I grew up looking up to (Nwankwo) Kanu and Jay Jay Okocha. I enjoyed watching them play for their respective club sides. More importantly, their exploits in the national team thrilled me.

“In their later years, I played in the Super Eagles with them. They were highly motivating to me.”

He added, “But on the global stage, Zinedine Zidane was my all-time hero.”

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Nwankwo Kanu robbed of £8k in Russia

Monday, 04 June 2018 15:50

The former Nigerian International had been reported by Mirror UK to have had over £8,000 in cash stolen from his suitcase in Moscow after he arrived from London.

Nwankwo Kanu who represented Nigeria at the World Cup in 1998, 2002 and 2010, and also won gold for the country at the 1996 Olympics was said to have declared the money missing in Kalingard, Russia where he was playing in a World Cup Curtain raiser game organised by FIFA.

According to Mirror, Russian police said it was filched by two loaders at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.

Lieutenant colonel Irina Volk, spokeswoman for the Russian Interior Ministry, said the loaders were dealing with the baggage from a London to Moscow flight.

Kanu, travelling on a British passport, had appealed for help to police in Kaliningrad.

“The stolen cash was removed (from the loaders) and will soon be returned to the owner”, she said.

The loaders, aged 30 and 36, face criminal investigation and could be sent to jail for up to six years.

Kanu played alongside ex-Manchester United and England star Wes Brown in a FIFA legends team against a Russian legends side.

The ex-Arsenal man, a former Nigerian international, did not mention the theft in speaking to the media in the Baltic city, where England will play on 28 June.

Kanu represented Nigeria on 87 occasions, scoring a total of 12 goals.

Kanu, who also represented Inter Milan, Ajax, West Brom Portsmouth and Iwuanyanwu Nationale won the African Footballer of the Year in 1996 and 1999.


Source (Mirror UK). Additional information by Olatosimi Fadahunsi


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Thomas Partey has confessed his wide-eyed admiration for Super Eagles' legend, Kanu Nwankwo since he was a little boy.

Partey, a player who's played against the likes of Xavi, Andrés Iniesta and a constellation of other midfield superstars, also ranked Kanu above them all, highlighting him as a "genius". 

"Nwankwo Kanu is my idol. He’s the best midfielder I’ve ever seen play football. He was a genius,” the 24-year-old told CSN while his 'Atleti' were in the country for GOtv Max Cup International friendly which his team won 3-2 but not without labouring for it. 

The Ghanaian also revealed his reverence for Super Eagles' captain John Mikel Obi and his easy-peasy style of style of play. 

“I’m a huge admirer of Mikel Obi. I like the way he keeps things very simple on the pitch and makes it seem so simple and easy to do."

Unfortunately, Partey's Black stars won't be in Russia next month when the World Cup kicks-off after they've been beaten to the berth by Mohammed Salah-propelled Egyptian side.



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Former Super Eagles’ captain Nwankwo Kanu, through his manager, Onyebuchi Abia has confirmed the sale of Papilo FC.

Scorenigeria reported that Kanu sold Papilo's slot in the Nigeria National League (NNL) to Calabar Rovers.

Reports have it that the former Arsenal striker was frustrated over bias by match officials, who he claims do favour government-owned clubs.

On why Kanu sold the club, his manager, Abia quashed talks of frustration and cited Kanu’s passion to channel his funds towards his youth football academy as the reason for selling the club

According to Abia, the former Eagles’ captain believes his academy (Kanu Academy) has more prospect.


McCarthy explains why FIFA shunned Kanu for World best

I studied dribbling skills from Kanu - Henry

“Yes I can confirm to you that he has sold Papilo FC,” Abia, as quoted by TheCableng.

“His plans now is to channel his finances on his pet project, the Kanu Academy, which he adores as a future prospect.

“He does not want to be drawn into the stories that teams that win in the league are teams that spend money and not the best teams.

“Kanu is a major stakeholder in Nigerian football and desires all that is positive for Nigerian football.”


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France and Arsenal legend, Thierry Henry revealed he was learning the unique dribbling technique of former teammate and Super Eagles' legend, Kanu Nwankwo. 

The duo crossed paths at Arsenal FC when they were both acquired by Arsene Wenger in 1999. They spent a trophy-laden half a decade together at the Highbury, winning two Premier League championships and FA Cups. Before Kanu moved away to West Bromwich Albion and Henry stayed and went on to captain the team before leaving for Barcelona in 2007. 

In a chat with completesportsnigeria, Henry confessed he's been a pronounced student of Kanu's languid dribbling technique and took his time to learn the beauty.

"It’s just the truth. Kanu was an underrated player, so humble, nice guy, everything about him was positive. We all know that famous turn [Kanu’s unique dribbling style] that he had, even watching him on television, I was learning [Kanu’s style]. He was always good and a good guy too.




“Like I said, if we go down to technique, Kanu was very good. Kolo Toure was very tough, Lauren had good technique too until he was moved to right-back.” said the 1998 World Cup winner who was ceremoniously crowned 'Igwe', his long gifted nickname in this part of the world which means 'king' in Igbo language. 

Henry was at the 'Made of Black' event organised by Guinness Nigeria PLC at the Landmark event center, Victoria Island, Lagos State. 


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McCarthy explains why top African stars are being snubbed for FIFA award

South Africa and former Blackburn Rovers forward has revealed that several African legends had been snubbed for FIFA World Player of the Year award because African players are not good for marketing.

The likes of George Weah, Nwankwo Kanu, Jay-Jay Okocha, Yaya Toure, Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o did exploit on the African terrain and beyond but it was only George Weah that emerged as the only African player to have won the FIFA most covetous award.

According to Benni Mcarthy, football is business and African players are bad for FIFA business.

“We are not (African players) eye catching in Europe” Mcarthy, as quoted by sportinglife.

“We are players that they look past because they look for the more lucrative, worthy players that will sell more newspapers sell more magazines and be more of an attraction.

“If an African player wins it there is not a lot of attraction but, if Gareth Bale wins it, if Rooney wins it – it is World news, breaking news.

“Yaya Toure has been there but never been recognized, Didier Drogba has been there; never recognized, Samuel Eto’o has been there; never recognized, Jay Jay Okocha has been there; never recognized, Nwankwo Kanu … I could go on, the list can go on but we’ve not been recognized.

“So I think because it is not lucrative enough for them to pick an African as world best player because it won’t sell.

“Football is a business ...., FIFA, everywhere it’s about making money.”

The last African player that made the cut for the FIFA World Player Award is Samuel Eto’o – he came third in 2005 behind Ronaldinho and Frank Lampard.

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With international break over, football fans are curious and anxious to see the return of club footballs - with the old rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United set to be re-ignited once more at Anfield this Saturday.

Compounding the woes with this discourse? Maybe the Lord Kia’s EPL weekly preview or Zeba’s NPFL preview might have been the conundrum for football fans who are badly anticipating and deserved to know more of the latest going on with their club sides than this discourse.

For the latter, Nigeria Professional League is over but don’t be stunned when you see an NPFL preview tomorrow. ‘Awa League,’ is that special – anything happens. If you don’t know, the Match Day 38 game between Gombe UTD and Wikki Tourist was replayed a week after the league had been concluded.

You’d wanted me to mention him (Zeba) previewing the Aiteo FA Cup final games this weekend, right? Even Nigeria Football Federation officials have no idea what the oldest competition in the history of Nigerian football would look like this weekend. But we can still bank on Zeba. He might pull a string.

Hello! Can we now get to business? Indonesia, Cyprus, Turkey, name the country, you’d find a Nigerian plying his trade as a footballer there. The English Premier League (EPL) can’t be excluded from the lists of leagues where Nigeria players ply their trades. In short, the history of the league isn’t complete without mentioning some Nigerians

From the long lists of Nigerians that are still playing and that had graced the EPL, spotkick.com.ng takes a look at the top 5 highest scoring Nigerians in the league

 5. Osaze Odewingie (West Bromich Albion, Cardiff City, Stoke City) 36goals

The now Madura United of Indonesia player moved to the EPL in 2010 after joining West Brom from Lokomotiv Moscow for an undisclosed fee. With an 81st minute winning goal against Sunderland, Osaze immediately became a fan favorite. In his debut season in the 2010-2011 season, Osaze finished as West Brom’s highest goal scorer with 15 league goals a season he also claimed two Premier League Player of the Month.

With 30 goals in 87 appearances for West Brom, Albion, Osaze left the club ignominiously in July 2013 for Cardiff City after a failed move earlier on in the January of that same year.

 4. Oluwasola Ameobi (Newcastle United) 43goals

The 10-capped Nigerian international spent 14 years at Newcastle United making 294 English top-flight appearances with 43 goals to his name. Ameobi, who now plies his trade in England’s League two for Nott County holds the record for the most substitute appearances in the EPL.

3. Efan Ekoku (Norwich City, Wimbledon) 53goals

Having joined Norwich City from Bournemouth for £500,000 in 1993, Efan Ekoku went on to become one of Norwich’s greatest players. Efan, a member of the Norwich City’s Hall of Fame is most remembered for his four goals against Everton in September 25, 1993 the same day the Super Eagles thumped Ivory Coast 4-1 at the National Stadium in Lagos, to book the country’s first appearance in the FIFA World Cup

Efan who later joined Wimbledon was part of the Super Eagles’ squad that won the Tunisia 1994 and was also named for USA 1994.

2. Kanu Nwankwo (Arsenal, West Brom, Portsmouth) 54

The two-time African footballer of the year is unarguably the best Nigerian player to grace the EPL. Kanu, who helped Arsenal to win the EPL title in 2001 is also part of the invisible squad that went a whole season without losing a game in the 2003-2004 EPL season. He is most remembered in the EPL for his 15 minutes hat-trick for Arsenal against Chelsea in 1999 – a game Arsenal were initially two-nil down. Kanu’s hat-trick secured a 3-2 victory for the gunners.

The former Super Eagles’ captain is ranked the 13th greatest Arsenal player.

1 Yakubu Aiyegbeni (Portsmouth, Midsdlesbrough, Everton) 95 goals

No matter the level of aspersion or hatred, the records speak for him. Apart from being the highest scoring Nigerian in the EPL, ‘The Yak’ is just a goal and 8 goals behind Emmanuel Seyi Adebayor and Didier Drogba as the highest scoring African player in the EPL.

When you feed the yak he scores and that is why his 28 league goals for Portsmouth in the EPL makes him the highest goal scorer for Portsmouth in the English top flight – Nine ahead of Benjani Mwaruwari of Zimbabwe.

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Get Behind Eagles - Kanu Begs Nigerians

Wednesday, 30 August 2017 02:42

Kanu Backs Super Eagles, Amunike- We Must be Focus

The 86 capped ex-international and an Ambassador for football in Nigeria has urged Nigerians to give the Super Eagles all the necessary supports ahead of the crucial double header World Cup Qualifier against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.

The Super Eagles, who have defeated the Cameroonians 10 times in 20 meetings, drawing 6, and losing 4 times will battle it out with the current African champion at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo on Friday, September 1, 2017 with the return leg in Yaounde, three days later.

In a video posted on the Nigeria Football Federation official twitter handle, Kanu charged the Super Eagles’ players to defeat the Cameroonians and urged the Nigerians to back and give the players all the necessary supports.

Kanu who retired from the National Team after the 2010 World Cup in South Africa said: “I know my team, the Nigeria Super Eagles can beat the Cameroonian team, I want them to believe they can do it. For the fans, the supporters out there, please let’s get behind them and give them all that they want from us. Wish them the best. Thank you and God bless you. Up Super Eagles!!!

However, 1994 African Footballer of the Year Emmanuel Amunike said the African Champions are beatable. He urged the Super Eagles players not to lose concentration.

In a radio interview with Brila FM, the former Barcelona player said critical analyses of the Cameroonian team could be a conduit for the Super Eagles to come victorious.

Amuneke said: “We need to remain focus. They are the African Champions but they are beatable. What we need is to look at Cameroonian team, look at players that are very dangerous, look at how they play as a team, and then we could come up with a plan that we can use to neutralize them.


Nigeria are currently top of the group with 6 points, four more than Cameroon who are in second position with 2 points. Zambia and Algeria occupy the fourth and fifth position respectively with a point a piece.

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