As soon as the tournament came to an end with Nigeria beating Mexico in the finals of the FIFA Under 17 world cup at the El Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It was clear that the tournament had produced another footballing star for Nigeria. There has been a lot of optimism within the soccer fraternity in Nigeria that suggests; Kelechi could go on to achieve big things in the game.
And as expected, the Nigerian sporting press has been awash with the rumors that Iheanacho would soon join Manchester City, FC Porto or Chelsea FC. However, James Iheanacho, father of 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup most valuable player, while speaking to Super Sports’ Monday Night Football, has said that his son will play for English Premiership side Manchester City. James Iheanacho, who called into the programme on Super Sports, said: “As I am talking to you, I have chosen in my mind that Kelechi is going to Manchester City.”
Accordingly, as a Nigerian, I am looking forward to seeing Kelechi fulfill the huge potential that we all saw on display in Abu Dhabi. But amidst all this optimism and hype, I cannot ignore a silent voice within my heart that keeps asking “WILL IT BE DIFFERENT THIS TIME?” Nigerians have been witnesses to the emergence of the likes of Macaulay Chrisantus who was supposed to be Nigeria’s next goal machine, Rabiu Ibrahim who was supposedly the next Jay Jay Okocha and Stanley Okoro dubbed as Nigeria’s version of Lionel Messi. These would be super stars all emerge via the cadet world cup but have all failed to live up to the hype. I honestly wish that it would indeed be DIFFERENT THIS TIME.