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Meet 7 Star Nigerian Players Whose Parents Didn't Want Them To Play Football As A Career

Every kid's dream is to become a footballer but this desire does meet strong opposition from some parents who see footballing as a waste of time or lack of seriousness on the part of their child.

Some kids who are so determined to make a career and fortune out of footballing do everything possible to overcome this obstacle through persistence which does pave way for them to become famous and well known in the world of sport.

So I Present You 7 Star Nigerian Players Whose Parents Didn't Want Them To Play Football As A Career

1. Taribo West

Taribo West is a Nigerian pastor and former professional footballer who played as a defender.

He won several major trophies for Auxerre in French football and went on to play for both Milanese clubs, Internazionale and Milan. He also appeared in the top-level leagues of England and Germany.

At the international level, West made 42 caps for Nigeria between 1994 and 2005, taking part in two World Cups and two African Championships.

He also represented Nigeria at the 1996 Olympics, winning a gold medal. He is best remembered for his various unusual and colorful hairstyles.

Taribo West disclosed recently in notable news media that his father wanted him to be a roadside mechanic but her mother disapproved of his father's wish and begged his father to let him have at least a secondary education.

Taribo as a Pastor

2. Sunday Oliseh

Sunday Ogochukwu Oliseh was an active Nigerian midfielder before he later became a football manager.

He played 63 international matches and scored three goals for Nigeria. He also played at the Football World Cups of 1994 and 1998. Oliseh as well participated in the Olympic gold medal-winning team of 1996.

Sunday Oliseh was voted Africa's third-best footballer in 1998 by CAF.

Oliseh disclosed that his father often spanks him if he sees him playing football due to the belief that he had no money, connections and that he knows nobody making a good living out of football. Due to this fact, Mr. Oliseh Senior wanted his son to become an accountant.

Oliseh continued playing football for fun, little did he know that football would take his family away from poverty. It so happened that, at a point in his life at school (combining school and playing for his local club), Oliseh was paid his first salary by his local club.

Quickly, he took the money home to give his father who not only got surprised but called the rest of his siblings saying;…” Your brother is being paid more than I was paid as an accountant”. This was when Oliseh Snr began to have faith in his son.

Oliseh as a Coach

3. Asisat Oshoala

Asisat Lamina Oshoala MON is a Nigerian professional football/soccer striker who plays for Spanish side FC Barcelona Femení in the Primera División and captains the Nigerian national team.

She was the highest goal scorer at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup and was named the best player at the tournament.

She was also named best player and second top goalscorer with the Super Falcons team who won the 2014 African Women's Championship in September 2014. Oshoala was made a Member of the Order of the Niger by the former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan.

Asisat disclosed that she took to playing football after the school hour, a decision her parents often complain of.

She narrated that when she finished school, She had almost months doing nothing, so she spoke with her parents to ask if they could allow her to play for fun and nothing serious.

From there she played in a tournament and was discovered by one of the teams who told her that they wanted her. She replied that she didn’t want to play professional football, but they said “no” because she has the qualities.

She replied that her parents were not going to allow her to play football to discourage them from trying. She revealed that the only supportive person was her grandmother. She was the only one who was there for her even when her dad and mum wanted to beat her because she went to play football, she was the only one who would support and give her food.

4. Wilfred Ndidi

Onyinye Wilfred Ndidi is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays for Premier League club Leicester City and the Nigeria national team as a defensive midfielder. He is known for his defensive prowess and long-range strikes. 

The Leicester City midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi in one of his interviews with news media disclosed that he went against the wishes of his parents in becoming a professional footballer.

He revealed that his father who was a soldier didn't want him to follow in his footsteps as he just wanted him to go to school and not to become a footballer or a soldier.

5. Maureen Madu

Maureen Nkeiruka Mmadu is a Nigerian football coach and former midfielder. As a player, she represented Avaldsnes IL, a First Division team based on Norway's west coast.

She also played for several other teams in Norway's Toppserien as well for Linköpings FC and QBIK in the Swedish Damallsvenskan.

She is also a member of Nigeria (MON) and has made more than 100 appearances for the Nigeria women's national football team including appearing at four FIFA Women's World Cups and has competed in the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics.

She is the first woman to coach top European clubs.

Unlike some of her teammates, who enjoyed the support and encouragement of their parents, the same could not be said of Madu. She disclosed that her late mother was always chastising her whenever she sees her playing football on the streets with the male folks.

According to her, she narrated that she started playing on the street with boys when she was young but her late mother never liked it as she would always warn her against playing football. She furthers that she didn't grow up with a silver spoon but her mother did her best to provide for them, at least they didn’t lack anything. She concluded that she thanks God that her stubbornness paid off. Whenever she looks back, She has cause to praise God.

6. Precious Dede

Precious Uzoaru Dede Is a retired Nigerian female football goalkeeper, who formerly played for several clubs including Delta Queens FC Ibom Queens as well as appearing 99 times for Nigeria women's national football team.

Dede has been in many Nigerian squads over the years, including the Women's World Cup tournaments of 2003, 2007 2011, 2015, the Olympic tournaments of Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, and Beijing 2008, and the African Women's Championship tournaments of 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, winning it twice 2010,2014 making her be the longest-serving player for the Falconet squad.

She narrated that it wasn’t easy for her because her dad was a doctor and her mum a teacher and they both wanted her to study. She furthers that she loves football and she knew that she would go far as a football player.

She furthers that it was all hell for her as she normally receives beatings from her elder brothers and dad even until she gained admission into the University of Uyo. After playing inter-faculty matches, they would invite her to come home. She knew she was going to face a hellish time in their hands. She furthers that her dad continued flogging her till he died in 1999.

Precious's dad died in 1999 and she joined the national team in 2000, so her Dad never saw her playing for the Falcons. Her first outing (for the Falcons) was in Australia and the very day she returned to Nigeria, her mum died. So, they never really saw her play for Nigeria.

7. Kelechi Iheanacho

Kelechi Iheanacho a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Premier League club Leicester City and the Nigeria national team.

Iheanacho was part of the Nigeria squad that won the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup and the Nigeria U-20 team at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He made his senior debut for Nigeria in 2015 and played at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Iheanacho grew up in Nekede in Imo State where he had to hide to play football because his parents wanted him to study.

Kelechi revealed to Leicester Mercury that God got him into football and not his family. So he credits only God for his success in his football career.

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