897 Views

Nigeria’s Greatest Footballer, Kanu Nwankwo Turns 40

Nwankwo Kanu is a name almost synonymous to elegant football in Nigeria. The man Kanu clocked 40 on Monday and he reminds us of his feat as the most decorated footballer in the country’s history.
Super Eagles legendary footballer, Kanu Nwankwo was still a teenager when he became a celebrity after driving his nation to win the FIFA Under-17 World Cup with the Golden Eaglets; within months, he was living the dream, joining AFC Ajax in 1993 for €207,047.
He made his debut one year later and scored 25 goals in 54 appearances, winning the UEFA Champions League after coming on as a substitute in the final against AC Milan.
Nwankwo Kanu moved to the Serie A with Inter Milan for the sum of $4.7 million before the drama that was to change his life completely.
THE OLYMPIC GOLD GLITTER
First, he achieved what catapulted him into the world football folklore, leading the Nigeria Olympic soccer team to the first ever gold medal in African football history and scoring the crucial goals, especially the two magical goals that shocked mighty Brazil out of the championship in the semi finals.
The anguish in the face of José Roberto Gama de Oliveira, better known as Bebeto, after Kanu’s goals would go on to become one of the most enduring images of the Olympics.
History was made as Nigeria, through the leadership of Kanu, defeated Argentina in the Final. The moment most captured on film after the final whistle was Kanu holding the match ball and his team mates rushing to carry him shoulder high.
Kanu then joined the greatest icons of African football by being named the African Footballer of the year.
Destiny was however awaiting him on his return to Inter Milan after the Olympics. He did a routine medical test which was supposed to be a normal occurrence and then the completely unexpected happened.
OVERCOMING HEART SURGERY
The test revealed a serious heart defect and his career was completely threatened as the news broke across the international media and it was thought that his career had ended after the aortic valve was replaced.
Kanu, a devout christian, stated during those trying times that God would deliver him and it happened just as he said.
He returned to football and his challenges actually set him thinking of saving many other people who could be inthe same shoes. That was the birth of the Kanu Heart Foundation.
In an interview, Kanu once said his ordeal opened his eyes and heart to what millions of young children are going through without support. Today, the Heart Foundation is one of the biggest legacies of “Papilo”.
ADDING TO ARSENAL’S ARSENAL
Kanu survived that huge challenge and continued with his career anew. It was to Arsenal FC of England he moved and he truly showed his amazing talent in spite of the world-class players jostling for positions in the team.
After adding to Arsenal’s armoury, he won multiple laurels and scored lots of goals that defied logic, especially his comeback hat-trick in that famous game against Chelsea. That game defined who Kanu was and he won loads of laurels for the Gunners.
Kanu again won the African Footballer of the Year award in 1999. Kanu left Arsenal and moved to West Bromwich Albion and later Portsmouth before calling it a day for club football in July 2012.
Due to his heart condition, he made the third-most substitute appearances in Premier League history, appearing from the bench 118 times.
INTERNATIONAL CAREER
At national team level, Kanu lost in the final of the African Cup of Nations on home soil in Nigeria in 2000 and played twice at the FIFA World Cup in 2002 and in 2010 when he captained the Eagles.
Overall, he scored 13 goals in 86 games before bowing out. He however continued to be part of the team as an ambassador and was on the pitch celebrating the AFCON win in 2013 with the Super Eagles.
After his retirement from active football, he is even now so busy with his Kanu Heart Foundation that is saving countless lives across the world.
Kanu has a Photo Studio, and remains a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, with many other projects ongoing.
As a legend and a patriot, Kanu still follows the national teams to games to inspire the youths and owns the Kanu Nwankwo football club playing in the lower leagues.
MEDALS ON KANU’S SHOULDERS
AJAX FC: Nwankwo Kanu won the Eredivisie, the League Cup three times and won the UEFA Champions League Once. He also won the UEFA Super Cup in 1995 and won the Intercontinental Club Cup in 1995.
INTER-MILAN: Kanu won the UEFA CUP with Inter Milan in 1998.
ARSENAL: Nwankwo Kanu won the English League with Arsenal in 2001-02, 2003-04 and won the English FA Cup in 2002-2003 as well as the Community Shield in 1999.
African Footballer of the Year Award: 1996,1991
BBC Footballer of the Year Award: 1997,1999
Source: TheCable News

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Latest Posts

Drums Festival Generated Lots Of Income For The Government – Governor Amosun
Art, History and Culture
32 views
Art, History and Culture
32 views

Drums Festival Generated Lots Of Income For The Government – Governor Amosun

PH - April 25, 2018

The Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun has stated that the just concluded Africa Drums Festival hosted by the state, generated a lot of income for both…

I Sat For UTME Six Times – 26-year-old First Class Graduate
Geeky & Smart
44 views
Geeky & Smart
44 views

I Sat For UTME Six Times – 26-year-old First Class Graduate

PH - April 25, 2018

A 26 year old first class graduate of the Department of Applied Chemistry, Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Simon Godwin Idoko, has opened up on how he was…

The Activities Lined Up For ‘AMFEST EXPO LAGOS 2018’ Unveiled!
Best of Nigeria
62 views
Best of Nigeria
62 views

The Activities Lined Up For ‘AMFEST EXPO LAGOS 2018’ Unveiled!

MT - April 24, 2018

AMFEST EXPO is laden with the responsibility of expanding Africa’s creativity economy into the global market. African practitioners in the area of music, fashion, film, food and…

Revealed: Here Are 6 Online Scams Everyone Need To Be Aware Of And How To Avoid Them
Best of Nigeria
68 views
Best of Nigeria
68 views

Revealed: Here Are 6 Online Scams Everyone Need To Be Aware Of And How To Avoid Them

MT - April 24, 2018

Here are 6 important scams you must watch out for when you are online so as not to fall victim to online fraudsters, according to this article…

2019 Election: Why I’m Not Desperate To Be Nigeria’s President – Atiku Speaks On BBC
Best of Nigeria
80 views
Best of Nigeria
80 views

2019 Election: Why I’m Not Desperate To Be Nigeria’s President – Atiku Speaks On BBC

MT - April 24, 2018

While speaking in an exclusive interview during BBC Hausa morning programme on Tuesday, former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, said he is not desperate to become Nigeria’s president,…

Anti-Malaria: What ‘Ogbono’ Soup Can Improve In Your Body and Health – Research Shows
Best of Nigeria
80 views
Best of Nigeria
80 views

Anti-Malaria: What ‘Ogbono’ Soup Can Improve In Your Body and Health – Research Shows

MT - April 24, 2018

A Pharmacist, Dr Chukwuma Agubata, has said that taking Irvingia Fat from nuts of Irvingia Gabonensis Var Excelsa, known as ‘Ogbono’ soup has helped to improve the…

LISTED: These 3 Habits Can Make You Poor Even If You Have A Reasonable Income
Best of Nigeria
78 views
Best of Nigeria
78 views

LISTED: These 3 Habits Can Make You Poor Even If You Have A Reasonable Income

MT - April 24, 2018

When it comes to money, everyone has a habit that either helps you save or lavish your money. But for those who have a reasonable income and…

How Rapper, Falz’s Security Aides Rough-handled Me – Actress Kate Henshaw Claims
Entertainment
86 views
Entertainment
86 views

How Rapper, Falz’s Security Aides Rough-handled Me – Actress Kate Henshaw Claims

MT - April 24, 2018

Popular Nollywood actress, Kate Henshaw, has taken to her Twitter page on Tuesday to jokingly claim that one of the security aides of rapper, Falz the Bahd…

What I’d Do To Nigeria If I Were God – Popular Apostle Frankly Opens Up
Richest
77 views
Richest
77 views

What I’d Do To Nigeria If I Were God – Popular Apostle Frankly Opens Up

MT - April 24, 2018

Born on Sunday, April 24, 1938, Apostle Hayford Ikponmwonsa Alile, OFR, B.A. MBA (Hon) D.Sc., attended briefly the University of Ibadan as a State Scholar in Physics…

How Cee-C’s Bad Character Caused Her Disgrace – Actress, Susan Peters
Entertainment
85 views
Entertainment
85 views

How Cee-C’s Bad Character Caused Her Disgrace – Actress, Susan Peters

MT - April 24, 2018

Nollywood actress, Susan Peters has taken a swipe at ex-Big Brother Naija 2018 housemate, Cee-C who emerged as 1st runner up. According to Peters, Cee-C’s alleged bad…

Nollywood Actress, Stella Damascus Releases Lovely Photos As She Turns 40
Best of Nigeria
122 views
Best of Nigeria
122 views

Nollywood Actress, Stella Damascus Releases Lovely Photos As She Turns 40

MT - April 24, 2018

Nollywood actress, Stella Damascus has joined the 40 year old gang which includes fellow actresses Omoni Oboli, Omotola, Mercy Aigbe and many more. She marked the birthday…

Video: How Singer, Davido Curved a Groupie That Tried to Hug Him at a Night Club
Entertainment
84 views
Entertainment
84 views

Video: How Singer, Davido Curved a Groupie That Tried to Hug Him at a Night Club

MT - April 24, 2018

Being a celebrity, Davido is susceptible to different types of abuse by women who will do anything to get him in their pants or be his next…

I Will Drop The Biggest Song In Nigeria On April 30 – Davido
Entertainment
67 views
Entertainment
67 views

I Will Drop The Biggest Song In Nigeria On April 30 – Davido

PH - April 24, 2018

Davido says his upcoming single which will be released on April 30 will be the “biggest song in the country”. He said the song is called ‘Assurance’.…

Nigeria’s LPG Sector To Record $10bn Growth In 8 Years – NLPGA
Business
65 views
Business
65 views

Nigeria’s LPG Sector To Record $10bn Growth In 8 Years – NLPGA

PH - April 24, 2018

President of the Nigeria Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association, NLPGA, Mr. Nuhu Yakubu, has predicted the nation’s LPG sector to record $10 billion growth in the next eight…

Meet Lekan Babalola, Nigeria’s Unsung Multiple Grammy Winner
Best of Nigeria
85 views
Best of Nigeria
85 views

Meet Lekan Babalola, Nigeria’s Unsung Multiple Grammy Winner

PH - April 24, 2018

Lekan Babalola is finding his way back home again. Home is Lagos – the city of dreamers and the restless. It was in Lagos that a young…

Tiwa Savage, Gerald Albright To Headline 2018 Runway Jazz
Entertainment
71 views
Entertainment
71 views

Tiwa Savage, Gerald Albright To Headline 2018 Runway Jazz

PH - April 24, 2018

Runway Jazz, an event that brings jazz music and fashion to the same stage, has returned to do it bigger and better. The 2018 edition of the…

Meet Temitope Ogunsemo, 33-Year-Old Nigerian Who Built A $3Million EdTech Company
Best of Nigeria
94 views
Best of Nigeria
94 views

Meet Temitope Ogunsemo, 33-Year-Old Nigerian Who Built A $3Million EdTech Company

MT - April 24, 2018

Forbes magazine has interviewed a young Nigerian entrepreneur who has successfully built a digital education technology company that presently worth $3million in value. His story will motivate…

BBNaija’s Nina Bags Endorsement Deal
Entertainment
68 views
Entertainment
68 views

BBNaija’s Nina Bags Endorsement Deal

PH - April 24, 2018

Nina Chinonso Onyenobi, who came fifth on the BBNaija reality TV show, has landed an endorsement deal with Flawless By Mimi, a beauty supply shop in Nigeria.…

Loading...