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Sunday, January 9, 2022

Ighalo: I turned down the chance to collect No 9 jersey from Osimhen

Super Eagles striker, Odion Ighalo has revealed that he turned down the chance to wear the number 9 jersey currently been worn by Victor Osimhen on his return to the national team.

According to ESPN, the former Manchester United striker said Osimhen remains the main striker for the three-time Africa champions.  

“People say I’m coming to take the position but no, I’m not going to do that. Before I left the national team, I personally called Osimhen and said I’m leaving, this position is for you and if you work hard you’re going to rule Nigeria for a long time. I’m happy seeing him doing well and I’m here to support him.

“And before I came back, I told the coach ‘Osimhen is the number one striker, I will just support in whatever way you want me to support’ and I’m here to do that.”

As a sign of his respect for his successor, Ighalo turned down the chance to reclaim the number nine jersey, despite being offered the shirt.

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“A top NFF official told me I could have the number nine jersey back and I told him no. I had left it. Osimhen is using it now and coming back, I’m going to play with any jersey number.

“I told them to give me any jersey available. I can play with my bare skin for Nigeria, I’m a patriotic Nigerian. If it means me playing without a shirt in this team, I’m going to play. It’s not the shirt that score the goals.”

Odion Ighalo featured in Nigeria’s final Group C World Cup qualifying 1-1 draw against Cape Verde at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, Nigeria, a result which was enough to see the team through to the playoffs round of the Qualifiers next year.

I'm an avid and seasoned sports/ multimedia journalist. I have a biased love for Real Madrid and passionate advocate for the overall growth of the Nigeria Sports Project. I can be reached on 09077894123 or/and '[email protected]'

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