Mercy Akide, a former Super Falcons star, was one of 35 former internationals who took part in FIFA Legends’ inaugural edition of Next 90.
The Next 90 is an online session program aimed at former male and female footballers to assist them in the next stage of their careers. Only players with a strong grasp of the English language were chosen.
The program’s first session took place in January 2022, with 35 participants. Mercy Akide of Nigeria, along with three other Africans, took part in the program.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino kicked off the programme with an opening speech, thanking the former international for taking advantage of the initiative launched by FIFA Legends.
“Thank you for being here with us, for embracing this project, and for taking part in such an exciting adventure: The Next 90,” Infantino said in his opening address.
The programme ran for ten months, with Akide and her peers going through seven modules in the process.
The former players completed the programme in December 2022, but not without an in-person session, where each international stated what he/she learnt during the ten-month of intense learning.
The players also presented a final project, which marked the beginning of their second careers.
Akide was not the only Nigerian who took part in the programme as Ayisat Yusuf also participated.
Both Akide and Yusuf played for the Super Falcons. They also won the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations while playing for the country.
Akide represented Nigeria at three FIFA Women’s World Cups and was one of the players who made the female game popular in Nigeria.
She is a two-time FIFA World All-Star and also the first recipient of the African Women Footballer of the Year award.