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Exclusive: In My Deepest Mind, I Still Have Regrets Over My Football Career  –Former Super Eagles Forward, Nwofor

Exclusive: In My Deepest Mind, I Still Have Regrets Over My Football Career  –Former Super Eagles Forward, Nwofor

Uche Nwofor, a former Super Eagles forward, has exclusively and sensationally told Completesports.com that deep in his heart, he still has regrets over the whole of his footballing career.

Nwofor has nine caps and three goals for Nigeria’s senior national team, the Super Eagles, and had a fairly illustrious career at club level that spanned through Holland and Germany, amongst other European nations.

The former Shooting Stars Sports Club and Rangers International forward looked over his shoulders and recalled that injuries blighted his flourishing career, forcing him to quit the stage contrary to his ambition.

uche-nwofor-super-eagles-flying-eagles-mc-algers-vvv-venlo-boavista-amodu-shauaibu-daniel-amokachi

Nwofor as Super Eagles’ player

“My Testimonial Match? I don’t know if and when that gonna happen. I’m happy with the level I went. But in my deepest mind, I still have regrets over the whole lot of my career. But all the same, when it’s possible and time, I’ll make it known to the public,” Nwofor told Completesports.com in a pensive mood at a planned meeting in his Onitsha home.

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Nwofor’s rising career was dealt a massive blow in 2019 when he went through the surgeon’s knife following a ruptured knee sustained in his Algerian club, MC Algers 5-2 win over rivals, JS Kabyle. The Nigerian scored a brace in that epic clash.

uche-nwofor-super-eagles-flying-eagles-mc-algers-vvv-venlo-boavista-amodu-shauaibu-daniel-amokachi

Nwofor and wife

“Surprisingly, my contract was terminated by the club because I was out for three months,” the former Nigeria striker recalled with pain.

“They based their reasons on the fact that only two foreign players were allowed per club, and they wouldn’t be patient until I was fully recovered.

“Even when I was no longer with the club, their fans were still singing my name during their games. The fans were also sending me video clips of their games, telling me how much they miss me.”

Nwofor expressed happiness in making it to Europe with a move to VVV Venlo, a modest Dutch side that also had Ahmed Musa on their payroll.

Boavista striker, Nwofor

“I’m happy playing in Europe. There, you get all you want. You can take risk because you know if injured, they would take care of you,“ Nwofor recalled.

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“When I arrived at VVV Venlo, I met Ahmed Musa and Michael Uchebo there. They helped me a lot to settle down and adapt.

“Why I later left VVV Venlo? That was when the club was relegated to the lower league. Because they were going to play in the lower league, there was a limit to their pay level which was lower than what I was earning. So, with the help of my Manager, Tony Harris, I moved to Lierse of Belgium.”

Nwofor further laments that life wouldn’t just roll as he envisaged in the German Bundesliga side, with a groin injury limiting his appearances for Lierse.

“In Belgium, injury wouldn’t just let my career roll. I had a groin and was out for like three months. My Manager took me to Boavista in Portugal and the same thing happened. After rupturing my left groin, I also ruptured the right side. Honestly, the injury affected my career badly.

“I had that kind of hard luck – the injury was coming, coming and coming”.

While playing for the Oluyole Warriors, Shooting Stars Sports Club, Ibadan, Nwofor was spotted for a call-up to Nigeria’s U-20 side, the Flying Eagles. And from there, he was invited to the Home-Based Super Eagles ahead of the 2010 WAFU B Championship in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

“While in 3SC,  I was invited to the Home-Based Super Eagles – when we played the WAFU Championship in Abeokuta alongside Ahmed Musa, Gbolahan Salami, Promise Onu, Iand ke ThankGod among others.

“While in 3SC, I scored in big games, including games against Bayelsa United who were NPFL defending champions then. I also scored against Heartland and also against John Obuh when he came with Sharks of Port Harcourt.

“So, when I moved to Rangers when they invited players to U20 Flying Eagles, I saw that my name was included. Of course, I felt happy because the dream of playing for my country and in Europe was coming true.”

Nwofor made his Super Eagles debut on March 10, 2010. It was a game against Congo and the rampant forward recalls vividly his feelings at that moment.

“It was the match against Congo. Lars Lagerback had been invited to come and take over from Shuaibu Amodu. That was when I was invited to the Home-Based Super Eagles. Coach Erasmus Onuh was removed and Shuaibu Amodu and Daniel Amokachi took over.

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“There was a goal I scored following a good combination with Ikechukwu Ibenegbu (aka ‘Mosquito’) and Amodu told Amokachi to call me. I went to the sideline and he asked “What name”? And I answered Uche Nwofor. That was just it.

“Players were just coming but I remained there. The players were surprised because I was still young and a new player too. That was it and I was very happy that I played 15 minutes in that game versus Congo.”

Nwofor went on to amass nine caps for the Super Eagles and had three goals to show for his Super Eagles career.

uche-nwofor-super-eagles-flying-eagles-mc-algers-vvv-venlo-boavista-amodu-shauaibu-daniel-amokachi

He remembers scoring his first international goal against South Africa in the Mandela Cup Challenge.

“I scored twice in that game. It was amazing. I can’t even describe my feelings because I was newly invited, and it was my first time.

“I was on the bench and expected like 15 minutes of action. But after a goalless first half, The Big Boss, Stephen Keshi, who was the coach at that time, asked me to warm up and my heart started to beat. The Big Boss pumped confidence into me by telling me ‘cComeon Uche, you can do it. IIt’swhat you’ve been praying for. This is what you want’.

“At this point, I made up my mind, went into the field, and in five minutes, I scored two goals and we won the game. After the match, everybody was celebrating me. Nigerians were happy with me because my goals were of quality and helped Eagles to win  I scored the first goal with a backheel and next, I finished a pass from Ahmed Musa. That made my name start ringing in Nigeria and everyone started talking about me”.

Nwofor has regrettably called time on his career prematurely. What is he up to next?

“A lot of things are going on in my head. I’m still thinking. But for me, I still want to go into sports. I like this game that made me who I am today. I think I still have something to give back. This is what has been coming up in my mind but I’m still thinking. Whatever God leads me to, I’ll do. I can also do business, you know. I’m still in a state of undecidedness.”

Exclusive By Sab Osuji

 


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