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‘How I Became A Free-Kick Specialist’ —Golden Eaglets Star, Michael

‘How I Became A Free-Kick Specialist’  —Golden Eaglets Star, Michael

Golden Eaglets star Emmanuel Michael has revealed how he has perfected the art of scoring free-kicks.

In Tuesday’s semi-final against Cote d’Ivoire, Michael converted two free-kicks to put the Eaglets 2-1 ahead at half time.

Abdullahi Idris added the third goal in the second half, to secure a 3-1 win and qualification to next year’s U-17 AFCON in Algeria.

Michael has now scored three goals all coming from free-kicks.

Following his impressive display, he also landed his third consecutive Man of the Match award.

And speaking after the win against Cote d’Ivoire, the Simoiben Futball Academy product, explained how he became a specialist in taking free-kicks.

“It has been long I started practicing it, anytime I have it I already have the mind to score,” he said on Brila FM.

He went on to thank Nigerians and his teammates for his recent achievement.

“So I’m very happy and I want to thank the Nigerian fans and all the players, I appreciate.”

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  • Greenturf 2 years ago

    You are very talented and focused,without any doubt you are primed for greatness.

  • Coache 2 years ago

    Nduka Ugbade in just three matches achieved with Michael what the old man cold not achieve in 5 PLUS years with professionals. Yet he called them average and that our BEST PLAYERS ARE OUTSIDE NIGERIA. See U17 scoring world class goals.


    • Ayphillydegreat 2 years ago

      Kelechi Nwakali was also a free kick specialist at U17 level. Make we Dey calm down, all these boys need is proper nurturing. There’s a reason we’re the most successful team in the world at the U17 level. That’s because we have raw talents and ingenuity within that age grade that can always compete and outsmart their peers across the globe.

      By the time they win WorldCup all of them will be lured to Europe where only the true potentials among them can survive. The most important thing is for Nigeria to be able to get as many as possible among them to reach their potentials. We’ve always got talents at U17 level we just don’t have the structure to nurture them properly. This young lad plays for Moses Simon academy therefore, he’s destined to an European team after the U17 WorldCup. 

      • Ololo 2 years ago

        Good reply.. We should not over praise these boys.. Those free kick would be hard to score if it was a senior game ,a good good goalkeeper will catch those free kick due to the inexperience at that level and their height free kicks will have a higher conversion rate..

        We should calm down and allow these boys mature

        • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

          May your senses never rust my brother. Emma Michel scores 3 freekicks and all of a sudden he has become better than Zaidu Sanusi and Calvin Bassey and those playing professionally…..LMAOooo.

          15 and 16 year olds have suddenly become their “best Nigerian players”. U17 football is no where near U20 football, not to talk of Senior international football….LMAOoo. These are kids playing against each other. If in 7 time years they are in top divisions in big leagues all over the world, that is when we can call them talented and count them amongst our best and finest. Not when they are still playing with their fellow kids.

          Its these types of false hypes they used in killing Almapasu’s and Nwakali’s careers till tomorrow. Ahh Alampasu is Enyeama, ah Alampasu is better than this, he is better than that, 9 years later, golden gloves winner at U17 has not kept 1 full season in a 1st division in 9 years and is not even 2nd choice in a Latvian 2nd division club at the moment. kelechi this, Nwakali that, Golden ball winner at u17 level in 2015, clubless in 2022.

          They lied to that one that he is better than all SE midfielders including mikel, he too started raising shoulders up and down feeling like Michel Platini until he was sacked by 3 clubs back-to-back-to-back…..LMAOOoo.

          Emmanuel Micheal still has a lot, a whole lot of work to do if he’s to make it to the top as a leftback. We can ignore most of his failings now because he’s still a kid, but by the time he gets to the U19 and U20 level, those failings will not remain unnoticeable and get severely punished. Its a beautiful thing that he has got freekick taking skills, but nobody gets signed into a club or gets invited to senior international football only because he’s good at taking freekicks.

          Just like you said, we should calm down and let the boys grow. We have seen bigger talents in our U17 football history that never got anywhere senior football wise.

          • Edoman 2 years ago


          • Best analysis so far my brother…..I remember Rabiu Ibrahim who the Nigerian press labelled as the next Okocha, where is he today, I am not sure his glory shone beyond the 2007 U17 world cup. What of the brilliant Christantus Marcauly, where is he today?
            Even Taiwo Awoniyi, how long has it taken him to find his rhythm, same for Kenneth Omerioh at the rest. Please let’s take it easy with these boys and allow them to grow at their pace.

    • JimmyBall 2 years ago

      @Coache… Tell them and thank you. Some people feel there is nothing like talents back home anymore. See young lads showing Super Eagles squad of Euro-based stars how to play positive football not scoring ten goals against a hapless team like Sao Tome & Principe and go like 180minutes against a weak Ghana team and score zero.

    • @Coche and JimmyBall it is as if you people are not Reading what we have been singing. The problem is not us the problem is your ex Footballers calling on NPFL players over our International exports. both dual and the likes of Kelechi Iheanacho, Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze Isaac Success and co. Ex footballers seems to think that if you have not played in Nigeria Premier Football League you are a foreigner! the reality is these boys as was the case with osimhen co. will not kick a ball in NPFL if we qualify for under 17 world cup and do well, because, Big clubs in Europe shop in that tournament so the same way Iheanacho’s career tragectory went will be the same for Emma Willamns and co. when that happens your ex footballers will deem them not Nigerian enough along with our dual nationalities.

      As we have said countless times Nigeria’s gem and talent pool for the past few years lies in our Youth Exports and dual nationality players i don’t think we mixed words when stating that and as such you can see it. Again a funny piont to note how many free kick specialist currently ply their trade in NPFL? this is just another proof in the pudding that Our Academies are miles ahead of the league in producing Nigeria Exports to Europe.

      So in conclusion We are blessed to have budding academies while not focus on that while reconstructing our league because for the past 11 years and more our academies have been producing some outstanding talents more so since 2013 when Iheanacho and Ndidi along with Success burst on the seen followed by our 2015 under 17 team.

      I hope you get the point now NPFL players route to SE should be dominating CAF and CHAN for the 100th time!

      • *Emmanuel Michael* not williams.

      • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

        Weldone Ugo. Though we hardly ever agree on things, but at least we are in sync on this. Very good response here. Dont mind them, they have problems with comprehension. They will tell us when anyone said talents do not exist in Nigeria or that the streams of talents have dried up in Nigeria….LMAOooo.

        Maybe the likes of Ndidi, Frank Onyeka, Ralph Onyedika, Osimhen and Iheanacho (who got signed from academies in Nigeria straight to good clubs in Europe and have grown/progressed to another level afterwards after few years of grooming and nurturing) are British.

        After failing woefully in selling and defending their rusted league and its “many talents” players to us, they want to shifted their narrative to claiming we said there are no talents in Nigeria as a whole…..LMAoooo

        • @Dr Drey for once we agree on this lol… And I concur and some of our brothers and ex Internationals should take this into account and don’t even realise that, Our League is so Purus that even if we put a mandate that talents from Youth and Academies should spend at least a minimum of 2 years in NPFL after dominating the World Cup before moving abroad in as much as this is to better our NPFL it will actually do damage to the development of the players due to lack of infrastructure and they will miss the chance of signing for bigger clubs.

          Our League needs a complete over haul and revamping and the beginning of wisdom is the realisation of this

      • Coache 2 years ago

        Thanks for the explanation. You did well without insults. But a lack of NPFL experience affected UZOHO during the Ghana match. Like I have said somewhere in another post, did you know that Uzoho refused to enter the pitch after the half time break? They had to beg him but if he had played in dangerous local derbies in Nigeria for at least a season, that embarrassment would not suffice.

        The league has good players so are the academies. THAT I know . Osimhen and co came from academies so it is unsafe to make a blanket statement that the best players lies ashore either by omission or commission.

        • Then you need to ask yourself what the fuss is all about with NPFL. We have enough thorough Nigerian breed players in SE.. there should be no fuss. Our Academies produce the best local exports the question is why does our Ex Internationals not aware of this?. It is either they are or they fuss because they have shares in Sales of NPFL ir they are clueless either way we shouldn’t be allowing them cloud overall reasonable judgement. Which is Academy and Dual nationals is Nigeria best remedy. NPFL had its time and dwindled infact the last time NPFL produced formidable talents was Enyeama dem with a couple sprinkles over the years Etebo and Co. But even at that the best NPFL talents that join SE are the ones that got some brushing uo Overseas before joining SE. The Ex players know this but I tell you what they have thier interests in those players. Nigeria should acknowledge this and rather take the opportunity to brushing up our league because it is clear that we have many routes to get players and only the ones that heed the best fruits should be punted i.e. Academy/Youth and dual nationals

          • At least until our league is formidable enough and dominates again. No player from NPFL had a prolonged amd sustained career in SE with out playing overseas at some point and it is the overseas experience that sustained them and kept getting them selected. In the national team the ones that don’t move to top European leagues always fade and dwindle.

          • chuks 2 years ago

            Please leave the league alone. It is obvious Rorh was collecting bribe from this foreigners. How many league games did Rorh attend tat you aware of. Look at a new coaching attending a league game and penciling to give a defender call up. All you hear from Rorh who never lived in Nigeria is when you call them they run away from camp. Bunch of nonsense. there is Talent in the league, has a coach you have a A and B team which was common during westerhof, and then you pick.

    • Lollipops 2 years ago

      @ Coach, I could remember the last time you coached your Village People was 1980-Coaching your village people  is different from coaching National Teams and Clubs – Mr Coach, please rest your face.

    • MuYiwa 2 years ago

      Oga, mind you, it was not Ugbade who is teaching him how to play those free kicks. The boy has already discovered his ability and is personally working on himself to be better at it. And we wish him all the best.

    • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

      Hahahaha…Coachilla. So Emmanuel Michael told you it was in U17 camp that Ugbade taught him how to play freekicks ehn kwanu…?? LMAOoo.

      Rohr too should have left every other thing that needs to be done as national team coach and be teaching professional players how to take freekicks with only 2-3 days of training available most times before most matches…..LMAooo.

      “…I WAS A COACH AND I KNOW THE DEPTH AND INTELLIGENCE OF WHAT WE HAVE IN NIGERIA…” If truly you were a coach, you will know dead ball skills (crosses, long throws, freekicks, penalties etc) are skills players develop on their own, at their own free time and space, not things that are taught within the confines of 1st team training regimes. Yes they can have set piece trainings as a team, but the eventual takers are still always those who have the talent and have developed it outside the confines of the team’s training regimes. Club or National team coaches do not teach individuals dead ball skills. That is why not everybody has such talent.

      Having freekick skills does not make you the best player in the world (or in a team), and being the best player in the world (or in a team) does not require you to be able to score 5 out of 5 freekicks. V.Osimhen does not take freekicks (unless he will start doing so tomorrow) but nobody can argue that he’s our best player at the moment.

      Since you were a coach, can you please tell us how many players you taught how to play freekicks during your coaching career….LMAOooo…please how many of them now score freekicks…..please why are we not seeing them in the NPFL or in Europe today…? Or you didnt coach Nigerians all through your coaching career…??

      Was it while you were training in preparation for matches you taught them the freekicks…??

      With the depth and intelligence of what we have in Nigeria, please what did you win as a coach with those players, locally, continentally and/or intercontinentally??? LMAOooo. Or maybe you didnt coach in Nigeria.

      If you are truly a coach and you follow the performance of our clubs on the continent, you should by now know that NPFL players are usually in any way not more superior (technically or tactically) to players from other poor leagues across Africa, especially across sub-Saharan Africa (Togo, Zambia, Tanzania,etc) no disrespect to them. You should by now have also known that they always struggle to match players from North African leagues. In the 2000s, Nigerian league players swarmed Sudan like bees without going first for trials, the Ndubuisi Ezes, Eguakun Efosas, Late Endurance Idahors, Muhammed Yusufs, Kelechi Osunwas….name them. Today, hardly can a Sudanese club sign a Nigerian league player without first requesting for trials….yes…Sudan here. The Nigeria players playing in Sudan now are those who have played in another foreign country first. Even South African clubs now request for trials before signing the best CB in an entire season in the NPFL.

      The fact that we struggle to reach the group stages of CAF club competitions year in year out for over a decade now says a lot. We are not even talking of winning those competitions o….just reaching group stages, despite the fact that we present as much as 4 teams every year.

      For 10 straight years between 1986 and 1996 at least 1 Nigerian club will reach the final or even win the trophy. For 10 straight years now, at least 1 Nigerian club gets booted out in the preliminary stages……LMAOooo. Yet common sense has not told you that things are not the same as before and that something has gone terribly wrong somewhere that MUST be addressed before coming out in public to rant fallacies.

      Weldone ehn. Mr Coachito.

      I knew you were a fake coach the day you claimed Rohr’s SE never scored from a single set piece in 5 years…..LMAOooo. You just re-affirmed my belief with this your comment above….LMAoooo.

      Even Nduka Ugbade will not descend so low as to attribute Emmanuel Michel’s freekick talents to himself.

      Please go and shoot Peserio when he re-affirms what we all already know, that Nigeria’s best players are outside the shores of the country, simply because he has spoken the truth and you dont want to hear it…..LMAOooo

    • You are right to a very high extent..during the golden era of Super eagles, must of them were home based. Even the results from the under 17, under 20 and under 23 grades would tell anyone that the talents are at home and even tends to fizzle or reduce when out of the country.

    • My actual problem is with those three people that liked this comment…I want to know you personally

    • Omo9ja 2 years ago

      @Coache, God bless you more. You see gentleman, Nigerians doesn’t like the truth. It is a shame that Oga Rohr failed to find a freekick specialist during his time with Eagles.

      I hope Oga Paseiro will not do the same. The goalkeeping department was very weak and he didn’t do anything about it over the six years. Unfortunately, his followers still backing him.

      You don’t have to spend up to six years with a team before you can prove your worth kę.

      Am not a coach but to build a team for Nigeria is very easy because we have players any where in Nigeria.

      Oga Rohr lied to us that we didn’t have talented players in Nigeria and I kicked against it then.

      His followers were calling me so many names then but now that coach Ugbade is proving me right, they are speechless. We still have so many multi talented players in Nigeria.

      For Oga Paseiro, it is too early to talk about him. Fingers crossed. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • MuYiwa 2 years ago

    It is far too early to make any conclusions on these players. This is just a regional qualification series. The Afcon proper will hold next year, and then the world cup. Iheanacho, Success and Awoniyi set was more terrific than this one. I remember them beating Ghana 6-0 in their first match and won most of their matches with high scorelines and even winning the world cup with ease. Yet how many of these players can we call stand out players 9 years after. Only time will tell.

  • John-I 2 years ago

    His precision is astonishing. Among all the three beautiful freekicks, I’ll pick the second goal against Burkina Faso as my favorite. He saw the gap in the wall and exploited it to perfection – genius.

    • Lord AMO 2 years ago

      When did we play the Burkinabes or have you seen the future?

      If it’s a typo then no wahala but Nigerians kill me with this sort of misinformation

      • Greenturf 2 years ago

        You should know he was referring to the game we played yesterday against Ivory coast.Not every error is worth mentioning.

        • John-I 2 years ago

          I watched Ghana vs Burkina Faso match shortly after Nigeria game. Anyway, I made a type error and I accept.

      • John-I 2 years ago

        Oops apologies, I meant Ivory Coast, my bad. Not having edit button impedes the beauty of posting here. But thanks for the notification.

    • pompei 2 years ago

      Hahahaha, e be like say you have the gift of “sight”. We have a prophet among us, who can see the future.
      Let’s hope your prophecy that Michael will score a freekick against Burkina comes to pass 🙂

      • John-I 2 years ago

        Naaa bro, just an error. I watched the game yesterday on Adepa TV (which has the sole right to air the games in Ghana). Funny how I confused Ivory Coast with Burkina Faso. Anyway, I watched Burkina Faso send Ghana to Accra earlier before Nigeria game.

        By the way, Burkina Faso is a good team, probably the strongest. Nigeria won’t have it easy against them. Very robust, skillful and slippery. They beat Ghana by a lone-goal but the scoreline should’ve being bigger if they converted all their begging chances. Nigeria has to be careful – especially a certain left-footed Camara.

        • John-I 2 years ago

          *Ghana vs Burkina Faso later*

        • pompei 2 years ago

          Just joking with you bro.
          You’re right, Burkina is a good team. They are also very big size-wise!
          It will be an interesting encounter.

  • pompei 2 years ago

    I read somewhere that Michael is a makeshift left back. He is originally a midfielder.
    Now, he totally looks like he’s been a left back all his career. Wow.
    The guy has done really well, but this is U-17 after all, so he still has some ways to go before he becomes the finished article.
    For now, looking really good.

  • Ololo 2 years ago

    Yes Michael is not a left back, if you watch the first game against Ghana he was very poor in his tackles but he has improved.. He is an attacking midfielder but we have other options in that position.. The main left back failed the mRI test, so micheal was drafted to that position.. See how his star is shining already in the tournament.. He scored a lot of freebkicks in their friendly games before the tournament so what he is going now isn’t new to the team

  • pompei 2 years ago

    Very interesting. Kudos to the coach and the crew for recognizing that he can play that position. And kudos to Michael himself for being willing to go out of his comfort zone for the benefit of the team.
    Who knows, he may not have done as well if he had been used in his normal midfield position. Sometimes, when life throws you a challenge, it might be a blessing in disguise.

    • Omo9ja 2 years ago

      Hmmm. You are absolutely right @Pompei. That is life for us all my lovely friend. I’m happy for Michael. I remember those days with my left foot Kai, such is life. Keep it up Michael. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!

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