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Iheanacho: How Vardy’s Success Motivated Me To Become Better Player

Iheanacho: How Vardy’s Success Motivated Me To Become Better Player

Nigeria forward, Kelechi Iheanacho, has been inspired by the Jamie Vardy story and admits his Leicester City team-mate has given him motivation to become a better player.

Iheanacho, 22, watched in awe as Vardy broke the record for scoring in consecutive Premier League games in 2015 when he found the net in 11 games straight, and says he is now trying to learn from the England striker after joining City from Manchester City.


“I have been watching him and when I was at Manchester City I was really following him and when he broke the record against [Manchester] United, it was the motivation for me as well,” Iheanacho told Leicestershire Live.

“So seeing him scoring 11 games straight, it gives every youngster motivation to know anything is possible in football.

Zenith Ziva

“I have been watching him since. I didn’t know I am going to come here so playing alongside him is a joy and I am happy learning from him and keep improving.”

Although Iheanacho did not watch a lot of Premier League games while growing up because he could not afford it, he always utilise the time to ‘kick the ball.’

“When I was growing up I don’t have the chance to watch a lot of football, because I can’t afford to watch football,” he revealed.

“The viewing centre was a place you go to watch football in Nigeria but you have to pay to watch football at a viewing centre, so if you don’t have the means or the money to pay, you can’t watch.

“The generators make a big telly and people gather to watch television and have argument about things and life and everything, so it is a very interesting place.

“I couldn’t afford to pay to watch them. You have to pay to watch it so I didn’t have the chance, the opportunity to watch as much, the Premier League. It was expensive then and I didn’t have that much chance to watch.

“I watched a little bit a little bit maybe important games I could save money and watch them, so I think I watch a bit of Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure, Wayne Rooney and Didier Drogba when I was back home in Nigeria.

“So many didn’t get the opportunity to watch it as well as me, so I just kick the ball and I just kick the ball and keep hoping that is what I do and if I get the opportunity to watch the game, if they allow me then I go but I have to fundraise but I get ten per cent of the fundraising to watch the game.”

Now the Leicester City star is watched and is delighted to make his admirers proud.

“I think I have [made them proud] and I have to keep doing it,” he added.
“I don’t have to stop. I have to keep doing it and the struggle continues. They are before me and they are proud and I will keep doing them proud.”

Iheanacho has scored two goals this season and will hope to impress when Leicester host Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

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  • _Iheanacho – the future starts here_

    Pay homage to whom homage is due: which is what Iheanacho is doing here. The place of Jamie Vardy as Leicester city legend is secure, the journey to become a legend for Leicester City and indeed Nigeria for Iheanacho has only just begun.

    So, from the evidence of what we have seen thus far, is Iheanacho on the right path?

    It’s not often how you start the race but how you finish it that will earn you the medal and it is the finish that will be etched in the minds of fans forever.

    Iheanacho started well in Manchester City but was shown the exit door when the best Coach on the planet found the young not-so-exciting Super Eagle surplus to requirements.

    Leicester came calling and he signed however in the 1-hit-wonder mid-table premier league side, Iheanacho has struggled to hit the dizzy heights of his early Man City days leaving many to wonder whether he will soon go the way of Belgium’s Adnan Januzaj, England’s Theo Walcott or Italy’s Federico Macheda.

    However, it may be too premature to write off the U-17 World Cup winner.

    Iheanacho may not have started his Leicester City career with all guns blazing but it reminds me of Didier Drogba who was poor early in his Chelsea career. Nobody needs reminding what a legend of club, African and world football that Drogba would go on to become.

    “So seeing Vardy scoring 11 games straight” said Iheanacho, “it gives every youngster motivation to know anything is possible in football.”

    Yes, the path towards being a legend is still very possible for Iheanacho to tread. His got the potentials, it’s time he starts fulfilling them.