Throwback photos of Nigerian football stars before they made money


Football stars, like most celebrities, have stories to tell; many of them have gone from humble beginnings to the superstar status they now enjoy. AJIBADE OLUSESAN presents throwback images of some of them when they weren’t in the limelight yet.

Daniel Akpeyi
He is back as the Super Eagles’ first-choice after enduring intense criticism following his unimpressive performance at the last Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. Akpeyi has been with the national team for about a decade and the former U-20 and U-23 player started his football on the streets like everyone else and was a local champion in the army barracks where he lived , as seen in his throwback photo.

Oghene Etebo

Spain’s new Getafe midfielder started his career at Warri and was spotted in the England national team shirt in his throwback photo at one of the street football competitions in his hometown at the time, but little did he know that he would be swapping the Lions three jersey for the Eagles jersey in years to come. Dreams come true as the Olympic bronze medalist played in England with Stoke City for two years before moving to Getafe this winter.

Emmanuel Emenike

He was top scorer as Nigeria won their third Africa Cup of Nations title in 2013 and the former West Ham striker who now lives a luxurious life once struggled to make ends meet. The striker seen in his throwback photo (middle) hanging out with his friends is now dashingly handsome.

Sisat Oshoala

The Barcelona striker has won the African Footballer of the Year award four times but the now stunning Super Falcons player remembers when things weren’t so rosy.

Victor Osimhen

Before bursting onto the international scene, Osimhen struggled to make ends meet alongside his siblings in a one-bedroom apartment in the Olusosun area of ​​Ojota in Lagos. He is unquestionably the hottest striker in the Super Eagles today with such a brilliant life to him. His current figure is a stark difference from how he looked in a photo he took in 2013.

Samuel Chukwueze

The Villarreal winger was captured in a throwback photo during his days at the Diamond Football Academy in Owerri.

Alex Iwobi

Iwobi cut his teeth in football very early in his life when he joined Arsenal’s academy at the age of 8. He broke into the Gunners first team before moving to Everton two summers ago.

Odion Ighalo

Ighalo is one of the most successful Nigerian players having played for the country right from the U-20 stage. The striker who is now a multi-millionaire has never hidden his past from Ajegunle as he regularly shares his grass-grace story. Seen in his throwback photo at one of Ajegunle’s home grounds, the forward is now playing in some of the best stadiums in the world.

Kelechi Iheancho

The Leicester City star is a product of the Nigerian youth system as his throwback photo showed him receiving an award from Nigerian Football Federation board member Ahmed Yusuf Fresh during his U-13 days and the pair was seen in another photo around seven years later with Iheanacho looking grown up.

Moses Simon

The winger has been a mainstay for the Eagles since 2015 but the former Flying Eagles star remembered his humble beginnings and in this photo he was captured with his wife who he had been dating since high school. The two lovebirds who now have a child together seem better now that “the money has arrived.”


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