Archive for June, 2014

Tunde Folawiyo | Nwankwo Kanu: A Nigerian Football Legend

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

As Nigeria’s national football team embarks on yet another World Cup venture, players of the past and their contributions to the team remain fresh in the minds of fans and players alike. Since its founding, the team has long been home to a number of incredible athletes. Nwankwo Kanu remains one of the most famed athletes in African sports for his accomplishments on the field. Fans of the Super Eagles, Tunde Folawiyo such as Tunde Folawiyo and millions of others throughout the country of Nigeria and beyond may have witnessed the outstanding displays of talent seen while Kanu navigated the green.

Born 1 August 1976 in Owerri, Nigeria, Nwankwo Kanu embarked on his football career at Nigeria’s Federation Works ahead of transferring to Iwuanyanwu Nationale. Following an impressive performance at U-17 World Championship, he signed with AFC Ajax during 1993. Scoring 25 goals over 54 appearances with the club, he was a sub in the team’s Champions League final win in 1995. During 1996, Internazionale acquired Kanu for the sum of $4.7 million. He served as captain of Nigeria’s team at the Olympics, leading them to a gold medal victory. He scored two goals during the semifinals, overturning Brazil’s 2-3 into a 4-3 victory for Nigeria during extra time. Accomplishments such as these have permanently cemented Kanu into African football history. That year, he was also awarded as Africa’s Footballer of the Year, demonstrating his immense talent in the sport.

While his contributions to the sport of football in Nigeria are of significant note, so are his philanthropic efforts. Upon being diagnosed with a heart defect that required surgery, Kanu founded the Kanu Heart Foundation, which aids African children currently suffering from heart defects, though the foundation’s efforts have since expanded to providing homes for homeless children throughout the continent.

Since its establishment, the Nigerian football team has long hosted players whose reputations far surpass those of their accomplishments on the field. As the African continent continues to face its struggles, the sport of football brings joy to countless individuals hoping to escape the realities of the poverty and disease that plague many citizens throughout its borders. As the team prepares for its World Cup appearance this summer, fans of the team, including Tunde Folawiyo and millions of others across the globe, may continue to be inspired by the tremendous talent that has once navigated the football fields of Nigeria.