Super Eagles striker, Kelechi Iheanacho yesterday gave an insight on how he rose from obscurity of been among adent follower of the English Premiership at viewing center to one of the main actor in the most prominent league in the world today.
The former Golden forward disclosed disclosed to goal.com that he had to save up N50 to watch Sergio Aguero scored the title winning goal for Manchester City in the 2012/13 Premier League season.
The 20-year-old forward, who joined the Citizens two seasons ago, said that was the club’s first match he would watch, adding that he never knew he would play alongside the same set of players he watched on the television.
“There was one place in town that everybody called the ‘game center,’ and it had a satellite dish, but you had to pay money to go inside,” Iheanacho told Theplayerstribune.
“It was 50 naira [about 15p] for a Premier League match, and I did not have that kind of money. So I would wait outside playing football with my mates until somebody came out and told us what had happened in the match.
“In 2012, when I was 15, I saved some money and went to the game center on the last day of the Premier League season. It was a very big deal, because the title race was so close.
“I sat there and watched Sergio Aguero score the last-minute goal that won Man City the title — and that took it away from Man United. On the TV, Sergio took his shirt off and whipped it around, and everybody in the game center was going crazy.”
“That was maybe the first Man City game I ever watched. I had never been to England before. I had no idea that in a few years, I would be playing on the same team as Sergio,” he continued.
“Because I was only 19, I did not expect to be in the starting XI,” he added. “When the manager told me that I was going to start, I tried to tell myself, ‘it’s just a game of football,’ but if I am telling the truth, it is not a normal game.
“The atmosphere and intensity gives you a very different feeling as soon as you step on the pitch. It’s war for 90 minutes in the Manchester Derby. You cannot give anything less than 100 percent concentration. So I just tried to focus completely on the match.
“I was so happy, but then in the 36th minute, something really amazing happened. I was standing in front of the United goal when Kevin [De Bruyne’s] shot struck the post. The ball came right to my feet. I kicked it into the back of the net without thinking. I looked over to the linesman, not believing that I had really scored. The flag was down. I was onside.
“My teammates ran over to me, and I felt what I can only describe as the ‘Manchester Derby feeling.’ No one can know how I felt unless they’ve scored in the derby. I did not even celebrate. The feeling was too much.”