Deji Elumoye in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated with former Captain of the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations winning team, the Green Eagles, Christian Chukwu, as he clocked 70 years yesterday.
Buhari, in a statement issued on Wednesday by his Media Adviser, Femi Adesina, joined sport lovers, family and friends to celebrate the former coach of the Super Eagles and rejoiced with the multi-talented and disciplined player on the auspicious period of turning a septuagenarian.
He stressed that Chukwu’s contributions to development of sports in Nigeria will always attract attention, particularly making the country proud by providing technical leadership for other national teams like those of Lebanon and Kenya.
Buhari also noted with commendation, the efforts of the former Captain of Rangers International of Enugu, in strengthening the local league, which has over the years been the major feeder of the national team, and produced players that have featured in some of the best teams and championships in the world.
He, therefore, prayed for improved health, strength and longer life for ‘Chairman Chukwu’, as he is fondly known and called since his active football playing days in the 1970s through 1980s.
For 10 years, Chukwu led Rangers and the Nigerian senior national team to create the fastest developing period for football in the country’s history.
He led from the front, always by example and the never-say-die-attitude of a soldier.
He was declared the best player of the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations, and was a terror to every country on the continent with his style of play and leadership on the field throughout the decade 1970 to 1980.
He became a coach and was part of every major achievement for another decade – 1985 Under-16 World Cup, Tunisia ’94, USA World Cup ’94’, Atlanta 96 and many more.