Coach, Emmanuel Amuneke, says the performances of the trio of Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze and Kelechi Nwakali in helping Nigeria win her fifth FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile five years ago and their progress till date is a reflection of the hard work he and assistants did in discovering players and putting the winning-team together.
Amuneke who is the Sporting Director of Egyptian Premier League side, Misr El Makkasa, told Complete Sports that the incredible run of the players for their respective clubs in Europe and the Nigeria National team, Super Eagles, speaks volume of talents that the country is blessed with.
At the 2015 FIFA U17 tournament in Chile, Osimhen emerged the top scorer with 10 goals, setting a FIFA record as the first player to score in all matches of the tournament, a record earlier held only by Frenchman, Sinama Pongollo.
Nwakali, who captained the Nigerian team on that occasion, was voted as Most Valuable Player, MVP, of the tournament.
Chukwueze is currently on the payroll of Spanish LaLiga side, Villarreal with Osimhen pulling the scoring strings at French Ligue 1 side, OSC Lille while Nwakali plays for Spanish Segunda B side, SD Huesca.
Of the 21 players the former FC Barcelona of Spain left winger took to Chile five years ago, the trio seem more on the flight to the zenith and the ex Tanzania National team handler hail them as great ambassadors of the 2015 World conquering Golden Eaglets.
“I’m happy for them and their careers. Their progress, and that of the other members of the team at the 2015 Championship [FIFA U-17 World Cup] gives me joy,” Amuneke said from his base in Egypt.
“It’s God that knows what one would be in his life. Yes, when you look at it from one perspective, they are the standout players and it shows the level of our effort at the time.
“And I believe they are just starting, with more determination, discipline and hard work, they will get much better”.
The duo of Osimhen and Chukwueze have become the major talking points in the European leagues’ transfer market.
Osimhen has been linked to Napoli in the Italian Serie A. The gangling forward had even gone ahead to visit Napoli to check the suitability of the town and club environment as a prelude to a reported €80m transfer deal.
English Premier League Champions, Liverpool had tabled a bid of €35m for Chukwueze which was turned down in January. Chelsea also has the Nigerian youngster on their radar.