REVEALED: How Golden Eaglets 2009 FIFA U-17 Golden Ball Winner Quit Football Five Years After
By Agency Report
Nigerian 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup Golden Ball winner Sani Emmanuel has revealed why he quit football four years ago when he was largely expected to go on and make himself a fine career.
The 26-year-old former Golden Eaglets striker emerged at that tournament as Golden Ball winner with 5 goals as he helped Nigeria to a runners-up finish behind Switzerland in the 2009 competition in Abuja.
Emmanuel has been without a club since he was released by Beitar Jerusalem in the 2014–15 season where he played only 24 minutes for the club with the Isreali side coach stating that the is not excited by the Nigerian star and that he does not feature in future plans.
Former My People FC kid wonder has opened up on the injuries and unfortunate circumstances that forced him to quit football four years ago when he was largely expected to go on and make himself a fine career.
Asked why he gave up football when Chelsea and Lazio wanted to sign him, Emmanuel told Leero Sports News: “I had problems with my feet, even during the tournament in 2009. If you remember, I often played in the second half because the pain was unbearable.
After the World Cup, I could not play at all because I had pulled too much on the hamstring playing with pain. Then I had to stop my career. Even today, it still hurts on the front of the foot.”
Despite reaching out to others for help, no aid came his way, lamented Emmanuel.
“I tried to contact a lot of Nigerian international players, but I never got an answer and it was very difficult to cash.
“I returned to anonymity, without work, without anything. I wanted to set up an academy, but I never managed to get help and I’m still looking for it.
“I tried to contact them (the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF) so many times, but they told me to come home and get by on my own. They had other projects.”