SUNDAY MBA: Touching Story Of Club-less 2013 AFCON Hero

SUNDAY MBA: Touching Story Of  Club-less 2013 AFCON Hero

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Once dubbed to be a fantastic box-to-box midfielder, Sunday Mba is now all but a “rookie” in a game he was once a boss.

We bring you the story of how he started his career and the dilemma surrounding the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) winner.

Born 28 November 1988, Sunday Mba started his football career in 2004 at Pepsi Football Academy as an attacking midfielder.

He signed for Enyimba in 2005 where he made his professional bow in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL). Mba later moved to Enugu Rangers, where he spent the 2007 season before switching back to Enyimba.

Mba was a member of the Nigeria B team that won the 2010 WAFU Nations Cup and made his National team senior debut in a tie against Angola in January 2012, before scoring a brace against Liberia in his next game.

The 31-year-old was also part of Nigeria’s 23-man squad for the 2013 AFCON, scoring against Ivory Coast in the quarter-final and his goal in the final against Burkina Faso proved very decisive as it stirred Nigeria to her third AFCON title.

He also made the 23 for the subsequent FIFA Confederations Cup, where Nigeria crashed out in the group stage.

Following his success at Afcon and participation at the Confederations Cup, Mba joined French side CA Bastia in 2014, where he made over 40 appearances and scored five goals.

The midfielder then joined Turkish side Yeni Malatyaspor afterward, making 54 appearances during his two years stay in Turkey.

He was subsequently released by the Turkish side in 2017, and after numerous drawn-out negotiations, he could not secure a club.

In October 2019, after two years without a club, he revealed he has not given up hope of playing football at the top level after his long absence.

“My desire is to get back into club football and I am working hard to start playing again,” Mba said.

“Football is everything I have and I cannot just give up. I believe there’s something out there for me.

“I still have something to give and will continue to stay mentally and physically ready.”

Mba had claimed his agent’s uncontrollable quest for money led to his long term break from the beautiful game, with his agent convincing him to reject clubs that came knocking with the belief that a better offer is lurking.

To young individuals and athletes around the globe, I advise that you should have trusted and capable hands managing your business affair.

In addition, money should not be the driving force or sole aim when signing a deal or making a move, but career development.

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