The Confederation of African Football sent birthday wishes to former Super Eagles Centre Forward Victor Anichebe who turned 32 years old this week.
This is hoping that the NFF uses this time of Anichebe’s birthday to reflect on what they can do to ensure that players who once had the passion and burning desire to represent their national team don’t just lose their motivation simply, partly or largely on how poorly they believe they were treated by the football authorities. Anichebe once had fire in his belly to represent the Super Eagles however following the groin injury he suffered during a 2012 Afcon qualifier against Madagascar in September 2011, that flame was doused and Anichebe announced what now turns out to be a permanent break from international football. “I didn’t feel that the Nigerian federation was there for me then in the same manner (as Everton football club), which was especially disappointing given that I got the injury representing my country, ” said Anichebe on ESPN after his convalescence. The Lagos born centre forward’s career has always being plagued by injuries. When you add the rigours of international football into the mix, then you have a factor that has the potential to exacerbate his injury-prone body, yet the fire and passion within him allowed the 32 year old to overlook that element as he flew from Europe to represent Nigeria when called upon. However, after the injury he sustained during a national assignment and the unacceptable way he felt he was treated by the NFF, Anichebe called time on his national team career. Ever the gentleman, Anichebe maintains that he bears no grudge. “I don’t blame anyone for this nor do I have any issues with anybody from the NFF or Stephen Keshi our coach” reflected Anichebe back in 2013. Happy birthday Victor Anichebe!