Nigerian @ 20: 20 Things You Must Know About Kelechi Iheanacho

Nigeria international and Manchester City forward, Kelechi Iheanacho turns 20 today - here we chronicle 20 things you need to know about the superstar.

Ø Kelechi Promise Iheanacho was born 3 October 1996 to Mr and Mrs James Iheanacho .

Ø He was born in the town of Obogwe in Ohaji Egbema LGA, in the state of Imo.

Ø His favourite hit track is Freedom by Senegalese-American R&B and hip-hop artist, Akon.

Ø Iheanacho was always among the top three in his class during his days at Nursery and Primary school.

Ø His parents flogged him for playing football. They were not convinced that he would make a breakthrough in life through football.

Ø They started supporting his football career when he led Imo state to win a Youth tournament in Abuja.
Nigerian Woner Bo Kelechi Iheanacho 

Ø As a youth, he represented Taiye Academy in Owerri, the capital city of Imo.

Ø His first major international tournament was the 2013 African U-17 Championship in Morocco, where he bagged a hat-trick against Botswana.

Ø He dedicated his goals at 2013 African U-17 Championship in Morocco to his mother, who passed away two months before the tournament.

Ø He became the hottest teenage footballer in the world after being voted as the Adidas Golden Ball Award winner at the 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup

Ø His performances for Nigeria in the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup led to interest from clubs in Europe; teams following his progress included Arsenal, Sporting Clube de Portugal and Porto.

Ø The Confederation of African Football (CAF) named him the Most Promising Talent of the Year for 2013 at the CAF Awards.

Ø He wanted to join Porto but his father convinced him to sign for Manchester City.

Ø In December 2013, Iheanacho travelled to England to discuss a move to Manchester City. He signed a pre-contract agreement with the club, stating his intent to formally sign for City on his 18th birthday in October 2014.

Ø He joined Man City on 10 January 2014. Before the 2014-15 season, City visited the United States on a pre-season tour, and although still not formally a City player, he joined up with the squad. He played and scored in the first match of the tour, a 4-1 win against Sporting Kansas City, and scored again against Milan in a 5-1 win. After the conclusion of the tour, Manchester City arranged for Iheanacho to train with the Columbus Crew until mid-October.

Ø Delays in obtaining a work permit meant Iheanacho was unable to play in England until February 2015. He made his debut at under-19 level in a UEFA Youth League match against Schalke 04, but sustained an injury after only 11 minutes.

Ø After his recovery, he began to represent Manchester City at both youth and under-21 level in the latter part of the season.

Ø He played in the FA Youth Cup final, where he scored, but ended on the losing side after Chelsea claimed a 5-2 aggregate victory. The following week, he scored the only goal as Manchester City beat Porto in the final of the 2014-15 Premier League International Cup.

Ø In July 2015, Iheanacho was included in City's pre-season tour team in Australia. On the tour, he set up the first goal for Raheem Sterling and scored the second goal in the win against Roma in the 2015 International Champions Cup. 

Ø He is the highest paid Nigerian footballer, earning £85,000-a-week. - Online Sources 


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