Sunday, September 09, 2007

Nigeria Crowned World Champion - A Telenovela Victory!

After 14 years in the lurch, Nigeria's lost football glory was restored this afternoon by the Under-17 lads who broke the pride and obstinacy of their Spanish colleagues, in the final of FIFA's U-17 World Championships in Seoul.

With this outcome, Nigeria becomes world-record holder, alongside Brazil, which also had won the world cup thrice. This is great hopes for us as, this new generation of players may prove to be worthy of stepping into the shoes left by tripod soccer heroes- Jay-Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu and Rashidi Yekini.

Nigeria WinsFrom relative obscurity, these lads and their ebullient coach, Yemi Tella, have proven once again that Nigeria's home-grown victory, in the same tournament in the maiden 1985 (Beijing) and 1993 (Tokyo), were no flukes. Renowned and giant soccer nations like France, Argentina and Germany, were 'mauled' to the ground on their way to fame and honor. This indeed is a glowing tribute to the 1985 golden team, led by Nduka Ugbade in China, and Wilson Oruma eight years later in Japan.

The victory looked more like a telenovela soap, when considered from the long and tortuous attempt of the last 14 years to restore the glory of our youth football in Nigeria. I give kudos to golden boy - Macauley Chrisantus and goalkeeper Oladele Ajiboye, who kept the 'enemies' at bay and thereby put them to shame throughout the tournament where Nigeria lost no match.

This world cup victory was a boost also for me, as I fully recovered from exhaustion and subsequent break-down after I moved to a new apartment in the heart of Lagos megacity in Ikeja.

As we toast and savor this African victory, I would resume posting telenovela snippets of Catalina y Sebastian and El Cuerpo del Deseo (Second Chance).