MEET THE SUPER EAGLES: Ahmed Musa

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MEET THE SUPER EAGLES: Ahmed Musa

Olawale Agbede

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Born in the North Central City of Jos on the 14th day of October 1992 to Nigerian parents, Ahmed Musa, a product of a humble background began his football career with a certain football academy known as Golden Boot Soccer Academy in Kaduna. Musa was loaned to the Jos University Teaching Hospital Football Club (JUTH FC) to gain real-time experience. He played a total number of eighteen games for the Jos-based side scoring four goals in two seasons for the club. In advancement of his career, he was loaned to Nigeria  Premier League Power House; Kano Pillars in the 2009-2010 season which eventually turned out to be a breakout season for him as he finished the season with eighteen league goals, (the highest by a player in the league at the time).

His explosive league performance that year earned a move to Dutch Eredivisie side; VVV Venlo in the summer in the summer of 2010 but was unable to play until October 2010; when he clocked 18. Musa made his debut for the club in a match against Groningen as a substitute and he immediately made an impact in the game as he was brought down in the box of the opposing team leading to a penalty. Musa gained recognition in the short space of time as he was named in The International Federation of Football History and Statistics list of a hundred and forty young players in the world.

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Ahmed Musa
Ahmed Musa during his stint in the Dutch Eredivisie at VVV Venlo

It was only a matter of when not if as regards clubs interested in the services of the young Nigerian winger. VVV Venlo football chief; Mario Captein reported that representatives of Tottenham Hotspur and scouts from rival clubs in the Dutch league had enquired about a potential transfer deal for Ahmed Musa but listening of offers and negotiations will only commence at the end of the Season. Ahmed Musa continued his brilliant form for the club as he scored a brace over Feyenoord in a 3-2 win to end the fears of the club going relegation. Musa had forty-two appearances and ten goals for the Club.

Musa signed for Russian outfit; CSKA Moscow for an undisclosed fee in the winter transfer window of 2012. In his spell at the club, Musa scored 55 times in 164 appearances in the league.  On the 1st of June 2015, Musa signed a new four-year contract with CSKA until the end of the 2018–19 season. He finished the 2015–16 Russian Premier League season as the 5th highest scorer, becoming one of only seven players aged 23 or younger to reach double figures for goals in each of the past two seasons in Europe’s top seven leagues. In terms of accolades, he won there league titles, one Russian.

MEET THE SUPER EAGLES: Ahmed Musa 1
Ahmed Musa sends an opponent to the drycleaners during a game in the Russian League

Musa moved to Leicester City in the summer of 2016 for a club record fee of £16.6 million. He bagged his first set of goals for the club against Barcelona in the 2016 International Champions Cup that ended in a 4-2 victory for Leicester City. Ahmed Musa made his Premier League debut against Hull City on the opening day if the season. The game ended 2-1. His time at Leicester can be said to be one the lowest period of his career as he struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League. In his almost two seasons at the King Power Stadium, Musa only had five goals in thirty-three caps. He returned to CSKA Moscow, on January 30th, 2018 on a loan deal in which he had seven goals in sixteen caps. Musa moved to the Saudi Arabian league after the World Cup in Russia for a reported fee of £14.5 million pounds. So far he has seven goals seven assists in twenty-three games for his current club.

Ahmed Musa
Ahmed Musa celebrating his 2nd goal during a pre-season game against Barcelona

Super Eagles coach in April 2010  Lars Lagerbäck, gave Ahmed Musa his first invite to the  Nigeria National football team camp prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, after helping the Nigerian team win in the 2010 WAFU Nations Cup. He, however, didn’t make the final squad to the squad due to an ankle injury. Musa made his debut for the Nigeria senior team at the age of 17 in August 2010 in a qualification match for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations against Madagascar, where he came on as a substitute for John Obi Mikel in a 2–0 victory. He registered his first goal for the Super Eagles in March 2011 friendly match against Kenya which ended 3-0.

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Ahmed Musa like some of his teammates represented Nigeria U20 in the 2011 FIFA U-20 in Colombia, where he scored three goals in five matches and by virtue of his feat at the tournament, he was included by FIFA in the shortlist of  ten (10) candidates for the Adidas Golden Ball, which was awarded to the best player of the championship. On 7 December 2011, Ahmed Musa among four other nominees got nominated for the Confederation of African Football Most Promising Talent Award, however, the award went to Ivory Coast’s Souleymane Coulibaly.

He won his first major title with the Super Eagles at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in  South Africa. He scored in a 4–1 semi-final defeat of Mali and came in as a substitute against Burkina Faso in the final at the Soccer City Stadium as the Super Eagles won their third continental title. Overall, he appeared in five of the team’s six matches. At the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, he started in all three of the team’s matches as they crashed out of the group stage.

Ahmed Musa is one Nigeria’s most cherished footballer at the moment as he has so far achieved some remarkable feats in his career. One of such is he becoming the first Nigerian player to score at two different World Cup when he scored a brace against Iceland at World Cup in Russia and another in the 3-2 loss to Argentina in Brazil 2014 World Cup. In games for the Super Eagles of Nigeria, Musa has seventy-four 74 appearances and seventeen goals.

Ahmed Musa
Ahmed Musa of Nigeria dribbles past Hannes Halldorsson of Iceland during the 2018 FIFA World Cup match between Nigeria and Iceland to complete his brace of the game

Ahmed Musa will look to add another Nations Cup title to his name going into the Nations Cup in Egypt.

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Images Source : Google images & Getty Images

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