Manchester United forward Odion Ighalo reveals his motivation for playing football

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Every successful person has a story to tell and a source of motivation to share with others. Manchester United striker, Odion Ighalo has disclosed the source of his motivation to play football and become a star.

Odion Ighalo is regarded as one of the greatest Nigerian players to play in the continent of Europe. Before he started his campaign as a professional footballer, the 30-year-old striker explained that his mother was the backbone and inspiration that endeared him to take football as a profession. Quoting his word during an interview with the club website, he said: “Where I grew up in Nigeria, in Lagos, every kid’s desire is to play football. When I would see kids going out to play football, I would like to join them to play,”

“That is how I got that passion to play football. Every day, I had to go out there and join the guys to play football.

“My mum, too, is one of my inspirations, because she always encouraged me.

“Even when my dad was not supportive when I started, she encouraged me, pushed me through and supported me in every way, though the steps I took when I was young to be who I am today.

“So I would say my mum inspired me, my siblings and some friends around me as well.”

Odion Ighalo’s walk to fame

He started his professional football campaign when he led Nigeria under 20 team to the 2009 FIFA World Cup in Egypt. He became an international football after he signed a deal with a Norwegian club Lyn in 2007. He played about 20 games for the club and scored 9 goals before he left the club in 2008. Ighalo joined the Italian club Udinesse in 2008. His inability to make an impressive start in Udinesse saw him loaned to about three clubs from 2008 till 2014.

The Edo state born loan spell in Udinesse landed him in English club Watford in 2014. It was there in England that the Nigerian striker registered his name in the mind of football fans with an impressive stat for Watford. Ighalo’s style of play seemed interested in Watford’s boss and he was given an extension when his loan with the club expired. He was in Watford from 2014 till 2017 when he moved to China for the first time in his football career. Chinese club Changchun Yatai signed the African star player, he played about 55 games and scored a total of 33 goals.

It was not long before his prowess on the field of play attracted one of the biggest clubs in the Chinese League, Shanghai Greenland Shenhua. Ighalo signed for Shanghai Shenhua in 2019 and his best for the club. Reasonably, at the end of the season amidst the coronavirus outbreak in China, Shanghai Shenhua agreed to send Odion Ighalo to Manchester United on 6 months loan.

Although Ighalo has had enough playing time in Old Trafford, however, he has been able to prove his worth with the few games he was opportune to play in the Red Devils outfit.