Nigerian forward Odion Ighalo has tipped Saudi Arabia and Asian giants Al-Hilal to emerge victorious in the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup.
Speaking in an interview with FIFA, Odion Ighalo discussed Al Hilal’s ambitious quest to beat Real Madrid to the Club World Cup trophy in Morocco.
Al-Hilal faces Real Madrid in the 2022 FIFA Club World Cup final after seeing off Brazil and South American champions Flamengo in the semifinals.
Al-Hilal pulled a stunning comeback to eliminate Flamengo and set up a 2022 Club World Cup final with Real Madrid. The match is scheduled to kick off at 20:00 later today, February 11.
Odion Ighalo joined Al Hilal just days before their Club World Cup debut last year and has been phenomenal for the team in their bid for a first FIFA Club World Cup title.
Since joining the club, he has made 25 appearances, and has netted 20 times in all competitions for the club.
Ighalo said he opted for the move to the Saudi club because he wanted to relish the experience of playing in the FIFA Club World Cup.
On Al-Hilal chances against Real Madrid, the former Watford forward expressed his optimism and believe Al-Hilal can beat the European giants to the trophy.
“I believe Al Hilal can fight and win it, because in football it’s possible to do anything when you work hard and believe in yourself”, added.
Born on 16 June 1989, Odion Ighalo is a Nigerian professional football star who is currently plying his trade with Saudi Pro League side Al Hilal and Nigeria national team.
Odion Ighalo started his football career playing for Prime FC of Ogbomosho in Nigeria from 2000 to 2005.
His first stint with European football came with a Norwegian club Lyn in 2007. In his one year spell with Lyn, Odion Ighalo made 20 appearances for the club scoring 9 goals before joining Serie A club Udinese, where he made 6 appearances, scoring just one goal.
Odion Ighalo has played for some top clubs in Europe before he moved to Asia, where he is currently plying his trade.
He played for Watford between 2014 to 2017 after joining the club on a loan spell which was made permanent.
He made 83 appearances for the club, scoring 32 goals before moving to Asia.
His first club in Asia was Changchun Yatai, where he made 55 appearances, scoring 36 goals before joining Shanghai Shenhua.
During his spell with Shanghai Shenhua he was returned to Europe on a loan move to Premier League giants Manchester United.
At Old Trafford, Odion Ighalo made 12 appearances for the club without a goal before joining Al-Shabab in 2021.
Odion Ighalo has won 37 caps with Nigeria national team, scoring 16 goals. Ighalo won the 2013 African Cup of Nations with Nigeria national team.