IS NWANKWO KANU”DIVINE” – Something Extraordinary about this Nigeria Football Ambassador

In 1996, as Nigeria’s Dream team battled it out against Brazil in the men’s soccer semi-finals in Atlanta USA, the Olympic Five ring gave up its icon status to Nwankwo Kanu; the only player that had ever scored a golden goal.

FIFA President, Sepp Blatter joined Pele and over 4 billion sports fans across the earth to “worship” the player some call “Papilo.” “He plays more with his head (Spirit) than his legs (Physical strength).” Pele concluded. And an equally stunned journalist asked him at the post match interview, “god of soccer?” if he was in fact, divine.

Kanu responded, “I could never consider myself a god. I am just another player. I try to entertain for 90 minutes or so and then let my fans go home happy… I feel delighted that I am able to put smiles on the faces of my people… for once we’re all proud to be Nigerians.”

Maybe or maybe not, but Kanu had repeatedly put up unimaginable performances that suggested he may have had some supernatural abilities. Take the case of the English premiership game between Arsenals versus Chelsea, where Kanu scored a hat trick against a Chelsea team that was 2 goals up before he came on for Arsenal in the 72nd minutes of the game. Those goals were better imagined (Watch the Video below).

A foremost Nigerian TV football analyst, Emeka Enyadike said, “Kanu is the most famous Athlete in Africa. He’s to us what David Beckham is to the British, what Michael Jordan is to the Americans. Perhaps, he is the Muhammad Ali of our time.”

Whether he was a god or a mere mortal, Kanu was a sport product of divine proportions. His talent, his successes and his charisma had also supported the Nigerian brand among the international community. There’s no gainsay, he’s indeed Nigeria football ambassador.

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Beyond his football, Kanu also has a touching story to tell our children and to the next generation athletes. It’s a story of grass to grace; a story of a cat with nine lives; a story of faith towards God. I think we should document his story in our children comic books, write his biography and place them in every library in Nigeria. Kanu is our true role model.

Today, he goes about supporting our national teams. He still carries his special grace to win anywhere he goes. He was a great support during Super Eagles success in AFCON 2013; he was in UAE and motivated the Golden Eaglets to victory during the FIFA under 17 World cup. He was again in South Africa during CHAN and saw the home based players win bronze in the championship. I am sure he will be in Brazil this June to support Super Eagles in the 2014 FIFA world cup.

Only a man with the heart of love for humanity can establish a foundation like “Kanu Heart Foundation (KHS). Kanu had used his charisma, connections and a lot of his personal money to finance the treatment of children with cardiovascular diseases – giving back hope to hundreds of families in Africa.

His patriotic spirit is only comparable to that of Late Samuel Okwaraji. In his story are lessons for our politicians and for those in government. He’s a man who knows how to serve his country and how to give back to his people. Kanu has often displayed true love for our country Nigeria.

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