Indeed, from nothing to now earning £50,000 British pounds (equivelent to N96 million NGN) a month...Wilfred Ndidi could rightly say "My time has come...and it is the lord's doing!
Wilfred Ndidi, Leicester City and Nigeria midfielder, recounts how it all began for him, a career in football that is now looking so bright than ever.?
Ndidi says he could have easily been doing something else, after his father insisted he faced his books...and he had to move away from home to Lagos.
Life was tough when Ndidi started out at Ikeja Cantonment, where he had to squat with a junior Army officer...and daily they fed only on Agoyi Ewa (Beans paste) and Agege bread.
Then he was playing with Nath Boys, a kind of football academy at Police College Ikeja Lagos. Ndidi revealed that he was the only one of 500 boys spotted at a football tournament in Nigeria; watched by some foreign scouts. He was then invited for a trial at Genk.
“I didn’t score [to impress Genk], I was actually playing in central defence,” Ndidi told our correspondence.
“My coach told me not to play long balls, so I just made a one-two and another one-two and then I gave a pass, made an assist...
“It was important because we were an academy, we played a team from the Nigerian Premier League [and we were only an academy], 3SC Shooting Stars, who were winning 1-0. I gave that pass and made it 1- 1.
“I was the only one selected out of 40 teams, 500 players. I had to go and do trials in Genk. After a year, the club gave me a contract.
“It was difficult coming to Europe. When I came to Belgium, I had to stay with a foster family to cut down cost and integrate quickly into the way of life in Europe. The family I stayed with tried to make me feel like I was at home. It was the time of the trial. So when I came home every day I felt like part of the family, it felt like home and made it easier.”
"Thanks to Al'mighty God. I think it is my time today, tomorrow may be yours. I also thank all the people that has in one way or another contributed to my progress..."
The Nigerian star completed a £17 million move from Genk to Leicester City in January and has gone on to put up some fine displays in the Premier League as well as UEFA Champions League.
20% of the sign-on fee went to KRC Genk. Nath boys got 10% of the fee and could also get another 5% if they successfully prove they are the team to be paid the training compensation for the Nigeria international.