The Minister of Youth and Sports development, Mr Sunday Dare, on Wednesday thumb up Nigeria’s Samuel Chukwueze for his spectacular display for his club Villarreal which denied Bayern Munich from progressing in the 2022 Champions League.
Chukwueze who came in as a substitute fired the only goal which ensured that Villarreal beat Bayern to book a semi-final ticket on Tuesday.
The Minister who then received the Champions League trophy in his office at the Moshood Abiola National stadium Abuja expressed optimism that Chukwueze, who is the only Nigerian left in the competition will hopefully be the next compatriot to put his hands on the trophy.
Dare recalled with nostalgia the memorable achievements of the trio of former Nigerian internationals – Kanu Nwankwo, Finidi George and John Mikel Obi – in the UEFA Champions League.
He said, “Nigerians have made significant inclusion into the UEFA Champions League. We can go down memory lane to recall Finidi George and Kanu Nwankwo, who were teammates to Clarence Seedorf who is here with us today.
“They won the Champions League trophy at Ajax in 1995. Austin Jay Jay Okocha, Daniel Amokachi, Kanu Nwankwo and along with Finidi George represent the golden generation of Nigeria football stars till date.
“Again in 2012, John Mikel Obi won the trophy with Chelsea and in November 1992, it was on record that the first goal scored in the present format of the competition was scored by Nigerian Daniel Amokachi.”