June 12, 2017

                                           (L-R; Ovie Ejaria, Dominic Solanke and Sheyi Ojo)

England have won the U-20 World Cup; their first World Cup of any kind since 1966. For the English, it's a day of joy and celebration, but for Nigerians there a little tinge of sadness (and not just because South Africa came to our backyard to plaster us yesterday).

Dominic Solanke
Oviemuno Ejaria
Joshua Onomah
Ademola Lookman
Sheyi Ojo
Fikayo Tomori

To the English, these names are some of their World Cup heroes, but to an average Nigerian there's something striking about the names above; they are ALL Nigerian. These boys have fulfilled their dreams of winning a World Cup; too bad they did it in the colours of England and not Nigeria. It's no secret anymore that a lot of countries have successful athletes who originated from these shores. In football alone we can mention quite a few "exported talents"; and England have been chief benefactors.

Two of our 9ja boys  the England youngsters listed above; Dominic Solanke and Ademola Lookman; were in particularly lethal form throughout the tournament. Both scored 4 goals enroute to the trophy win. Solanke particularly was very decisive with his goals, two of them coming in the 3-1 semi-final win over Italy; and he rightly took home the Golden Ball award for the tournament's best player.

                              (Dominic Solanke with the Golden Ball and U-20 World Cup trophy)

Considering the U-20 World Cup is the only age-group tournament Nigeria has failed to win (we've conquered U-17 and U-23 level), how nice it would have been if these our exported talents were donning the Nigerian jersey and representing their parents' fatherland. We've lost a lot of talents to other countries in different sports, and sadly I think we're going to lose a lot more given how shambolic our football setup is at the moment.

                                       (Sheyi Ojo posing with his medal and the trophy)

My appeal now is to our fellow Nigerians who like to go overseas to born pikin; abeg born them here so we can start keeping these talents at home biko! LOL

Ff me on Twitter @TCharis_DRO

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