The 2013 Under-17 World Cup triumph was arguably one of the most enjoyed by Nigerian football fans. The talent on display was exceptional, and the enthusiasm with which the victory came was top notch.

It has been about eight years after that triumph, and all those players have moved on with their careers. At Soccernet, we conduct an inquest into the current situation of some members of that squad.

Kelechi Iheanacho

The performances of the then 16-year-old won him the Golden ball award in that tournament. His exploits didn’t go unnoticed, as a host of top European teams were after his signature, but Manchester City did enough to convince him to put pen to paper for them in January 2014.

Iheanacho started from the City Academy, where he played for two seasons before breaking into the first team in 2015 Under Manuel Pellegrini.

The situation was quite rosy for the Nigerian until Pep Guardiola succeeded Manuel Pellegrini at the helm of affairs in 2016.

Iheanacho struggled to get sufficient games, and he was sold to Leicester City for £27.7m in August 2017.

He has been at Leicester City since 2017.

Musa Mohammed

Musa Mohammed was the captain of the side. The 24-year-old didn’t light up the competition the way Iheanacho did, but he was quite sturdy in defence.

Mohammed joined Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir from Hearts Academy in July 2015. Due to his inability to pin down a first-team shirt, he was loaned out to Bosnian side Zeljeznicar the following season.

The wing-back then had another loan spell at Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the 2017/2018 season before moving on a permanent deal to Croatian side HNK Gorica in August 2018.

The former u17 World cup star is now an established starter at the Croatian side.

Taiwo Awoniyi

Of the players that played in the World Cup, he is one of the most travelled. His excellent ball play convinced England top-flight giants Liverpool to sign him in August 2015.

Due to injury issues and his inability to secure a work permit, the forward spent over five years of his Liverpool career on loan spells at different clubs in Germany, Belgium and Netherland.

His breakthrough came last season, as after an impressive season with Union Berlin, he was able to secure an English work permit.

The Ilorin born striker made it to Jurgen Klopp’s pre-season squad, but a move to Union Berlin was in the offing, and he grabbed it.

Awoniyi will play for Union Berlin next season.

Chidiebere Nwakali

Nwakali was one of the players that set the competition alight with his incredible ability. It was not a surprise when he was snapped up by Manchester City barely five months after the competition.

Nwakali started from the City Academy in 2014. After the 14/15 season, he went on different loan deals to clubs like Girona and IK Start.

In 2018, he joined the Polish side, Rakow, which didn’t go well for him as his contract was terminated just three months after joining.

Moves to Kalmar FF and Tuzlaspor in 2019 and 2020 respectively didn’t go well for the midfielder, and right now, the Nigerian is without a club.

Dele Alampasu

Alampasu was touted to be the next big thing for Nigeria in between the sticks, but he hasn’t lived up to the billing.

The 6’7 goalkeeper moved to the Estoril youth team in 2015. He then signed for Feirense the following season.

His inability to pin down a regular shirt at the Portuguese side made him move to Latvian side, Ventspils, in February last year.

Alampasu is now without a club as his contract with Ventspils has expired.


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