Much has been said about one-time Nigerian .ers who later take up the gloves to become goalkeepers in the game of football as they progress in their careers.
Some lack opportunities in their preferred roles, others could just be chance and destiny. Stars have also before now, retrace their steps by identifying that their strength lies in between the sticks and not necessarily on the field of . as an outright .er.
The goalkeeper position in football may have been looked upon as the least important position but ironically, no team in history has survived and won a match without one standing on the goal line; this cannot be said of any other position on the field of ..
Countless present-day goalkeepers had one time or the other been outfield .ers but ended up as star goalkeepers as the case may be.
This is the case of Abdulmalik Abdulazeez Opeyemi, a former United F.C striker who became a goalkeeper for a team he once .ed as a striker for months. Sports247naija was on the ground in one of Abdulmalik’s matches in a friendly game. His team, Cohesion FC had .ed against Solid Stars and the teenage goalkeeper propelled his side to a 4-1 win.
The 16-year-old showed the great talent embedded in him as he rose to the occasion by putting a man-of-the-match performance with numerous saves to his name. The lad has shown interest not only in football but also in academics and will study more if given the opportunity to do so.
Narrating his journey from being a striker to a goalkeeper, Abdulmalik said his being a goalkeeper was a result of chance.
“I was .ing as a striker and t. was a day our goalkeeper was not around because he was not feeling too well and we were not even complete on that match day. That’s how I just decided to man the post without being asked. The day I kept, I saved a lot of balls and my overall performance was very good so the team decided to freely give me the number 1 jersey. Right from that day, I have become a goalkeeper.
The upcoming lad has said that if given the opportunity, he will want to represent Nigeria on every level as it his dream to wear the green and white shirt of the Super Eagles someday.
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