Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Nigerian football legend and former J ÿteam captain, Christian Chukwu, has lamented the current condition of the Super Eagles, saying that the country does not have a team for now.
Chukwu, who was a guest on Channels Sports Sunday, also said that the Super Eagles coach, Jose Peseiro, should be based in the country to be able to discover local football talents to complement the foreign-based players.
“Our coach should come and stay with us in Nigeria. We have a lot of talents in Nigeria, in our local league and when you don’t camp and train them and forget about this we have a match, we come on Thursday, they train on Friday, they play on Saturday and they disperse again. We don’t have a team,” Chukwu, who was nicknamed Chairman for his leadership qualities during his playing days, said.
“Let’s come back home, all those playing overseas are good players. They have the opportunities, we have those players back home who are equally good but they don’t have that opportunity to go abroad and play and if you come here and discover them, let you be their manager and then expose them to the Europe people. We have players who are very good, better than the foreign-based players but they don’t have the opportunity.
“You have to come home and discover them and train them. I am not saying they should not be mixed with the foreign-based. Invite the foreign-based but give the home-based opportunity. They are the ones you can use to get anything you want to get.
“As far as I am concerned we don’t have a national team now because even our caches stay abroad, he comes with the players to come and play and travel again. He should come and reside here, let us work together, we are ready to help him with whatever he wants to achieve,” Chukwu, who also coached the Super Eagles from 2003 to 2006 said.
The former Enugu Rangers captained also recalled how his football fame boosted the butchery business of his father who initially did not want him to play football.
“You know those days when we were playing, the last thing your parents will notice is that you are playing ball. Your parents want you to be a lawyer, a doctor and all these things and even your mother and so on. When they move on the street, they hear their colleagues say, ‘Hey this is the father of Doctor this, this is the mother of Engineer this’ and so on.
“So, if your parents hear you are playing football, you are in soup. It got to a stage, I was lucky Dan Anyiam discovered me where I was playing and brought me to my parents and say, ‘if you don’t allow this boy to play football, we will stop his school career’ and everything, and that is how my parents removed their hands from then.
“When my parents started hearing my name, Christian Chukwu is playing football, my name started coming up and coming up more than the names of doctors, engineers and so on then they had to pedal back and that is how they started giving me the support.
“My father was a butcher, he kills a cow and others and he started getting customers, everybody started coming to them asking of me and so on and that is how they relaxed,” Chukwu recalled.