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The Story Behind The Glory Of Kanu Nwankwo A.k.a Papilo - Sports - Nairaland

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The Story Behind The Glory Of Kanu Nwankwo A.k.a Papilo by soccerblitz: 5:40pm On May 22, 2017
Welcome the inaugural edition of “The Story Behind The Glory.”

They say charity begins at home. So it wouldn’t be proper if we don’t start with one of Our own.

We are going to begin this series with Nigeria’s best player of all-time who goes by the name Nwankwo Kanu a.k.a Papilo.

The Brief

Nwankwo Kanu, OON (born 1 August 1976), or simply Kanu, is a retired Nigerian footballer who played as a forward. He was a member of and later captained the Nigerian national team for 16 years from 1994 until 2010. Kanu is a member of the Igbo ethnic group; his name, Nwankwo, means Child born on Nkwo market day in the Igbo languague.

Kanu has won a UEFA Champions League medal, a UEFA Cup medal, three FA Cup Winners Medals and two African Player of the Year awards amongst others. He is also one of few players to have won the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League, UEFA Cup and an Olympic Gold Medal. He made the third-most substitute appearances in Premier League history, appearing from the bench 118 times.
He is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

Club career


Born in Owerri, Nigeria, Kanu began his career at Nigerian league club Federation Works, before moving to Iwuanyanwu Nationale. After a notable performance at the U-17 World Championships he was signed by Dutch Eredivisie in 1993 for €207,047. He made his Ajax debut the following year and went on to score 25 goals in 54 appearances. Kanu also came on as a sub in Ajax’s 1995 Champions League final win over AC Milan. In 1996, Ajax sold Kanu to Serie A side Inter Milan for around $4.7 million. That summer he captained the Nigerian team that won gold at the Olympics, and scored two late goals in the semi-finals against powerhouses Brazil to overturn a 2–3 scoreline into a 4–3 win in extra time. Kanu was also named African Footballer of the Year for that year.

However, soon after returning from the Olympics, Kanu underwent a medical examination at Inter, which revealed a serious heart defect; he underwent surgery in November 1996 to replace an aortic valve and did not return to his club until April 1997. In interviews, Kanu frequently cites his faith as a Christian, and has often mentioned this trying time of his career as an occasion when he prayed to God. Kanu’s experience also led to his founding the Kanu Heart Foundation, an organisation that helps predominantly young African children who suffer heart defects and whose work was expanded to provide aid for homeless children in 2008.

Arsenal

In February 1999, after just twelve games and one goal for Inter, Kanu was signed by Arsenal for approximately £4.15 million. He made his debut for Arsenal, against Sheffield United in the FA Cup. With the score 1–1 and ten minutes to go, the Sheffield United goalkeeper Alan Kelly kicked the ball out of touch so that treatment could be given to Lee Morris. When the ball was thrown back into play by Ray Parlour, although it was intended for Kelly, Kanu chased the throw-in down the right wing unchallenged and centered the ball for Marc Overmars, who scored to make the match 2–1. After the match, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger accepted that it was not right sport-wise and offered to re-play the match which was again won by Arsenal.

Despite the events overshadowing his debut, Kanu’s career was quickly revived at Arsenal. He scored his first goal for the club in the next round of the cup against Derby County, coming off the bench to net the only goal of the game. He quickly became known for his goalscoring prowess from the bench, scoring important goals against Sheffield Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa as a substitute. He became very popular among the fans for his two-fingered salute which started in 1999 against Middlesbrough – something that he later explained was based on the team’s nickname, The Gunners.

SEE ALL HERE: http://soccerblitz.net/2017/05/22/story-behind-glory-kanu-nwankwo/

Re: The Story Behind The Glory Of Kanu Nwankwo A.k.a Papilo by Epositive(m): 5:46pm On May 22, 2017
nigga tall no be small cool

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