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7 things we learnt from a recent interview with Super Eagles midfielder

Wilfred Ndidi
It’s a rare thing to see an in-depth interview of any top Nigerian player where their early life, struggles and triumphs are broken into tiny and emotional pieces.
These players are rarely home for a local Nigerian journalist to get the chance to juice much from them. We are left with the few minutes given to us by the Media Officer of the Super Eagles to get as much as we can get which is never enough.
Back where they are based, Nigerian players are often not the focus of the media, so it’s rare to see a revealing interview with a Nigerian player.
A week ago, however, Melissa Reddy of Joe Uk visited Super Eagles midfielder Wilfred Ndidi at Leicester City’s Belvoir Drive Training Ground for an interview.
Premier League 17/18
Ndidi Onyinye
21 years (16/12/96), 187 cm, 80 kg
Preferred foot  Right
Leicester City
Previous clubs
Genk ('15 - '17)
Matches played32 | 34
Minutes played2848
Next match
Crystal Palace
Premier League
goals by header0
Goals per match0.00
League Average0.16
minutes per goal0
League Average820
Shots on target8
Shots off target18
Shots blocked12
Shooting accuracy
League Average
Passing accuracy
League Average
Conversion Rate
League Average
Successful duels
Ndidi in the interview talked about life growing up in Lagos, his early struggles in Belgium and life in the Premier League.
These are five things we learnt from the interview.

1. Ndidi is a nice guy and hugely loved by staff at Leicester City

In the introduction to the interview, the writer Reddy revealed how much Ndidi is well liked at Leicester City.
She revealed how Ndidi helped a cameraman who was struggling to move his equipment, held the door for a Leicester City staff carrying a bunch of boxes and greeted everyone around with a warm smile.
That’s typical Ndidi, it’s always about how he can help,” a Leicester City official told the interviewer.

2. Ndidi stayed with a Belgian couple

Wilfred Ndidi play Ndidi stayed with a Belgian couple when he first joined Genk (Twitter)

When Ndidi went to Belgium for trials, he couldn’t stay in a hotel, so Genk arranged for him to stay with a Belgian couple Theo, Marleen van Vlierden and their son Christophe.
Ndidi is still very close to the family and invites them to England once in a while.

3. Ndidi grew up in the Barracks

Ndidi’s dad was a soldier, a sergeant in the Nigerian army and the midfielder grew up at the Ikeja military cantonment.
He is the eldest of three children.

4. Ndidi was first discovered by Nduka Ugbade

The Super Eagles midfielder was first discovered by former Golden Eaglets captain Nduka Ugbade who was a coach at Command Children School at the Military Cantonment in Ikeja, the school Ndidi attended.

5. Best of the bunch

Ronald Janssen who used to work as a scout for Genk first discovered Ndidi at a local tournament he was playing in with his then club Nath Boys Academy.
With about 40 teams competing in the tournament, there about 500 players featuring that day.

6. He wasn’t given a contract after his first trial

Wilfred Ndidi play 7 things we learnt from a recent interview with Wilfred Ndidi (Pawel Andrachiewicz/PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images)

After his first trial at Genk, Ndidi was not given a contract because of at that point he was a non-Eu player under 18, so he returned to Nigeria.
A year, however, he was signed for the bargain fee of £78,000 from Nath Boys.

7. He started as a central defender

Ndidi is currently earning critical applause for his performances as a defensive midfielder but he started as a defender at Genk before he was converted.
7 things we learnt from a recent interview with Super Eagles midfielder 7 things we learnt from a recent interview with Super Eagles midfielder Reviewed by opeyemi on 8:32:00 am Rating: 5