Former Nigeria international Odion Ighalo has disclosed the driving force behind his journey as a footballer.
Before joining Manchester United on loan from Shanghai Shenhua, the 30-year-old had featured for Lyn, Udinese, Granada, Cesena, Watford and Changchun Yatai.
On the international scene, Ighalo captained Nigeria U20 to the 2009 Fifa U20 World Cup title in Egypt.
At senior level, he scored 16 goals in 35 senior appearances before drawing the curtain on his Super Eagles career after winning the topscorer’s prize at 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
Ighalo cited the inspiration from young Lagos kids and his mother as the catalysts which spurred him on to take up football as a career.
“Where I grew up in Nigeria, in Lagos, every kid’s desire is to play football. When I would see kids going out to play football, I would like to join them to play,” he told the club website.
“That is how I got that passion to play football. Every day, I had to go out there and join the guys to play football.
“My mum, too, is one of my inspirations, because she always encouraged me.
“Even when my dad was not supportive when I started, she encouraged me, pushed me through and supported me in every way, though the steps I took when I was young to be who I am today.
“So I would say my mum inspired me, my siblings and some friends around me as well.”