The Class of 2007 had so much attention on them after the Mikel’s class of 2005 had revealed to the country the vast amount of youthful...
The Class of 2007 had so much attention on them after the Mikel’s class of 2005 had revealed to the country the vast amount of youthful talents she had in her possession. The Flying Eagles under the wings of Ladan Bosso qualified for the U-20 World Cup held in Canada with expectations of a repeat feat of the 2005 tournament.
It was not meant to be a repeat of the year before with South American giants Chile knocking the Flying Eagles out of the competition in a 4-0 scoreline. But down the years it would not be all gloom with some players from this class representing the Super Eagles later on.
It should be mentioned the high calibre of players today that played in this tournament with golden boot winner Sergio Aguero an easy mention, Asmir Begovic, Mauricio Isla, Alexis Sanchez, Gerard Pique, Esteban Granero, Angel Di Maria, Juan Mata, Willian, Marcelo, Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, Alexandro Pato, Fabio Contreao, Shinji Kagawa, Javier Hernandez, Alexandre Pato, David Luiz etc. just a few to highlight.
So with that transition into the big limelight, it should be fair to know the current whereabouts about the class of 2007 and what they have been up to.
Our main goalkeeper of 2007 Ikechukwu Ezenwa has changed clubs three times from his professional start at Ocean Boys to his current team Sunshine Stars with stints at Heartland and Sharks F.C. Back-up keepers Femi Thomas and Moses Ocheje at Akwa United and Enyimba United respectively.
In one of the meanest defences of the competition till the Chile capitulation, Suraj Sodiq from Prime FC plays for the 3SC now. Elderson Echiejile starting at Wikki Tourists is now the regular leftback at AS Monaco after playing for Rennes and Braga. Akeem Latifu who recently got called up is in Alesund in Norway. Rock solid Efe Ambrose is currently plying his trade at Celtic since signing in 2012.
|Efe Ambrose Currently Plays In Scotland With Celtics|
|Elderson Echiejile In Action For AS Monaco|
Oladapo Olufemi after a brief stint with Anderlecht is now at Enyimba, Solomon Owello is in Norway but in the second division with Sadnes Ulf. Chukwuma Akabueze who was a revelation in the tournament is also in Norway with Odds BK rejoining them after leaving in 2011, scoring an impressive 49 goals in 144 appearances till date. Mozes Adams is rumored to be unattached after last playing in Israeli third division for Ironi Tiberias.
Captain of the side, Ezekiel Bala finds himself in Norway’s third division with Nybergsund after breaking through with Lyn Oslo. Brown Ideye has seen much movement from his early days at Bayelsa United, moving clubs six times with stints at Dynamo Kyiv and West Brom part of his senior career profile, the Bayelsa man currently plays in Greece with Olympiacos.
|Brown Ideye Scores For The Greek Side Against Dinamo Zagreb In The UCL|
The beautiful game has carried Ayodeji Adeniyi on a mission at Al-Najaf in Iraq, Nduka Ozokwo plays for Turkish second division side Adanaspor. Akeem Agbetu is in second division France with Le Havre AC. Blessing Okardi is home with Bayelsa United. Robert Egbeta is unattached after last playing with Llaneros in Colombia. Nazifi Inuwa and Kingsley Salami both of them said to last play for Kano Pillars and Heartland FC respectively.
|Compared To Our Star Players, Other U-20 Players Have Gone On To Have Illustrious Careers In Top-Flight Football|
It is a big contrast with our star players plying their trades in war-torn areas, third divisions of leagues in minnow countries given the Flying Eagles' dominance in this age group competition. It begs the question- if the U-20 really is a means to an end for some of our youth players, then what really is this end and if not the end of their careers in itself?
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