Victor Moses for Nigeria ????
Two years ago, a colleague who sat next to me at work, a Crystal Palace season ticket holder, asked if I had heard of a Nigerian footballer called Victor Moses. At the time, I had never heard the name, but over the last 12 months, Victor Moses has slowly been catching everyone's attention, and may have played his last match for Crystal Palace. Crystal Palace are reluctantly looking to sell him to ease their financial problems, and the interested clubs are rumoured to be Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool and Manchester City(currently favourites to land him). He is currently the hottest football property outside the premiership at the moment and looks to command a transfer fee of between £3-5 million depending on which news paper you read.
His back story: Victor Moses was born in Nigeria, and lived in Kaduna. His father was a pastor and was killed during one of Nigeria's many religious riots, back in 2002. (Sadly, today's news is reporting religious clashes in Jos, it's so sad how we are still fighting the same battles so many years on). Within a week of his parents being killed, Victor was brought to London, where he was registered as an asylum seeker.(Read his full back story here, although I RESENT the use of the term "war torn Nigeria" in that article)
In 2005, he helped his school (Whitgif) to win the FA Youth Cup with a superb display, he was 14 at the time, and already attending Crystal Palace's academy.
The young man seems destined for the big time.
The big question, will he ever play for Nigeria? He has already played for the England U-19 side, but can still switch to Nigeria if he so wishes. Can the right Nigerian manager convince this man to switch allegiance, or will England get him, just like they have already 'captured' Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor ? The Nigerian team, for some inexplicable reason, is currently being built around the cretin that is Chelsea's John Obi Mikel, however, building the team around this 19 year old lad will be a long term aspiration, and hopefully we can find the players to play around him, and build a team that can challenge for the World Cup sometime in the future. Looking at the current team in the Nations Cup, you can tell we are desperately in need of a creative spark in midfield, and Moses fits the bill.
Sadly, given his personal tragedy back in Nigeria, I doubt that this young man will ever wear Super Eagles green.
As a Nigerian, I have grown up reading about religious crises in the north, but this story just goes to show that innocent people are the ones who end up with scars for life. I am just pleased that this young man has at least managed to put the past behind him, and is poised to make a success of his life.