The Super Eagles of Nigeria got through to the semi-finals of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, after beating South Africa 2-1 at the Cairo international Stadium.
A certain Samuel Chukwueze got his name on the score sheet alongside William Troost-Ekong. That goal was Chukwueze’s first international goal for Nigeria and it also made him the youngest player so far to have scored in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Speaking after the match in Cairo, Chukwueze, who replaced Moses Simon, in starting the match, said the night was a dream come through for him.
According to him: “I feel so happy to be named as man-of-the-match because it has not been easy for me and the team. I have been working so hard.
“This is my first international outing with the Super Eagles as well as my first senior goal. It is a dream comes true for me. This makes me feel so happy and don’t know how to express it.”
Fans of the Super Eagles have since been calling for the head of Coach Gernot Rohr, for failing to play Chukwueze since the start of the competition especially considering the dismal 2-0 loss to Madagascar during the group stages.
This is because the 20-year- old thrilled Nigerians with amazing displays against the Bafana Bafana, which he toppled with a goal. He is always compared to Arjen Robben because of his tremendous skills.
It is hard to forget his dazzling show against FC Barcelona in Aprin 2019 where he scored and helped Villarreal come from a 2-0 deficit, to a stunning 4-4 draw against the Catalans.
But who really is Samuel Chukwueze?
Samuel Chimerenka Chukwueze was born in Umuahia Abia state on 22nd May, 1999. He was brought up in a Christian family with a younger brother and a younger sister.
He attended Government College Umuahia and Evangel Secondary School.
He started playing football when he was eight years old and he admired Nigerian legend, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha as his football idol growing up.
Chukwueze joined Villarreal CF youth setup in 2017 from local side Diamond Football Academy. He made his senior debut with the reserves on 15 April 2018, coming on as a second-half substitute for Sergio Lozano in a 1–1 Segunda División B away draw against CE Sabadell FC.
He scored his first senior goal on 20 May 2018 in a 3–1 away defeat of Bilbao Athletic and further contributed with two more goals in eleven appearances during his first season for the team, as his side missed out promotion in the play-offs.
In April 2019, he won the Nigeria Football Federation’s 2018 Young Player of the Year award.
Chukwueze first donned the Nigerian colours in 2015 at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile where he scored three goals for the Golden Eaglets, en route to winning the trophy.
He waited for three years, before receiving his first call-up to the senior team in October 2018.
He made his debut for the Super Eagles of Nigeria on 20 November 2018 as a starter in a 0–0 friendly draw against Uganda and has gotten his first goal for the Super Eagles against South Africa in AFCON 2019.
It remains to be seen the exploits the wonder kid has in his sleeves, as Nigeria and the world at large keep their eyes on him.