Wilfred Ndidi feeling
the fresh air in England
Wilfred Ndidi is not like most footballers, not many are raised in a military zone in Lagos, not many are signed by Scottish manager Alex McLleish for Belgian club Genk and not many are purchased by then Premier League champions Leicester City at the tender age of 19 for the hefty sum of 16 million pounds. Wilf as his team-mates call him, is cut from a different cloth.

The Leicester City midfielder helped his mother sell fruit and food in order to sustain his household before he became a professional footballer", he moved to Europe in 2015 where he joined Belgian side Genk and he has joined former English champions Leicester in 2017.

He revealed on Out of Home Podcast, " Though we had some ups and downs and trying to meet up with some bills, I was always there for my mum,” My mum was a food vendor and I supported her by hawking. I don’t regret that because growing up was really tough because it was all about survival. There were no fruits that I didn’t sell.

" I was the market boy and I was known mostly for selling groundnuts because it comes out every season. Just name them – I sold peppers, tomatoes and avocado. We basically sold fruits that came with different seasons. All these were done to survive in the military zone and outside.”

" It was difficult because my dad wanted me to go to school but there was no money. What made it easier for me was that when he was transferred out of Lagos,” I had the freedom because when he was around, if I go out to train and he gets home before me, I have to explain where I was coming from. When I tell him I went to play football, I get whooped.

" My mum kept complaining because I didn’t have the time to wash my clothes and training kits because I had to go hawk for her, but before I return, she would have washed them. That was the routine until I left my mum for Nath Boys.”

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Now a famed and feared defensive midfielder throughout the world, Ndidi has made over 100  league appearances for Leicester City and represented Nigeria in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Not a bad one for a boy who was constantly told he was too skinny for the beautiful game.

Furthermore, the 23-year speaks on being forced to train away from team-mates due the Corona outbreak and shutdown of Premier League football. 

" We have to follow protocol, training indoors, training in the gym and in the garden. It’s boring, I won’t lie. It’s not like training with others, there’s no-one competing with you or something.

" I would say we can’t wait for everything to be over and come back to our normal lives”. because I really miss my coach, Brendan Rogers teaching and coaching instructions also,

" I won’t lie to you, I have improved as a player under him, When he came I understood simple things I never knew. Like understanding space, understanding the game, where you can actually be and improving yourself and technique.”
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