Nigerian football lovers were thrown into a sad state today (January 12), when news of Wilson Oruma’s mental breakdown went viral. The legendary midfielder is yet to recover from the trauma of losing his life savings (N1.2 billion) in a fake oil business few years ago (2012).
While many retired footballers spend most of their time travelling around the world as they enjoy the proceeds of their career, Oruma now lives like a destitute. The glory of a successful football career is not visible in his career in his current state of life. But only mid-aged football lovers can clearly recollect the joyful days of this national legend. Sit back and read as we take you through five unforgettable moments that Oruma brought glory to Nigeria.
1993 Under-17 Championship: Oruma played an integral role in the team that lifted Nigeria’s second Under-17 world cup trophy. After failing to retain our form that made us Under-17 champions in 1985, Wilson Oruma was part of the super squad that restored Nigeria’s name to global prominence by lifting the 1993 trophy. He was the highest goal scorer in the tournament (6 goals).
1998 FIFA World Cup: I am sure you have heard tales that Nigeria once reached the quarter final stage of the world cup. Well, those stories are true and Oruma was part of the team that achieved this feat. They became the first African nation to ever reach the world-cup final. Though Ghana equaled their record in the 2010 world cup, It has not been broken till date.
Atlanta 96: The phrase “Atlanta 96” has been on the lips of our elders for a very long time. Well the story behind that ever green phrase is the story of Nigeria’s supreme reign in world football when we became the first and only African country to ever win a gold medal in Olympic football history. Oruma was part of the team that defeated Argentina in the final to set the long standing record.
2002 African Cup of Nations: Oruma joined the likes of Kanu and Okocha to guide Nigeria to a third place position in the 2002 African cup of Nations
2006 African Cup of Nations: Oruma was part of the team that reached the 2006 African Cup of Nations semi-final stage.
Photo Credit: Getty


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