Former Nigeria international Femi Opabunmi

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Femi Opabunmi

Posted: 6 March 2010 Time: 19:21

Former Nigeria international Femi Opabunmi says he is working his way back to football after eye surgery which has kept him out of the game for about two years.

Opabunmi told KickOffNigeria.com that he was on the verge of going blind in 2007 and had to go for emergency eye surgery.

"I had been having problems seeing, even when I was on the field. When it got very serious, I went to see a doctor and they told me that if I did not go for an operation, I would be totally blind in 10 days. "So I went in for the operation in Paris, and I have been out of football since then," he said.

Opabunmi, who is now looking slightly squint-eyed, says the surgery cost a lot of money but is grateful to two of his Nigeria colleagues for their assistance.

"It was a very expensive operation, and it cost me a lot of money, but Osaze Odemwingie and Seyi Olofinjana were the two people who assisted me with the expenses."

Despite the long absence from football, Opabunmi insists he is far from finished and says he is now looking forward to getting back into top flight football.

"I am now training with 3SC, and I hope that by the time the transfer window opens, after the World Cup, I can return to Europe and join a good club."

Opabunmi, now 25, was the star of the Nigerian Under-17 team which won silver in 2001, winning both the silver shoes, as second highest goalscorer, and the bronze ball, for third best player in the tourney.

A year later, he was selected Adegboyega Onigbinde for the World Cup and became the youngest Nigerian player and the third youngest ever at 17 to play at the World Cup when he took to the pitch against England.

He subsequently joined Grasshoppers Zurich but spent an injury-blighted four years before moving to France with Chamois Niortais and then dropping off the radar.

Previous comments on this story...

I DON SHOW
posted: 07:32 pm
so pity bro.... welcome back to the field of green grass.
I DON SHOW
posted: 07:54 pm
so pity bro.... welcome back to the field of green grass.
toride
posted: 07:56 pm
old man. ur mate still de top flight instead u go increase ur age by 15yrs. X+15= 42yrs
Super Green
posted: 09:51 pm
Good to see a useless player making a comeback haha..
Anonymous
posted: 11:27 pm
can people show humanity and kindness to each other?




nelson4u.
Anonymous
posted: 01:04 am
my dear formites pls do not bother to read this article...it is solely meant for KEN GADDAFFI...by the way did my dear formites watch messi today against Almeri (uche kalus team)....Messi is just incredible........

@ken gaddafii...this is an article i got today from goal.com....pleasant reading......

African Comment: Did Sacking Shaibu Amodu And Vahid Halilhodzic Make Sense?
Rami Ayari examines whether the FAs of Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire made the right decision by sacking their managers with the World Cup fast approaching.
By Rami Ayari
Mar 4, 2010 11:30:00 AM
Photo GalleryZoom
Vahid Halilhodzic (Ivory Coast)
Related Links
Teams
Ivory Coast
Nigeria
With the World Cup on the horizon and quickly closing in, it is truly unfortunate that all is not well with two African giants that are expected to fly the flag for the continent at the world’s premier sporting event. Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire can boast some of the deepest talent pools in Africa and perhaps on the entire planet, but unfortunately their FAs have hampered their respective squads by either displaying a frightening lack of vision or not following through on their initial convictions.

Nigeria belongs in the former category. The football administrators in the west African nation are very much to blame for the current situation that the Super Eagles find themselves in, and I believe that this primarily stems from their stubborn refusal to sack the tactically inept Shaibu Amodu immediately after they had qualified for the World Cup.

You might call that a harsh ***essment but it’s far from it. As a Tunisian, I followed Nigeria’s World Cup qualifying campaign very closely given that the Carthage Eagles were pitted against them, Kenya and Mozambique in the same group. From the first game it was abundantly clear that the side was not cohesive defensively, put hardly any effort into recovering the ball once they lost it, and had no clear strategy going forward. For a proud nation with their vast array of players plying their trade in top leagues across the European continent, it was inexcusable to see them play so poorly.

Their match against Tunisia in Abuja was even more shocking. In what was essentially a must win game at the time, the Nigerians left spaces in midfield and at the back that their visitors could never have dreamed of finding in such a high stakes away match. Then having taken the lead twice, the score was levelled almost instantly both times by the north Africans.

The schoolboy mistakes bore the hallmark of a team that wasn’t well drilled and desperately lacking any sort of discipline. Some might argue otherwise but the fact remains that, on the final day, Nigeria needed a favor from the Black Mambas to book their ticket to South Africa and that was a clear sign that things needed to change.

It was an incredibly close call that the football administrators should never have been content with. After their p***age was fortunately secured, the wise decision would have been to cut their losses right there and then. Instead, Angola 2010 saw the Super Eagles take third place, but save for some spells in the first half of their opening match against Egypt, they were unimpressive to say the least.

Sacking Amodu immediately after the qualifiers had come to a close would have afforded his eventual successor the opportunity to benefit from having a precious month with all his players together during the Africa Cup of Nations. Such an extended period would have allowed him to potentially instill his vision but the Nigerian Football Federation decided against this option and now Lars Lagerback is in a difficult position and faces a race against time. My aim isn’t to ***ess whether or not the target that’s been set for him, a semi-final finish in South Africa, is realistic but only to say this situation could have easily been averted had the NFF acted swiftly.

Anonymous
posted: 01:10 am
my dear formites pls do not bother to read this article...it is solely meant for KEN GADDAFFI...by the way did my dear formites watch messi today against Almeri (uche kalus team)....Messi is just incredible........

@ken gaddafii...this is an article i got today from goal.com....pleasant reading......

African Comment: Did Sacking Shaibu Amodu And Vahid Halilhodzic Make Sense?
Rami Ayari examines whether the FAs of Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire made the right decision by sacking their managers with the World Cup fast approaching.
By Rami Ayari
Mar 4, 2010 11:30:00 AM
Photo GalleryZoom
Vahid Halilhodzic (Ivory Coast)
Related Links
Teams
Ivory Coast
Nigeria
With the World Cup on the horizon and quickly closing in, it is truly unfortunate that all is not well with two African giants that are expected to fly the flag for the continent at the world’s premier sporting event. Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire can boast some of the deepest talent pools in Africa and perhaps on the entire planet, but unfortunately their FAs have hampered their respective squads by either displaying a frightening lack of vision or not following through on their initial convictions.

Nigeria belongs in the former category. The football administrators in the west African nation are very much to blame for the current situation that the Super Eagles find themselves in, and I believe that this primarily stems from their stubborn refusal to sack the tactically inept Shaibu Amodu immediately after they had qualified for the World Cup.

You might call that a harsh ***essment but it’s far from it. As a Tunisian, I followed Nigeria’s World Cup qualifying campaign very closely given that the Carthage Eagles were pitted against them, Kenya and Mozambique in the same group. From the first game it was abundantly clear that the side was not cohesive defensively, put hardly any effort into recovering the ball once they lost it, and had no clear strategy going forward. For a proud nation with their vast array of players plying their trade in top leagues across the European continent, it was inexcusable to see them play so poorly.

Their match against Tunisia in Abuja was even more shocking. In what was essentially a must win game at the time, the Nigerians left spaces in midfield and at the back that their visitors could never have dreamed of finding in such a high stakes away match. Then having taken the lead twice, the score was levelled almost instantly both times by the north Africans.

The schoolboy mistakes bore the hallmark of a team that wasn’t well drilled and desperately lacking any sort of discipline. Some might argue otherwise but the fact remains that, on the final day, Nigeria needed a favor from the Black Mambas to book their ticket to South Africa and that was a clear sign that things needed to change.

It was an incredibly close call that the football administrators should never have been content with. After their p***age was fortunately secured, the wise decision would have been to cut their losses right there and then. Instead, Angola 2010 saw the Super Eagles take third place, but save for some spells in the first half of their opening match against Egypt, they were unimpressive to say the least.

Sacking Amodu immediately after the qualifiers had come to a close would have afforded his eventual successor the opportunity to benefit from having a precious month with all his players together during the Africa Cup of Nations. Such an extended period would have allowed him to potentially instill his vision but the Nigerian Football Federation decided against this option and now Lars Lagerback is in a difficult position and faces a race against time. My aim isn’t to ***ess whether or not the target that’s been set for him, a semi-final finish in South Africa, is realistic but only to say this situation could have easily been averted had the NFF acted swiftly.

Anonymous
posted: 06:59 am
Opabumi's injury is as a result of "OLD AGE" ...
He cheated himself and delared his age as 17 yrs. old to ONIGBINDE at 2002 world cup.

this man is close to 40 yrs now, no need of return he should use his savings to start cigar business.

17 yrs. indeed...
Anonymous
posted: 02:03 pm
ANIMAL IN HUMAN SKIN @EMANUEL
Emanuel or what ever you call your name show some humanity and digity, the guy just nearly lost an eye and you calling him a useless footballer, if that na ur brother you go call am useless, you behave like an idiot and an animal, you need to show some digity and some maturity, i bet u no even finish SS1, you a disgrace.

There is more to life than football, so next time you be like a human beeing not like animal.
Anonymous
posted: 06:59 pm
Sorry Opabunmi, a situation whereby someone is just recovering from 2 years of ailment and having suffered so much pain, some people instead of being human and showing some sympathy, have decided to turn to terror by showing unhuman attitude, what a pity. If God were men.

God bless Nigeria.
Anonymous
posted: 09:49 pm
Well, Femi...we wish you all the best in your come-back bid. Take care of your eyes o...a slight squint is still worrisome...if you need an eye-guide, don't be ashamed to use it; prevention is better than collapse. Good luck.
Anonymous
posted: 01:08 am
Fellow Nigerians:
It appears everyone missed the part of the story that Osaze and Seyi helped shoulder the financial burdens of the surgery. Brothers Osaze and Seyi, may God Almighty replenish whatever you spent a million times, because it shows that you have generous hearts and you will do more if you have more. God bless you Osaze and Seyi and your families in Jesus' name, Amen. May you never lack in Jesus' name, Amen. May you not have injuries in Jesus' name, Amen. May you shine in your careers on and off football in Jesus' name, Amen. Na una brother for US dey salute una kampe. Forumites, God bless una and una families too in Jesus' name, Amen.
Anonymous
posted: 04:58 am
It is nice 2 c him back on d pitch..
Anonymous
posted: 09:08 am
@okey, stop making a mockery of yourself and face issues rather than all these self aggrandizement of yours.

THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH
Anonymous
posted: 09:14 am
Opabunmi is one player that really didnt live up to his expectation. His case is like Walcot of England. I had the opportunity to have a close contac with him while in 3sc back in 2001/2002 and had expected him to go on to shine in the world stage but for injuries. Lets hope he can make it back to club football before talking about the national team. Ride on OPA.

THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH
Anonymous
posted: 09:17 am
@mick, it should be "If men were GOD"

THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH
Anonymous
posted: 11:24 am
the only striking thing i noticed on this report was the intervention of Osaze and Seyi in Femi's case. this is what we are talking about. even though Femi might be a good friend to this duos, it will be nice if other big footballers follow suit by helping those in need in terms of the football industry. Thank God Femi is fit now and i know that soonest, he will return to where he truly belong.

Note: Again Okey and Ken Gadaffi at it, you guys are just picking out big stones from mountain rock. one should be mature enough to ignore the other in other for peace to reign in this forum. Lately, Ken Gadaffi has been carried away by statement from Okey thereby making him to be on the offensive side instead of the defensive side that we use to know.

Best Regards
Daniel Omorere

daniomoga@yahoo.com

best regards
Daniel.
Anonymous
posted: 02:18 pm
It's good to hear that Olofinjana and Osaze assisted their fellow Nigerian player in his time of need. Kudos to you guys and keep it up.
Anonymous
posted: 05:37 pm
Osaze and Olofinjana, u guys are really example of the biblical saying that we should be our brothers keepers. May God in his infinit mercies send help to u in times of need. Ken gadafi, I read your comment and on Opa Femi. You sounded very well here. keep it up and always pray for SE.
Anonymous
posted: 12:28 am
@Ken gadaffi, thanks for that, I never took notice of it, we are here exactly for that. I appreciate my guy.

God bless Nigeria.
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