Opabunmi eyes top flight return

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.