Dubbed as “Lionel Musa” after netting twice in Nigeria’s much talked about 2018 Fifa World Cup Group D win over Iceland that kept alive Argentina’s hope of progressing to the knockout stage, Ahmed Musa is expected to be at the centre of attraction when the Super Eagles, with the youngest squad of this tournament, take on the Albiceleste Tuesday night.
Here are 10 interesting facts about the 25-year old Nigerian forward.
1. Birth and parents: Musa was born to Christian mother Sarah Moses and Muslim father Alhaji Musa, in 1992 in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. His father passed away over 20 years ago, leaving his wife to look after Musa and his four daughters.
2. Early stage: Musa’s first professional side, Jos University Teching Hospital Football Club, went defunct in 2013 due to lack of funds. There, he played 18 matches in two seasons. Musa earlier grew up at GBS Football Academy from where he was spotted as an “undiscovered talent” by a local publication.
3. First record: Musa featured for Kano Pillars FC in the 2009-10 season, the second club of his career. This was also the last time he played for a Nigerian club. Musa set a new record of scoring the highest number of goals in a single season in the history of the Nigeria Premier League. The record however, lasted for less than two years.
4. National call-up: Musa made his national team debut at the 2010 Wafu Nations Cup and was later called up to the national camp ahead of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He missed the tournament though due to ankle injury.
5. European adventure: Musa cut his footballing teeth in Europe at the age of only 17 when he joined Dutch club VVV-Venlo in the summer of 2010. Following two impressive seasons in the Netherlands’ top-flight, Musa moved to CSKA Moscow in the Russian Premier League, where he played four seasons, before transfering to the English Premier League, signing for Leicester City in 2016 for a club record fee.
6. Record against Argentina in debut World Cup: Musa became the first Nigerian to score a brace in a single World Cup match, that too against the Albiceleste, in 2014. The Group F match however, ended 3-2 in Argentina’s favour.
Four years ago today, Lionel Messi scored twice as #ARG beat #NGA 3-2 at the #WorldCup in Brazil. "Messi is from Jupiter," the late Stephen Keshi said afterwards. Ahmed Musa netted both goals for the Super Eagles. pic.twitter.com/jYbclPWQYZ— Ben Hayward (@bghayward) June 25, 2018
7. International goals: Fifteen of Musa’s international goals so far have been scored against a total of 10 countries, incluging eight from Africa and the remaining two being Argentina and Iceland.
8. More records in Russia World Cup: Musa is now the first Nigerian to score at two World Cup finals (2014 and 2018). With four strikes, he is also the country’s all-time highest scorer in the finals.
9. Honours and awards: Musa was adjudged most valuable player in the 2011 African Youth Championship, shortlisted for the Golden Ball at the 2011 Fifa U-20 World Cup and also won the AIT Footballer of the Year award in the same year. He also became Nigerian Premier League top-scorer in 2009-10 and Russian Cup highest scorer in 2012-13.
10. Marriage life: Musa first tied the knot with Jamila around six years ago. After the couple’s separation, Musa married Juliet Ejue last year.