Sunday, 2 August 2020

Teslim Balogun is Nigeria's greatest footballer - Onigbinde

Teslim Balogun is Nigeria's greatest footballer - Onigbinde

Ex super eagles coach Adegboye Onigbinde has pictured the late Teslim "Thunder" Balogun as the greatest footballer ever to come out of Nigeria.

Marking the 48th anniversary of the death of  balogun, Onigbinde backed up his claim as he described the late Blogun’s goal at the Olubadan stadium against England as the greatest ever scored by a footballer known to him.

'As a footballer, he did many things players before his time, those of his time and after him have not been able to do with the ball.'

'The greatest goal scored by any player I have seen played football was scored by 'Thunder' Balogun at the Olubadan Stadium in 1968 in the match between the Nigerian national soccer team, the UK Tourists and England,'

Chief onigbinde disclosed that during the friendly game against England, the English players always marked him when he was on the ball as he fired a goal.

'English players were always on him each time he received the ball. To beat the pressure off, 'Thunder' stood outside the 18-yard box with his back turned at the England goalkeeper. But as soon as ball was floated to him, English players were expecting him to bring it down. But against their imagination, Balogun staggered a bit, and in turning, he fired a shot at the goalpost, which saw the goalkeeper diving the wrong," Onigbinde recalled.'

The ex Trinidad and Tobago gaffer further stated that the story of balogun is still fresh in the mind of Nigerians who watched him play.

'The story of 'Thunder' Balogun will never die. For those of us who watched him played, we saw him as Nigeria's greatest footballer.'

According to Onigbinde, Balogun passed away in his sleep on July 30, 1972 at 45 years as his legendary status still lives on.

'He died in his sleep on July 30, 1972 at the relatively young age of 45 years, but the heroics of Thunder Balogun live forever.'

Teslim Balogun earned himself a legendary status after he broke the record of being the first Nigerian to play professional football in England as he signed for Peterborough FC.

In 1949, he was a member of Nigeria’s maiden national team known as the UK Tourists team.
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