Two years after holding the world spellbound with his striking prowess, which earned him the Most Valuable Player award at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, Kelechi Iheanacho says his ultimate ambition is to be the best player in the world.
Iheanacho, a member of the Nigeria men’s junior national team to the current FIFA Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand, has yet to prove his mettle with the Flying Eagles but has in recent time received accolades for his sterling performances as a Manchester City youth team player.
Reportedly, among the Flying Eagles player in New Zealand, the striker has been the most sought-after for media interviews. The 18-year-old told FIFA TV: “I hope to continue to make progress in my career and one day be the best player in the world. I hope God will help me to achieve this.
That’s my dream.” Scorer of six goals at the cadet tournament in the UAE, Iheanacho said he wishes to surpass the feat at the competition in New Zealand.
“I am 100% ready to make an impact at this World Cup, even more than at the Under-17 World Cup,” he vowed. “We want to win something for Nigeria as a team, and I hope I can do good things for the team. “Most of the players were not available when we won the Under-17 World Cup two years ago, but they are now with us and we are a lot stronger than in 2013. We will go far in this tournament.
“There is a lot to say about this team because we have a lot of potentials. We are individually talented. “We have to show our strength as a team, we have to show confidence, individual talent, what the coaches have taught us and everything that will give us the edge against all the countries who have qualified for this World Cup.
“We have to fight to win this tournament by God’s grace.” Towards the end of the just ended English Premier League season, Manchester City was said to have considered loaning Iheanacho out to another club where he could gain experience.
But the forward, who rejected the proposal and instead opted to stay at the Etihad and fight for striking roles with established stars like Sergio Aguero, Stevan Jovetic and Wilfried Bony, says the World Cup in New Zealand offers him the opportunity to convince City manager Manuel Pellegrini that he is ready for the big time.
“This is a perfect opportunity to show Manchester City what I am capable of especially because I was injured for a couple of months. “I will work hard to make my club and my country proud at this World Cup,” said Iheanacho.