Free Agent Odion Ighalo wants to Play For An NPFL Club For Free

Former Super Eagles striker, Odion Ighalo, has expressed his willingness to play in the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) without any financial compensation before retiring from professional football.

The 34-year-old made this statement during a recent interview with Elegbete TV, where he discussed his future plans in the sport.

Having started his career in the Nigerian leagues with Prime FC of Osun and Julius Berger of Lagos before venturing into European football in 2007, Ighalo now contemplates a possible return to his home country’s league.

He described the opportunity to play in the NPFL as a “great privilege” that he would like to experience before concluding his illustrious career.

However, Ighalo emphasized the need for significant improvements in security, media coverage, and officiating within the league before he can seriously consider such a move.

“I said if security is guaranteed, good coverage is assured and better officiating. Of course, [I will play],” Ighalo stated.

Drawing from his previous experience playing in the Nigerian league, the Ajegunle-born striker made it clear that he would not participate if it meant compromising his safety or constantly living in fear.

He emphasized that financial gain was not his motivation, as he would refuse payment from any team. Instead, he seeks to fulfill a personal ambition by playing in the NPFL for an additional six months to one year.

Currently a free agent following the expiration of his contract with Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal last month, Ighalo has joined the ranks of other notable Super Eagles players who have expressed their desire to contribute to the NPFL.

In 2021, Ahmed Musa embarked on a short-term spell with Kano Pillars after departing from Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia. These displays of passion from top-level Nigerian players highlight the growing appeal and potential of the domestic league.

As Ighalo awaits the necessary improvements and assurances, football enthusiasts across Nigeria eagerly anticipate the potential return of the revered striker to the NPFL.

His experience, skill, and dedication to the sport would undoubtedly add a significant boost to the league’s overall quality and raise its profile on the global stage.

Credit: Theathletic

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