Odion Ighalo is delighted to have won his first league title ever following Al Hilal’s Saudi Professional League success on Monday.
The Nigeria international found the net twice as the Blue Waves silenced Al Faisaly 2-1 to win a record-breaking 18th Saudi top-flight diadem.
Ighalo – in the process - ended his wait for a maiden league triumph since he began his professional career at former Nigeria Professional Football League side Prime FC in 2005.
Still basking in the euphoria of his club’s latest achievement, the 33-year-old went on social media to gush over his personal accomplishment.
“I waited 17 years before winning my first league title, it doesn’t matter how long it takes, if you keep working hard and never give up, you will get it right one day. God is the greatest,” the former Manchester United striker wrote on Instagram.
After completing his loan move to Premier League side Red Devils, the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations top scorer initially joined Al Shabab in February 2021 on a two-and-a-half-year contract.
Nevertheless, he teamed up with the Boss on an 18-month deal as a replacement for French striker Bafetimbi Gomis, who left the club for Turkish side Galatasaray.
In his first season at Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium, Ighalo scored 24 goals to finish as the league’s highest goalscorer – beating Brazil’s duo of Romarinho and Talisca to joint-second place (20 goals).
Thirteen of those strikes were scored his right foot, eight with his left while the remaining three were headed goals.
Before this league success, Al Hilal had lost the final of the King Cup of Champions to Al Feiha 3-1 on penalties, following a 1-1 draw at the end of regulation time.
After representing Nigeria at youth level where he captained the Flying Eagles to the 2009 Fifa U20 World Cup in Egypt – the Lagos-born star made his senior debut in March 2015 against Uganda.
He played a crucial role as Gernot Rohr’s Super Eagles finished third at the 2019 Afcon where he emerged as the highest goalscorer with five goals.
Ighalo was part of the country’s squad for Cameroon 2021 but he was stopped by former team Al Shabab.