Women's World Cup ambassador Peter Odemwingie offers inspiring advice to upcoming talents

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Samuel Ahmadu/Goal
The former Nigeria international is raising awareness for Fifa ahead of this year's global showpiece in France

Fifa legend squad member Peter Odemwingie has called on young talents to stay dedicated to their dreams to achieve success in football.

The former Nigeria international, who retired from football early April, was picked alongside 22 others in the Fifa Assemble squad to raise awareness for the 2019 Women's World Cup billed for France.

The 37-year-old represented the Super Eagles at two World Cups, two African Cup of Nations and was an influential member of the country's silver-winning team at the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

And the former Stoke City man has appealed for encouragement and support of gifted talents to reach their potentials.

"You dream when you're young, you voice your dreams out and people laugh of course," Odemwingie told Fifa.com.

"In 1996, Nigeria became Olympic champions in Atlanta and I said, "One day I'm going to play for Nigeria". It was in Russia and they looked at me, laughing.

"They said, "You will never get to that level". When the goal went in at the World Cup, I remembered how my family was, how everybody was in Brazil 2014. I wanted to give the country that feeling.

"So when I scored in Brazil and it was 1-0 and we won. So that was the time I felt "Yes, I've done something big" and every time I want to feel something positive, I remember that day and what I gave to people.

"If you think that you are far away from there, it's not true, it comes from dedication to the sport and I think anybody with the talent, needs encouragement and support, they can become the world's best."

Odemwingie, whose mother is Russian decided to represent Nigeria and made his debut on May 4, 2002, as a substitute in a 3-0 win over Kenya.

The forward who previously plied his trade in Nigeria, Belgium, France, Russia, England and Indonesia, revealed her mother's incredible support to his career breakthrough.

"My mum [is my inspiration] because my father travelled a lot when I was younger, so she was the one taking me to weekend games and she is the one running along with the linesmen.

"I used to cry embarrassed because mostly it's the fathers that do it, but in my case, it was my mother. When I was in Moscow before going to England she was there, she looked after me.

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"But then in England, you know, Premier League football had high demands. She wanted to make sure I was ready to perform, so gave me lessons over Skype to help to cook to make sure I'm not hungry."

Nigeria have competed at all the previous seven editions of the global showpiece and has been drawn against hosts France, South Korea and Norway in Group A in this year's edition starting in June.

 

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