Name: Ahmed Musa
Club: VVV Venlo
It took only one season playing at Kano Pillars in the Nigerian Premier League for Ahmed Musa to stake his claim for greatness. The then 17-year-old came from nowhere to cancel out the 17 goal record in the league set by Iwuanyanwu Nationale’s Ishaya Jatau in 1990, two years before Musa was born. His 18 goals in the 2009/2010 season created the new Nigerian scoring record.
Blessed with speed and an uncanny ability to waltz past defenders like they were not there, Musa became an instant star at Pillars with Kano fans streaming the Sani Abacha stadium every time the team played at home. Even on his travels, his legend preceded him as fans turned out to see the new wonder kid of Nigerian football. Opposing fans even quietly willed for him to score against their team in order to confirm having witnessed his prowess.
Musa, who was only at Aminchi Football Academy in Jos until 2008 got his chance to shine because of the departure of Pillars’ top striker Bello Musa Kofarmata. Pillars almost won the league with Musa on their side as they came a close second to eventual champion Enyimba.
This feat earned him a call up into the Super Eagles Team B that contested and won the West African Football Union (WAFU) Cup held in Abeokuta in early 2010. Afterwards he was among a trio of home-based players given a call up to the Super Eagles World Cup camp by Lars Largerback, but he did not make it to the tournament in South Africa.
Musa has since earned full caps playing for the Super Eagles in the on-going African Nations Cup (AFCON) qualifiers.
In October, Musa made a move to Europe where he was signed up by modest Dutch Eredivisie side VVV Venlo, the same club where Nigeria legend Tijani Babangida began his European stint. Even though many think he could have gone on to a bigger club, Musa hopes that he can make a leap to bigger European clubs after he would have proven his mettle at Venlo.
"I will get the time and opportunity to develop into a better player at this club. Players such as Babangida and Keisuke Honda have also made nice transfers after a spell with VVV. I'm very happy with my transfer” Musa told Voetbal International.