Amunike : My Barca Move, Is A Dream Come True

Former Super Eagles international, Emmanuel Amunike opens up on how he became the first Nigerian to play for FC Barcelona reports.

Amunike identifies his summer move to Barcelona as his football dream coming true; playing for one of the biggest clubs in Europe.

Emmanuel Amunike denies not voting Victor Osimhen for 2023 CAF POTY.
Emmanuel Amunike

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The 1996 Summer Olympics gold medalist, after spending few years at North African club Zamalek, secured a lucrative be move to Sporting CP.

In Portugal, he became defenders nightmare, always attacking from the flanks, with near-perfect precision on goal. After two years at Sporting CP, Amunike transferred to Barcelona in 1996.

Even though his time at Nou Camp was marred by series of injuries; and could only manage to make 26 appearances in four years, scoring a goal the 53-year-old said it’s the highlights of his career.

Amunike reminisce on his time at FC Barcelona

Amunike unveiled at Barcelona

“Joining Barcelona was like a dream coming true,” Amunike was quoted by PUNCH Nigeria.

According to the 1994 AFCON winner, it’s always the dream of young players to sign and ay for big teams.

“Every player or young player wants to play for a big team. Nowadays the situation has changed because young players only want to play for a big team but for me, it’s important to play where you can have continuity and grow as a player.

“Of course, still, teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, etc have that appeal where everybody wants to go and play.”

The former CAF Player Of The Year (POTY) added, “My experience at Barcelona was good. Coming from Portugal to Spain it was a big step for me, but unfortunately injuries began to happen a lot. When these injuries occur you cannot give 100% as you are not in shape.

“But when this happens you need to be strong and have the confidence in yourself that everything will become better. You must remember this is part of the journey.”

Amunike celebrates 1996 Summer Olympics gold medal

Undisturbed by the series of injury which marred his time with the Catalans, the former Super Eagles playmaker insists everything in a player’s career is an opportunity to learn and grow.

“Every experience has its positive and negative things and for a player its important to face them. For me, all the experiences are important, also the difficult ones, because they make you better for the future and define your character.

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“And for me, all of them were important because they made me a better person and helped me to grow.”

Following his retirement from active football, Amunike ventured into coaching. He was the Golden Eaglets head coach when they won the 2015 FIFA U-17 world cup tournament.

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