Fans React to 2005 World Youth Championship Photo of Mikel, Taiwo, Messi

Fans React to 2005 World Youth Championship Photo of Mikel, Taiwo, Messi

Babajide Orevba
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:21 PM
In this article:
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  • Lionel Messi led Argentina to win the 2005 edition of the FIFA World Youth Championship
  • The superstar edged silver and bronze-placed Mikel Obi and Taye Taiwo to the golden ball
  • Fans have taken to social media to react to the photo of the trio after 17 years in the sport

Nigerians have taken to social media to react to a throwback photo of Lionel Messi, alongside Mikel Obi and Taye Taiwo.

The trio were the best players at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, which was hosted by the Netherlands.

Messi led Argentina to win the tournament for a fifth time, following a 2-1 win over Nigeria in the final.

Mikel Obi, Taye Taiwo, Lionel Messi, 2005 World Youth Championship
Lionel Messi poses with Mikel Obi and Taye Taiwo at the 2005 World Youth Championship. Photo: @_owurakuampofo
Source: Twitter

The 18-year-old scored twice from the spot to take his tally to six, as he also claimed the top scorer’s award at the competition.

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He went on to win the golden ball award for the best player of the tournament, while 18-year-old Obi from Nigeria claimed the silver ball award as the second-best player.

Taiwo, who was about 20 years of age at the time, claimed the bronze ball.

About 17 years later, while Obi is now retired, Messi remains active playing at the top level.

The 35-year-old recently led La Albiceleste to the FIFA World Cup title in Qatar. He is also on course to win his eighth Ballon d’Or title.

Last year, Taiwo joined the Finnish club SalPa, and has managed to feature in just six matches for the club. He is now 37 years old.

Nigerians react to throwback photo

Nigerians have taken to social media to react to the old photo of the stars.

One said:

“Them never use correct age, that be why them all retire long time. You can’t cheat nature.”

Another added:

“I remember this tournament so well. Taiwo played a goal kick from his end. It ended far beyond Argentina’s goal. Goal kick to Goal kick.”

A fan queried:

“Please where is Taye Taiwo and Mikel Obi?

Others commented:

"I thought they were once Messi’s age mates in under age football?
"Abi Nigeria football different from other countries own?"

Taiwo recalls life in Lagos

Sports Brief earlier reported that former Nigerian defender Taiwo recalled secondary school life in the Alimosho area of Lagos state, while grooving to popular Fuji artist Pasuma.

Taiwo, who was the third-best player at the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup in the Netherlands, was all smiles miming and dancing to the song.

The player got pumped up as the artist hailed the 'Centre of Excellence', where he got his primary and secondary school education.

Babajide Orevba photo
Babajide Orevba
Babajide Orevba is a CAF accredited Nigerian journalist and HOD of the Local Desk with over 10 years of experience in media landscape.He studied NCE Political Science/Social Studies, AOCOED.