Why Super Eagles Striker Victor Boniface Nearly Quit Football at Age 21

Why Super Eagles Striker Victor Boniface Nearly Quit Football at Age 21

Chukwu Ikechukwu
updated at January 9, 2024 at 3:09 PM
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V. O. Boniface
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  • Victor Boniface has disclosed that he nearly quit football
  • Boniface left Nigeria in 2019 to begin his career in Europe
  • The Bayer Leverkusen striker has 16 goals in this season

Victor Boniface is having a stellar season in Europe with Bayer Leverkusen, but the Super Eagles forward has disclosed that he contemplated quitting football quite early in his career.

The 22-year-old forward, who joined the Bundesliga giants last summer, left for Europe in 2019 from Nigerian youth club, Real Sapphire, but suffered two ACL injuries before the age of 21.

Victor Boniface, Super Eagles, Nigeria, Bayer Leverkusen, Germany
Nigerian star, Victor Boniface has scored 16 goals and created eight assists in all appearances for Bayer Leverkusen this season. Photo by Ronny Hartmann.
Source: Getty Images

According to Eurosport, Boniface, who will miss the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria through another injury setback, disclosed he had given up on football after his second ACL injury.

"When I saw the doctor, he told me something bad happened and I tore my ACL again. It was hell. I spoke to the coach; I said I wanted to go back to Nigeria.
"I was thinking, 'what shall I do after football?' At the age of 21, and 22, I had two ACL [injuries]. It was so terrible for me. They said I had to do surgery, but may not need it for a few months. It was 14 months in total. I almost gave up."

Boniface would eventually bounce back from his injury setbacks, excelling with Bodo/Glimt and Union Saint-Gilloise before sealing a big move to Bayer Leverkusen last summer.

Mikel wants Boniface at Chelsea

Meanwhile, former Super Eagles captain, John Obi Mikel has clamoured for Premier League giants to sign four-time Bundesliga Rookie of the Month, Boniface, Chelsea Chronicles reports.

The Nigerian legend is rooting for his 22-year-old compatriot to become one of the best forwards in the game and would love to see him sign for the Blues when he finally leaves Leverkusen.

Boniface has been in excellent form for the Bundesliga team this season, scoring 10 goals in 16 league matches and contributing eight assists as they continue to lead in the German top flight.

Boniface reacts after AFCON setback

Sports Brief previously reported on Boniface reacting to his recent injury that forced him to withdraw from the Super Eagles squad for the AFCON.

The 22-year-old is anticipated to spend six weeks on the sidelines and is said to have returned to Germany to begin his recovery immediately.

Boniface's absence will be a major setback for the Super Eagles after an outstanding run for the Bundesliga table-toppers, Bayer Leverkusen.

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Chukwu Ikechukwu
Chukwu Ikechukwu Godwin is a journalist with over 9 years of experience in the Nigerian media industry. He has worked both in Radio (Today FM, Rhythm FM, Wish FM) and Television (Silverbird TV) as a Sports Analyst..