Ahmed Musa: The Dreadful Journey From Kano Pillars to Becoming One of Nigeria’s All Time Greats
- Ahmed Musa remains one of Nigeria's greatest footballers of all time following his exploits
- The forward made his national team debut at age 17 and went on to become the player with the most appearances in Super Eagles history
- Musa is also famous for his philanthropic gestures, doing everything he can to improve the lives of people in the area where he grew up
The Super Eagles captain Ahmed Musa remains Nigeria’s most-capped player, having made 107 appearances for the national football team.
Born in Jos, Nigeria, to Mr. Musa and Mrs. Sarah on October 14, 1994, Ahmed Musa went on to become Nigeria’s record scorer at the FIFA World Cup with four goals.
He had been setting records right from the beginning of his career, as he held the record of the scorer with the most goals in an NPFL season for over a decade.
How it started
Musa once disclosed that his parents were very strict when it came to education.
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“I started playing on the streets. Then parents were all about education for their kids, so I used to sneak out to play football. In fact, when I get injured, I hide it from my mom. Now, everyone wants their son to play football.
While on loan at local club Kano Pillars, Musa scored 18 goals in the 2009/2010 season and held the record for most goals in a season until 2011 when Jude Aneke of Kaduna United FC set a new record of 20 goals.
The Nigerian international moved to Europe in 2010 to join Dutch outfit VVV-Venlo where he played for about three seasons before joining Russian outfit CSKA Moscow.
He played for the VEB Arena outfit for five seasons, featuring in 125 matches and scoring 42 goals, before attracting interest from the then-English Premier League champions Leicester City.
Difficult time in the Premier League
Musa struggled with the King Power Stadium outfit, managing just 2 goals in 21 league matches before he was loaned back to CSKA Moscow.
Speaking about life in England, Musa told Legit.TV:
“You can’t compare football in Russia and England. They are two different leagues. Sometimes in life, you have to endure some difficult moments.
"For me, I would admit that I learnt a lot and I can tell my kids that in life, you are going to face difficult moments. It’s not always that things will always be straightforward.”
In 2018, the pacy forward made a mega-money move to Saudi Professional Football League club Al Nassr and was at the club until 2020 when his contract expired.
Following the spread of COVID-19, Musa returned to Nigeria and decided to return to his childhood club, Kano Pillars.
He later returned to Europe joining Turkish outfit Fatih Karagumruk and after a year, Musa joined Rivals Sivasspor.
Musa’s in the Super Eagles
Ahmed Musa earned his first national team call-up under coach Lars Lagerback ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, but he could not make the final 30-man squad to the global show-piece due to an ankle injury.
In August of that year, the 17-year-old Musa made his debut for Nigeria in an AFCON qualifier against Madagascar when he came on as a substitute for team captain Mikel Obi.
There has been no looking back since then, as Musa went on to play more than a century of matches for the Super Eagles and has so far made 107 caps; the first and only Nigerian to reach such a feat.
World Cup goals
Musa has so far scored 16 goals for the Super Eagles, and four of them came in the FIFA World Cup.
Stephen Keshi named the forward in his squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and Musa scored two goals in the team's final Group F match, a 3–2 defeat to Argentina.
Four years later, Musa netted a brace in Nigeria’s 2-0 win over Iceland at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia to become Nigeria’s record scorer at the global show-piece with 4 goals.
Philanthropy and charity
Many have referred to Ahmed Musa as the ‘Sadio Mane’ of Nigeria – but some others have argued that Sadio Mane is the 'Ahmed Musa' of Senegal.
Whichever the case may be, Musa is one man who will do anything to help the needy.
In 2019, BSN Sports reported how Musa donated desks to Baptists Primary school Bukuru, Jos, Plateau State, in order to motivate children in South Local Government Area.
In 2022, Musa completed a mega school in Jos and named the educational facility after his late parents. In the same year, the former CSKA Moscow star donated N100million to widows in Plateau State.
He was seen personally handing cash to some women, who were stunned by his gesture.
Struggling former Nigerian international Kingsley Obiekwu received N2million from Musa after the ex-Leicester City star reached out to offer support.
In January 2022, during the AFCON tournament in Cameroon, Musa donated $1,500 to support an ongoing building project at the Central Mosque in Garoua, where the Super Eagles were based, as per Complete Sports.
Spotting a photo of Olympian Bassey Iron-Bar Etim filling potholes in Lagos, Musa contacted and reached out with N500,000.
He earlier completed a special sporting facility in Kano State in order for the youths to take advantage of.