After playing in three games Super Eagles 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign, Ikeme was not able to make it to the tournament after he was diagnosed of acute leukaemia.

The Wolverhampton goalkeeper missed the whole last season and watched the World Cup from the hospital bed as he underwent chemotherapy and other treatment procedure.

The 31-year-old was sad to miss the full season but not playing at the 2018 World Cup with the Super Eagleswas even harder for him to take.

“The World Cup was probably a bit more difficult to take,” Ikeme told the .

“The World Cup, to me, is the pinnacle of football. No disrespect to Wolves, because I loved playing every minute for them, but the World Cup is a different stage – they’re the memories you have as a kid. So that was something that I’d knew I’d miss out on and never get the chance to do again.”

Ikeme was made the honorary 24th member of Super Eagles 23-man team to the World Cup in Russia.

'She was the first person I told'

The goalkeeper who made 207 appearances for his boyhood club Wolves further spoke about how he revealed the news of his diagnosis to his wife who was then none-month pregnant.

“She was the first person I told. I was obviously upset, as you would be after that sort of news,” Ikeme said.

“I was in shock. I got back home and thought: ‘I need to tell Saba.’ I called her and I couldn’t get it out on the phone, but she knew something was up.

“I got back and Saba came in and I told her the news. She was nine months pregnant at the time, due next week. I’ve never seen her cry the way she cried. It was tough.”

Ikeme has since announced his retirement from football after he was advised to by his doctors.