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Sikiru Olatunbosun 6 years ago MFM FC star was playing baseball, now Puskas is in sight

Sikiru played Baseball as a kid before taking up football which has taken his name all over the world courtesy of a fantastic goal he scored.

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Sikiru Olatunbosun play Sikiru Olatunbosun is on a high after scoring a wonder goal for MFM FC. (Pulse)

Things changed for MFM FC striker Sikiru Olatunbosun when he netted a wonder goal in their home win over Enugu Rangers on Friday, February 24.

Courtesy of that goal, Sikiru has had his name mentioned all over the world; France’s L’Equipe called it 'magnifique'; Spain’s El Mundo Deportivo named it El golazo de la jornada; Brazil’s Globo named it 'Candidato ao Puskas' and Italy’s La Gazetta dello Sport called it remarkably, a ‘supergol’.

The fame has now brought him the attention as eyes were on him in their next home game at the Agege Township Stadium as they hosted Remo Stars on Sunday, March 3.

Sikiru Olatunbosun play All eyes were on Sikiru Olatunbosun after he scored a wonder goal in MFM FC's 2-1 win over Enugu Rangers in matchday 10 (Pulse)

 

In MFM FC’s 1-0 win over Remo Stars, the left-footer unleashed another fierce shot which struck the crossbar in the first half, ‘he almost did it again’ many screamed. The MFM FC No 2 is clearly enjoying his football now but six years ago, he was playing a different sport entirely.

I grew up in Lagos and I was playing baseball in Finbas College,” the Lagos-born player told Pulse Sports in an interview after a training session at Agege Township Stadium ahead of their Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clash at home to Remo Stars.

Baseball took Sikiru far, travelling to countries like Burkina Faso for tournaments. "My first tournament in Baseball was in Abuja then I Travelled to Burkina Faso and other African countries,” he added.

Baseball, however, is not a popular sport in Nigeria with football the main focus from grassroots to the professional level. Teenagers in Nigeria pick up football naturally and after being one of the few exceptions, it was just a matter time before the force of nature pulled Sikiru to football as he joined an amateur club side, Real FC.

“The team I was playing Baseball with was not that serious, so I had to start playing football,” the left-footer said.

Sikiru Olatunbosun play Sikiru Olatunbosun played baseball as a kid before he became a footballer (Pulse)

With Real FC, Sikiru played at the Lagos Football Association (LAFA) League where he faced and scored against his current club, MFM FC in the semi-final. That was his first meeting with current MFM coach Fidelis Ilechukwu who later convinced him to join the club.

He started with MFM FC from Amateur 2 to Amateur 1 before he was promoted to Pro and played for three more years before they gained promotion to the NPFL.

Life in the NPFL was tough for Sikiru and his MFM FC teammates as they managed to escape relegation in their first season at the top flight. A 1-0 win over FC IfeanyiUbah on the last day of the 2016 season saw MFM finish 16th to avoid dropping to the Nigeria National League (NNL). Sikiru managed seven goals that season.

Sikiru Olatunbosun play Sikiru Olatunbosun has scored two goals this season for MFM FC (Pulse)

A good start this season and a 100% home record have seen them in fourth place after 10 games. Five of their six wins so far this season have been at home and Sikiru wants the Agege Township Stadium to be a fortress.

We as a team are ready to play because we don’t want what happened last season to repeat itself,” Sikiru said. 

We don’t want to draw or lose a game at home this season. We are ready for anybody.

“The goal is to finish in top four and qualify for continental competitions because we are good. We are not looking down on anybody and we don’t want anybody to look down on us.

“I know any match we play we should let our game speaks for us.

“We want to play continental football in Lagos, it’s been a long time a continental game came to Lagos and I’m pretty confident we can achieve that.

He already has two goals this season, the second was the worldie he netted in the 2-1 win over reigning champions Enugu Rangers in a matchday 10 fixtures. The goal has also been voted Goal of the Week by CNN.

Sikiru Olatunbosun and Steve Dede play Sikiru Olatunbosun with Pulse's Steve Dede at the Agege Township Stadium (Pulse)

I am very happy, I feel so excited because it is not easy to score a goal like that. It is all over the world and it’s a very good thing,” he said.

“I would love to score even a better one that’s the target.

Depending on how 2017 goes, Sikiru’s goal currently stands the chance of being nominated for the FIFA Puskás Award- an award for the most aesthetically significant, or ‘most beautiful’ in a colander year.

 “It is a dream because such a thing has never happened before from the NPFL,” Sikiru said.

 

I think someone has scored this goal before but because it wasn’t televised, nobody saw it. That’s why I am happy.”

The left-footer is already looking ahead to what the future holds for his career after this defining moment and like many players -if not all- in the NPFL, his dream is to play in Europe.

“I don’t want to just play in the Nigerian league. I want to play in Europe because those over there just chance and opportunity if given the chance I will utilise it because I know I’m a good player,” he said.

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