Wilson Oruma: 3 other former Super Eagles stars who have fallen on hard times


Wilson Oruma

We take a look at three other former Nigeria internationals who went broke after successful careers.

Former Super Eagles star Wilson Oruma is currently dominating headlines in Nigeria following reports of his mental breakdown after he was duped  N1.2b.

Oruma according to a recent report has not been his best self since he was duped of N1.2b by a clergyman and some fake businessmen in 2012.

The case of the former midfielder is a dime a dozen with ex-football players in Nigeria, Africa and the world.

We take a look at three other former Nigeria internationals who went on hard times after successful careers.

1. Rashidi Yekini

A Nigerian football legend in every sense, Rashidi Yekini remains the highest ever goalscorer for Nigeria.

He won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with the Super Eagles and spearheaded the attack when Nigeria thrilled world football at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

His 38 goals for Nigeria remains the highest of any player.

But when this legend died in 2014, he died a poor man.

Yekini was sick for a long time, suffering from emotional breakdown, depression and other psychiatric conditions which left him penniless.

2. Femi Opabunmi

Another grace to grass story from Nigeria, Femi Opabunmi was one for the future when he came on the scene in 2001.

Opabunmi helped Nigeria to the 2001 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations and later finished as second-highest goalscorer at the 2001 FIFA U-17 World Cup and also finished with the Bronze Ball as the third best player in the tournament. 

He was scouted by the likes of Manchester United, Lyon and Celta Vigo.

It was only the beginning for him as he went on the become the youngest Nigerian player to play at the FIFA World Cup, playing against England in the last group game of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Everything went downhill for him after he woke up one morning with pains in his eyes.

Opabunmi went ahead to spend his life savings on surgeries and spiritual houses, leaving him with nothing till this day.

3. Godwin Okpara

Godwin Okpara is another former Nigerian football who had a big fall from grace. The former Super Eagles star is currently in jail where he has been since 2007.

Before his days in prison, Okpara lived in luxury as a footballer, playing for the likes of Strasbourg and Paris Saint-Germain.

He represented the Super Eagles at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 2000 AFCON and 2000 Summer Olympic Games.

He was imprisoned after he was found guilty of raping his 13-year-old adopted daughter.