By Mansur Abubakar
18 July 2011 begin like any oda day for Sikiru Salihu wey many for Kaduna state sabi as ‘Zidane’ because of im football skills, e wake up, go school and close in di afternoon and rush to go play football.
E bin no know say na dat afternoon im life go change forever. Sikiru say e drop im school bag and pack im jersey and football boots to go wow fans wey dey always come watch dem.
“Di name of our club na Nasco Jets and pipo nickname me Zidane because of di way I dey play football before everytin change on 18 July 2011.”
“E start like normal training session and I bin dey on di ball wey my friend wey dey play for di oda side just tackle me hard.”
“Immediately I feel di sharp pain I know say sometin serious don happun.”
Zidane say afta e come house, di pain still dey continue and na why im family decide to carry am go meet local bone setter wey treat am.
“Na afta about five days we come see say no improvement for di leg and infact some part of my leg don begin dey rot.”
“Na so we rush go hospital but unfortunately we go late as doctors tok say di leg don kpafuka and di only tin wey remain na to cut am off.”
“I no go ever forget di feeling wey I first get of my world changing and wetin go happun to my dream of becoming di best footballer for di world.”
“But I come tink am say na wetin God don design for me and I accept am like dat.”
“Till today I dey see my friend wey tackle me and I no dey vex for am, in fact sometimes e go dey hide but I go tell am to feel free because wetin go happun don happun.”
‘My passion for football still strong’
Na 11 years now since di tackle on di football field wey lead to Sikiru losing im leg but e tok say im passion for football still dey strong.
“Football na my dream and na sometin wey I go continue to enjoy for di rest of my life, some of my mates wey I bin dey play with dey Europe now.”
“I still dey go watch my local team play for field and also dey go watch my favourite team Real Madrid for football viewing centre.”
“Anoda tin be say sometime if I dey watch for field I dey feel di urge to join and at times I dey join dem play.”
Zidane say im ultimate ambition na to one day get im own club wia e go dey teach young boys to play afta getting im coaching badges.
‘No be di end of di world’
At di moment Sikiru dey work as a computer operator for Vivid printing press for Kaduna and na daily job wey e dey do as e no fit fulfil im dream of playing football professionally.
Every morning, e dey come work and close in di evening like most workers.
“I dey enjoy di work and na something wey show say everything wey happun is not di end of di world.”
Fans remember ‘Zidane’ playing days
Some fans of Sikiru wey sabi am during im playing days before di injury testify say na player wey for don dey one of di top European clubs if not for im accident.
Dem tok say na because of how e sabi handle midfield position dem nickname am Zidane and if not for wetin happun e for don wear top club jersey.
“If no be because of wetin happun I feel say Sikiru for don go far for football by now and Nigeria national team for dey enjoy am.” One tok.