A teenage football sensation, Master Benjamin Cookey, says his dream as an aspiring professional footballer is to win the FIFA World Cup for Nigeria and to also become the Lionel Messi of Africa because the Argentine playmaker inspires him.

In a chat, Cookey, 18, said: “My dream as a footballer is to be a world champion by winning the FIFA World Cup for my country, Nigeria. The player l admires most in the world of football is Lionel Messi of Argentina. Accordingly, l also dream to be the Lionel Messi of Africa.”

He is currently a team member of Roted United FC of Ijegun in Lagos for over seven (7) years now and counting.

On his strength in the field of football, he said: “I am versatile in all positions but my strongest point is forward. I want to be a footballer because l love the game. Yes, l could join the national team if given the opportunity. At present, I’m looking for trials and opportunities to showcase my skills at any level. I also need sponsorship from individuals, football clubs and corporate bodies to achieve my dream.”

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Commenting, his manager and father, Prince Cookey said: “Benjamin has been passionate about football since his nursery school days. Of course, as a father, l tried to discourage him so that he could focus on his studies. But the more we tried to discourage him, the more his love for the game grew. We then decided to give him all the support we could garner for him. We enrolled him into Roted United FC near our home at Ijegun area of Lagos and he has been with the grassroots football club for more than seven years while attending secondary school.”

On the abilities of Benjamin, the Senior Cookey said: “Benjamin is simply passionate about the game. He has the passion, skill and ready to learn. I just hope that opportunities would come his way to enable him achieve his dream in the field of football.”

Benjamin is also a 100-level undergraduate student at Dennis Osadebay University (DOU), Asaba, Delta State.