Former Super Eagles defender, Ifeanyi Udeze has revealed that a recurring knee injury ended his glowing career at both club and national team prematurely.
The erstwhile West Bromwich Albion of England star in an interview with The Sun Sports on Saturday said he had thought of starring for a longer period in the national team but couldn’t due to injury.
According to him, “I actually broke my left knee against Angola during a World Cup qualifying tie in Kano.
“I thought it was a minor injury so I hid it and was managing it when I returned back to Greece. I didn’t want the club to cut my wages or use my salary to offset my medical bills. I managed the injury and it got worse. I had no other option than to go for surgeries.
“Due to the injury, I missed the 2006 Nations Cup. I tried to stage a comeback but I couldn’t. I had surgeries in Belgium but after the third one and there were no improvements, I decided to quit football.”
Asked if has any regrets playing for Nigeria, Udeze said; “Some people almost succeeded in making me regret playing for this country but I don’t think I have any regrets because I’m not the only one that had such challenge.
“Emmanuel Amuneke also had an injury while playing for the national team. In fact, I was the one that gave him the pass that caused him the injury. Amuneke was hacked from behind and that was the end of his career.
“Amuneke told me that nobody from the Nigeria Football Federation called or sent him a get well soon card. Though, the situation might be different now. That’s why we keep advising the new guys to do what is right and get prepared for the future after football because playing the game would be over someday. So, they need to put in place something to fall back on,” Udeze stated in the interview. On more of the Udeze interview, read Weekend SportingSun.