James K. Attaglo Wilson|

Former Nigerian striker and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Nwankwo Kanu has spoken about how the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 1993 shaped his career.

Speaking to about the impact of the FIFA youth tournament ahead of the Official Draw for the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 Kanu, otherwise known as ‘Papiro’ said, “This tournament provides youngsters the necessary stage for development and I believe this year’s edition will provide us all with exceptional talent – much like the previous tournaments.”

“The FIFA U-17 World Cup 1993 really spurred my career – within years of winning the title, I won the Olympic gold and from there as I would like to believe, there wasn’t any looking back,” Kanu added.

Born in Owerri, [Imo] in Nigeria, Nwankwo Kanu was the captain of the Nigerian dream Olympic football team that won gold in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. Kanu’s moment of greatness in that tournament came in the semi-finals where he scored two late goals to overturn 2-3 scoreline into a 4-3 win in extra time against Brazil.

Kanu has represented Nigeria in three FIFA World Cup™ tournaments – France 1998, Japan-Korea 2012, as well as the South Africa 2010 edition.

He has twice won the African Player of the Year Award in 1996 and 1999. The former striker was also voted as the BBC African Footballer of the Year in 1997and 1999.