Much may not have been heard about him yet by football loving Nigerians, but this 14-year-old Nigerian American prodigy, Lateef Omidiji (Jr) may feature in the National Under-17 Golden Eaglets soon.
He is also dreaming and is being taunted as a future world top class player to watch out for in the round leather game.
Omidiji was born of a Nigerian Muslim father Mr Lateef Omidiji (Snr) and an American mother, Crystal on Sept. 12, 2003, in the United State of America.
Raised in Las Vegas Nevada, US, young Omidiji started playing summer underage tournaments at age nine with his Academy side, Heat FC.
His European exploits thereafter earned him experience, playing with top English youth teams like Arsenal, Chelsea and Southampton FC.
Omidiji’s talent captured the attention of those clubs prior to his moving to Netherlands where the teenager currently plays for Feyenoord FC U-17 Academy.
His best attributes are his technique, vision, speed, strength and intelligence on the field of play.
At 14, the football wonder kid resume has increased haven won various youth tournaments in the United State of America and England.
His performance at those tournaments caught the attention of Nigeria U-13/U-15 National team coach, Danladi Nasidi, who recommended him to the Nigeria Football Federation.
Football definitely runs in the family of Omidiji, whose grandfather hails from Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
His elder sister, Sophia Omotola Omidiji, plays division one football in Netherland and she has since been invited to the Nigeria’s Under -20 Female National team, the Falconets.
Similarly, the younger brother, Rasheed Omidiji, also stars for FC Den Bosh Academy in the Dutch Youth League.
Aside from growing up in the US, Lateef, speaks passable Yoruba language due to his regular visit to Nigeria, father’s home-country, while he has been used to eating ”Amala and Ewedu” (an African traditional meal) in Las Vegas.
The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) President, Mr Amaju Pinnick and his vice, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, are now monitoring the development of the youngster., able to convince
Should they be able to convince the soccer ‘widz-kid’ to pledge his allegiance to Nigeria instead of US, the development, according to some pundits, may spark up ownership rivalry between Nigeria and the US.
This is because the US is keenly contending to draft the minor into its Under-15 National Soccer team.
Omidij Jr is highly rated by those who saw his video clips on youtube as a football wonder, just as he is well known by football academy coaches across Europe and America.
Nigeria is the reigning under-17 FIFA World Cup Champion, after winning the last edition in Chile in 2015 for a record fifth time.
But the country would not defend the title as Golden Eaglets failed to qualify for the 2017 edition in India. Meanwhile, NNF has now looked toward the 2019 edition of the FIFA Under-17 world cup qualifiers where Omidiji Jr is expected to spearhead the Golden Eaglets Squad.
Meanwhile, NNF has now looked toward the 2019 edition of the FIFA Under-17 world cup qualifiers where Omidiji Jr is expected to spearhead the Golden Eaglets Squad.
Omidiji Jr may enter the record book of Nigerian Players like Alex Iwobi, Leon Balogun and Ola Aina amongst others, who have switched Nationality to don the Nigerian colour after being previously capped by their country of birth at the under-age level.
By Yusuf Akinlotan