Nigerian footballer, Kelechi Iheanacho, has revealed that his father, James, used to beat him with a belt for playing football when he was younger.
The Super Eagles striker said his father who is now his number one fan was worried then that he would not make it as a footballer and told him to concentrate on his studies instead.
The Leicester striker said his father subsided the discipline after his school teacher visited their home in Obogwe to announce that he had been selected for a regional tournament.
“It is ironic my father is now my biggest fan. I got beat up by him whenever I stepped out to play football!“I was always on the receiving end of my father’s belt or whatever else he could find.
“Sometimes I laugh, but I guess it’s been written by God that my life would take such a route. He was only looking out for me.”
He said his mother, Mercy, was a lot more supportive but she passed away when he was just a teenager. He expresses optimism that she will be cheering him from heaven and promised to dedicate all his World Cup goals to her.
“It makes me sad that she is not with me in Russia. Death was unkind to me but life has given me a chance to make her proud.
“Sometimes you wish there was a way to send a message to heaven and remind her that I will forever cherish her support.