This is the pathetic story of a former star of Nigerian football, Femi Opabunmi, who is now begging on the streets for survival.
Femi Opabunmi represented Nigeria at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea and Japan and had a total of three cups for the Super Eagle before he retired. The former winger who has been trailed with reports of financial difficulties is said to have turned to a beggar in Ibadan.
Sources revealed that the former Shooting Stars forward has resorted to begging after he an eye surgery years ago ended his career.
“He practically begs from anyone he spots on the street. If you see him and greet him like an ex-footballer he is, the next thing is for him to ask you for money and his slogan has always been, ‘I don’t know what my wife and kids will eat today, we have nothing at home,“ a source revealed.
Opabunmi is regularly seen around Ring Road, in Ibadan; the street beside Echos bar.
He played for a few clubs, including Shooting Stars FC, Grasshoppers Zürich (Switzerland) and Chamois Niortais in France.
He studied at Methodist High School Ibadan and played for the Methodist High School Ibadan Old Boys. Serious eyes problems stopped his career since 2006.
Opabunmi scored a goal to help Nigeria win the African U-17 Championships in 2001.
He was a key player at 2001 FIFA U-17 World Championship where he scored a hat-trick against Australia and won the Silver Shoe as second highest goalscorer and also the Bronze Ball as third best player in the tournament, helping Nigeria to reach the final where they lost to France.
Opabunmi, due to his present condition has been in the media lately begging for assistance from well meaning Nigerians to come to his aid. At a recent appearance on Lagos Television not too long ago, he said on air that he needs a job to put food on his table as his condition has degenerated.