Meet Marvelous Ewiwilem, the wonder kid dubbed Nigeria’s Sadio Mane

Football has really evolved, and the stake of competing at the highest level of the game in Europe is really high. You must consistently produce wonderful performances to rub shoulders with the elites of the game. Africa is the worst hit, considering the continent’s abysmal exposure to world-class training facilities. Therefore, it takes extra efforts, discipline and resilience for an African player to succeed in Europe. The likes of George Opong Weah, Nwankwo Kanu, Didier Drogba, Emmanuel Adebayor, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mohammed Sallah and Sadio Mane are good testimonies to this fact.

No doubt, raw talents abound in Nigeria, but it takes more than talent to succeed as a footballer, especially at the highest level. High work ethic, discipline, resilience and good attitude to teammates work like magic. However, these attributes, combined with spectacular skills and understanding of the game, best describes Master Marvelous Ewiwilem, a Nigerian wonder kid likened to Senegal and Liverpool FC forward, Sadio Mane.

Eleven-year-old Marvelous Ewiwilem is a member of Amazing Football Academy, an upwardly mobile team that discovers, trains and nurture talents. The team, located at Akute, a suburb of Ogun State, is headed by Coach Tayo ‘Tuphyn’ Ariwajoye, an effervescent tactician.

Marvelous, as he is fondly called among his peers, is an exceptionally skillful player with good vision and team work. His versatility has seen him play in different positions, but he is unstoppable as an attacker, or as a creative midfielder. Marvelous’ pace and ability to crack down the opponent’s defence with a moment of brilliance are part of the reasons he has been popularly likened to football star, Sadio Mane. Ironically, the Senegal attacker is Marvelous’ role model.

According to Marvelous, who is a Chelsea FC of England fan, “Sadio Mane is my role model. I love him because he works very hard and is tireless. I look forward to him, and hopefully do better. I support Chelsea because of their pattern of play. My dream is to play for them someday, that is why I’m training well, with the help of my coaches, to be the best I can be.”

Desmond Akosile, a teammate of Marvelous at Amazing Football Academy, testified that his close friend is one of the future stars to watch out for. “He’s a good player. He can play shot from impossible angles and score goals, and he plays to instructions,” Desmond hinted.

The accolade on Marvelous was wrapped by his Coach, Tayo Ariwajoye, who described him as a “great football asset to Nigeria and the world at large. Without mincing words or sounding immodest, he is a time-bomb waiting to explode. We have many talented young players in Amazing Football Academy that are waiting to rule the world football scene,” Ariwajoye said.

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