Sports

“I was never loved”- Ex-Super Eagles striker Emmanuel Emenike replies Sunday Oliseh

Former Super Eagles striker Emmanuel Emenike has shared a social media post to corroborate Sunday Oliseh’s assertion that pressure from Nigerian journalists made him retire from the national team, Soccernet.ng reports.

Emenike burst into the scene for Nigeria in 2010, making his debut for the Super Eagles in a friendly match against Sierra Leone. Then he scored his first Nigeria goal in an international friendly against Argentina in 2011.

However, the former Fenerbahce man had to wait until 2013 before he really made a mark for Nigeria. Emenike was superb for the Super Eagles in the run-up to their triumph at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. He registered four goals and one assist in five games to push Nigeria to the final.

Unfortunately for Emenike, he did not play the final, but Sunday Mba turned up clutch to ensure the Super Eagles won their third title AFCON. Nonetheless, Emenike still won the Golden boot award.

However, just two years after his heroics with the national team, Emenike called time on his international career at the age of 28. There were reports that Sunday Oliseh, who just got appointed as Super Eagles coach at the time, forced him to retire. But Oliseh rebuffed the rumours, stating that it was Emenike’s decision.

Recently, in a fiery interview, Oliseh praised Emenike’s attitude when he was in the national team, but he revealed that the former Fenerbahce star retired because he could not cope with the criticisms he was getting from the media.

The former Fenerbahce has now come out to corroborate the story on his social media page.

“I was respectful, humble and gave everything for Naija (Nigeria) l but you can never satisfy everyone,” Emenike wrote.

“Journalists did so much damage. I was never loved and I know this because of the things they put out about me. The love for my country was my driving force.”

Asides from Emenike’s retirement, Sunday Oliseh shed more insights into his time as Super Eagles coach and his problems with Mikel Obi here.

Emenike retired from football in 2019 after a string of injuries. He spends most of his time in Nigeria and Turkey.