Stanley ‘Little Messi’ Okoro returns to NPFL

Stanley ‘Little Messi’ Okoro has returned to the NPFL with Abia Warriors.

Stanley ‘Little Messi’ Okoro has returned to the NPFL with Abia Warriors.

Signs For Abia Warriors

He was the toast of fans at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which Nigeria hosted and came second behind Switzerland. Such was his exploits at the competition that Nigerians nicknamed him ‘Little Messi’ after the Argentine wizard who plays for FC Barcelona. He was projected as one of the most promising stars of the game due to the assumption that with such precocious talent the sky would be the beginning of his ascent to fame.

However, while such other young stars as Neymar, Mario Goetze and Xhaka Shakiri and so on, who showed glimpses of their talents in 2009, have gone on to hug the world’s football headlines, Stanley Okoro literally disappeared from the horizon. But now he is back in the country to ‘restart’ his career in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).

Okoro is now with Abia Warriors, a team he says he joined to help achieve its ambition of winning the NPFL title for the first time or at least pick a continental ticket at the end of the season.

The talented youngster, who returned to Nigeria earlier this year after cancelling his contract with Spanish side, Almeria, said teams like Rivers United of Port Harcourt, Heartland of Owerri and Akwa United of Uyo had approached him for his signature on his return, but he decided to join the Umuahia side because of the caliber of players and coaches he saw at Umuahia.

He told Abia Warriors’ website that: “Abia Warriors is a team that is very serious and ambitious and has
good organization as well as a focused Management, so I have come here
to contribute my quota and help the team win the league or at least grab a continental ticket at the end of the season.”

The former BJ Foundation of Benin, Bendel Insurance and Heartland of
Owerri striker, was in the Abia Warriors’ squad that beat Akwa United
2-1 away in Uyo.

“I was the happiest person on earth last Wednesday when we won in Akwa and I will continue to do my best in subsequent matches if selected.

“We have a very good coach who treats all the players like his own brothers and a crop of good players and we will continue to work hard until we achieve our aim at the end of the season,” the left-footed player said.



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