The Super Eagles star is presently regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world, but he says it was not so rosy for him growing up
Leicester City ace Wilfred Ndidi has opened up on how he had to combine hawking with football as a teenager to help his family battle poverty.
Born to a military father, Ndidi revealed how his father was opposed to the youngster following his dreams of being a footballer.
His father’s desire was for him to go to school, and the man would punish and even whip him for playing football.
But in a home struggling to make ends meet, funding education was near-impossible, and Ndidi had to hawk fruits to help boost the family income.
But while his father was tough to bend, the 23-year-old praised the efforts of his mother in helping him fulfil his dreams.
“Though we had some ups and downs and trying to meet up with some bills, I was always there for my mum,” said Ndidi on Out of Home Podcast.
“My mum was a food vendor, and I supported her by hawking. I don’t regret that because growing up was really tough because it was all about survival. There were no fruits that I didn’t sell.
“I was the market boy, and I was known mostly for selling groundnuts because it comes out every season. Just name them – I sold peppers, tomatoes, and avocado. We basically sold fruits that came with different seasons. All these were done to survive in the military zone and outside.”
Ndidi is one of Leicester City’s most sought-after players, with the Nigeria international currently valued at €36 million as per transfermarkt.