Muhammed Nur Credit: NFF
[/media-credit] Muhammed Nur Credit: NFF

Born 2nd December 2002, Muhammed Nur is the youngest footballer at the 2018 Championship of African Nations (CHAN) tourney, an event exclusively reserved for the locally based players in the respective African leagues.

Donned in shirt 20, Nur made history when he came on a substitute in the Group C clash against Rwanda, and played for seven minutes.

The left footed striker also featured for the last quarter an hour when he replaced Emeka Ogbugh in Nigeria’s 2-1 win against Equatorial Guinea.

Nigeria head coach at CHAN 2018 Yusuf Salisu rates the youngster highly;

He is a very intelligent player, talented and has potential, which is why I made the decision to pick him for the CHAN.

It will allow him to gain experience.

For me, this player is the future of Nigeria. He will be a star in a few years. Being 15 years did not stop me from selecting him backed by his talent and technique.

He is above the lot. He’s a player who can do a lot with the ball

The youngster narrates his footballing journey;

I started out on the street, like all players in Nigeria, before being spotted by coaches.

Then I joined the club, El Kanemi Warriors. I started my career just a year ago. I was with the U-17 before the national coach Salisu Yusuf invited me to the squad for the CHAN 2018.

Honestly, I did not expect that. I started my career a year ago and I am already playing a major tournament like CHAN. It’s a real fairy tale.

In addition, I made an appearance against Rwanda in the first match. While playing in my neighbourhood, I didn’t expect that one day, I would become an international and don the colours of Nigeria.

As a muslim, I can only thank almighty God

Role Models

Nur was inspired by two Nigerians John Obi Mikel and Ali Rabiu as well as Germany international Mesut Ozil;

On a global level, I really like Mesut Ozil, but in Nigeria, I have my idol, which is John Obi Mikel. I wish to have a career like him because he is a great player.

I mentioned Obi Mikel because I do not remember the magic moments of Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha. I also like our number 10, Rabiu Ali, who is nicknamed Pelé. He is a great player.

It’s alright. I’m living right now in Nigeria with the money my club gives me, not in great conditions but it can get better.

Like all ambitious players, I hope to sign a professional contract abroad. It will allow me to make a good living, also progress in the sport.

Rabiu, 37, is also a teammate to Nur at the on-going CHAN 2018 tournament in Morocco. He lauds the 15 year old as a good listener;

What I like about him (Nur) is that he listens to advice. He is ambitious and listens to everything.

Technically and physically, he’s an extraordinary player.

For this tournament, he is learning but for the next tournaments, expect to discover a great player

Obviously Nur has dreams for the future, a better tomorrow, but does not fail to appreciate the opportunity offered by his current club, El Kanemi Warriors.

Like many budding young players with humble beginnings, the future lies in hard work, sheer luck and perfect guidance.


  • Name: Mohammed Nur
  • Club: El Kanemi Warriors
  • Position: Striker
  • Role Model: Mesut Ozil
  • Hobby: playing and watching football

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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