Growing up in Ibadan was tough for Peter Oladeji Olayinka, as a young aspiring footballer. His Father didn’t think a career in football was possible, but it would eventually bring him fame and put food on the table.
“At first My dad didn’t support me,” the Sparta Prague forward said.
“Later he noticed I could make a living from it and he became my number fan. He bought me playing kits and my boots.”
That support was crucial to help propel the powerful forward on his quest in Europe.
Last month, Olayinka announced himself in UEFA Champions League against Inter Milan on a night he’ll always remember as “proud” moment.
Recalling the his first UCL goal and playing inside the iconic San Siro, the striker to newsmen that, “A lot was going through my mind and playing inside the San Siro was epic.
“Scoring a goal there made me really proud and it’s a moment I will remember for the rest of my life.”
But it wasn’t always plain sailing for the Nigerian, who earned his first call up to the senior national team in September for an international friendly against Brazil.
” I was on the streets for a very long time, things weren’t easy. I suffered mostly growing up; things were difficult,” he narrated.
“I would drink Garri and kuli kuli or go on an empty stomach after practice. But I kept my focus and would pray for a breakthrough.”
The 23 year-old will hope to make his debut for Nigeria on October 13 against Brazil at the National Stadium in Singapore.