Former Super Eagles goalkeeper Dele Aiyenugba says he’s delighted to return to the Nigeria Professional football league years after leaving for Europe.
Aiyenugba made his name in the Nigerian elite division league, where he played for Kwara United and Enyimba International of Aba.
He won the league and won the CAF Champions League title with the Enyimba of Aba in 2004 before he ended his stay in the domestic league by moving to Israeli league in 2007.
The former Super Eagles shot-stopper spent seven years in Israel and played Bnei Yehuda, Hapoel Ashkelon, Hapoel Iksal and Hapoel Afula, before returning home to rejoin Kwara United.
Aiyenugba said he is happy to return to where he started his career and hopes he return can inspire other Nigerian players to move back home, in order to share the experience with the young players in the league.
“I came back to the league because I want to encourage other players to return and also young players in the league.
“For example, in Israel, Benayoun went back to Israel, played for 5 seasons at Maccabi Tel Aviv, Beitar Jerusalem, Beitar Tikva, and Maccabi Haifa before he stopped playing. Why we don’t do it in Nigeria kills me. When a player wants to play, they say he’s old and broke, but he needs to feed his family and still has his two legs to play. Will he beg for money from his colleagues to feed his family? It’s so funny,” He told DailyTimes.
Aiyenugba remains one of the most successful players in the history of the Nigerian professional football league, with four domestic league titles, two Nigerian Aiteo Cup, Two CAF Champions League, and two CAF Super Cup crown.