Nigeria teenage star Samuel Chukwueze has been getting accolades for his performance against Barcelona in their 4-4 draw with Villarreal on Tuesday, this time it’s coming from his mentor and President of Super Stars Academy, Prince Victor Apugo.
The winger who on Monday was named as Nigeria Young Player of the Year steered the Yellow Submarine to overcome a two-goal deficit at the Estadio de la Ceramica scoring and assisting with another before late goals from Messi and Suarez deny them victory.
Having fallen two goals down thanks to a goal apiece from Philippe Coutinho and Malcom, Chukwueze ignited his side’s comeback in the 23rd minute of the contest with an impressive individual effort.
After beating off his marker, the youngster’s effort hit the bar before calmly slotting home the rebound for his fourth league goal of the season.
Then in the 50th minute, the Nigerian international set up Toko Ekambi for his side’s equaliser before Vicente Iborra’s strike gave Javier Calleja’s men the lead for the first time in the game.
Reacting to the performance, Apugo who is like a father-figure to Chukwueze having discovered him during his time as General Manager of Diamond Football Academy, was full of praise for the 19-year-old and tipped him to win Africa’s first Ballon d’or since George Weah won it in 1995.
He said: “First of all I want to congratulate Chukwueze for winning Nigeria’s Young Player of the Year award. He is undoubtedly the best young player out of this continent and I know he has the potential to win the African Player of the Year and even the Ballon d’or.
“He is a truly outstanding player, his goal against Barcelona who are arguably the best team in the world was well taken and a beauty. His overall performance in the match was great coming at the backdrop of him being named Nigeria Young Player of the Year; it goes to show that the award was well-deserved.
“I have a very high expectation from him because I know him very well and know he hasn’t even cracked half of his potentials but he must remain humble and focused. If he does that then I think he’ll be a candidate for the Ballon d’or in the near future.”
Chukwueze has made 19 league appearances this season and has been impressive for the La Liga side, scoring seven goals in all competitions. He will hope to play key part as Villarreal continue their relegation battle when they visit Real Betis on Sunday.