Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi on Sunday emerged as Nigeria’s 2019 Player of The Year to the delight of two former England icons, Gary Lineker and Peter Shilton.
Ndidi was named Nigeria’s Footballer of the Year at the Ballers awards after being snubbed by CAF in Africa’s Team of the Year. The 23-year-old enjoyed a fantastic year for his English club, and also starred as the Super Eagles finished in third place at the 2019 African Cup of Nations.
Ndidi beat Lille’s Victor Osimhen, Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze, Shanghai Shenhua’s Odion Ighalo and Udinese’s William Troost-Ekong to the honour.
The former Genk midfield enforcer, shortly after, took to Twitter to express his delight, and offer his appreciation to those who played their part in his success.
“Its a great privileged to win Nigeria’s best footballer of the year. I couldn’t have done this by myself, I want to thank my teammates both in the National team and at Leicester City. Thank you to the organisers of The Ballers Awards and all the fans. Thank you,” Ndidi wrote on his official Twitter handle.
Its a great privileged to win Nigeria's best footballer of the year. I couldn't have done this by myself, I want to thank my teammates both in the National team and at Leicester City. Thank you to the organisers of The Ballers Awards and all the fans. Thank you 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/IMNyzsUt5n
— Ndidi Wilfred (@Ndidi25) January 13, 2020
Gary Lineker reacted to the news on Twitter, with the former Barcelona and Leicester City striker believing Ndidi was deserving of the gong.
“Officially a Baller. Much deserved,” Gary Lineker wrote.
Officially a Baller. Much deserved. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 https://t.co/xIoPxjyOTc
— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) January 13, 2020
One of England’s greatest ever goalkeeper, Peter Shilton, also commended the Nigeria international on his award. Shilton, who currently holds the record for playing more games for the England men’s national football team than anyone else, took to Twitter to congratulate Ndidi.
“Congratulations, Ndidi,” Shilton said.
Congratulations @Ndidi25 👍
— Peter Shilton (@Peter_Shilton) January 13, 2020
Ndidi is currently out injured and isn’t set to return until next month after undergoing surgery. The defensive midfielder has featured in 20 Premier League games this term, failing to start just once.