The former Nigeria captain had an illustrious career with the likes of Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, and Ajax, but growing up, he never wanted to be a footballer.
Former Super Eagles captain, Sunday Oliseh has revealed he wanted to be an economist or an accountant like his father while growing up.
The 45-year-old said this while sharing his life journey with an audience at a TEDx conference in London. Oliseh had a hugely successful career both at the international and club level.
He was part of the Super Eagles squad that won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations title in Tunisia, while he also played a vital role in Nigeria’s second-round run at her first World Cup appearance in USA 94.
Also, Oliseh was part of the Dream Team that won the gold medal in the football event of the Atlanta 96 Olympics.
At club level, the 45-year-old was one of the first set of Nigerians that got the chance to play in Europe. He featured for Europe’s heavyweights like Juventus, Borussia Dortmund and Ajax Amsterdam.
However, all of these wouldn’t have been possible had Oliseh followed in his father’s footsteps. His father was an accountant, and Oliseh revealed it was also his wish to tow in the same line.
“Right from the time we were kids, there was competition for everything. There was competition for food. There was competition for the love of our parents. There was competition for the sofa because if you did not sit down early, you’d watch village headmaster on the floor, Oliseh told a TEDx audience.
“So right from all my life, we’ve been competing, and that competition, I kind of carried it into school.” For me, I could not accept being second, and that meant, I did everything to study a lot.
“I was passionate about Education. My father was an accountant, so my dream was to be like him: an economist or something.
Football just tagged along the way because out of boredom. We didn’t have television, so the way to celebrate or have a good time is to go out on the street with your friends before Daddy came back from work, he added.
“So that’s just how we got busy. And I got good at it because I found out that, in football, I was applying some things like logic into it.”
“But little did I know that football was something that will take my family from that little village into the world scene,” Oliseh added.