Super Eagles full-back Zaidu Sanusi is a frontline soldier in Nigeria’s quest to secure a fourth Africa Cup of Nations reward. The Lagos-born left-back is hoping to write his name in Nigerian history by achieving glory in Cameroon.
The career growth has been steady for the 24-year-old Porto man. From playing for Mirandela, a club in lower leagues in Portugal three years ago, to gracing the pitch for Porto in the UEFA Champions League.
Sanusi made his debut for the Super Eagles under former coach Gernot Rohr in October 2020, but it was a disappointing night for him as Nigeria lost 1-0 to Algeria.
Since then, the left-back has made five more appearances for Nigeria. Sanusi could have made more appearances, but for injuries and constant competition from Paderborn full-back Jamilu Collins.
The 24-year-old has excellent speed and agility, and he is a constant threat in attack, as he loves to bump forward. He is also technically gifted and great in one-on-one situations.
The Porto man’s performances have constantly earned praises from his teammates and even coaches.
His club teammate Toni Martinez believes Sanusi is one of the fastest football players.
“He’s too quick. He’s probably the quickest player I’ve seen in my life!” Martinez said as per Africa topsports.
Going into the Africa Cup of Nations, Sanusi was expected to play second fiddle to Collins, who is the more favoured left-back in the team.
However, Collins was delayed by his German side, and he arrived barely three days to Nigeria first game at the AFCON.
This opened the door for Sanusi to stamp his authority in the left-back position, and the Porto man has done it with alacrity.
He posted a rock-solid display in the game against Egypt, silencing a Mohamed Salah led attack. He also occasionally went forward, and with Moses Simon, he peppered the Egyptians on the left side.
He was also outstanding in the game against Sudan, posing a regular threat on the left side with his crosses.
Although Sanusi did not play in Nigeria’s final game against Guinea-Bissau, which they won 2-0, the young full-back will look to claim his first international silverware with Nigeria in Cameroon.