Awoniyi grew up in Ilorin, and he has traveled back home to give back to the grassroots
Super Eagles strikers Taiwo Awoniyi and Anthony Ujah were in Ilorin to cheer alongside Maximilian Brommer, as International FC defeated Unicorn FC on penalties to win the maiden edition of the 2023 Never Stop Dreaming Cup, Soccernet.ng reports.
Awoniyi has had a tremendous career so far. He started his career playing on one of the pitches at the Sheikh Adbulkadir College in Ilorin, and that was where he was scouted by the Imperial Soccer Academy.
The Nottingham Forest striker then played for Nigeria’s Under-17 team, where he shone, scoring four goals at the 2013 World Cup. Liverpool then signed him on, but because of his inability to get a work permit, he had to go on different loan deals in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
He finally got his breakthrough two years ago after signing for Union Berlin where he impressed, before joining Nottingham Forest in the Premier League last summer.
Awoniyi has not forgotten his roots. He initiated and sponsored a tournament for football academies in Ilorin- the Never Stop Dreaming Cup.
After weeks of grueling football, the final took place on Saturday at the Sheikh Abdulkadir College Pitch, where his story began. International FC beat Unicorn FC, but it was a keenly contested tie.
Saheed Olayinka opened the scoring for International FC around the 15th minute, and it looked like they were going to win the game, as they always looked dangerous whenever they attacked Unicorn’s backline.
However, Olamide Olasehinde drew level for the Unicorns in the second half. Both teams went hard at it, but the game eventually ended in a stalemate.
The game went straight into penalties, with International emerging victorious after converting four of their penalty kicks while Unicorns scored three.
Awoniyi was present with his family, and Eintracht Braunschweig star Anthony Ujah. He also invited his agent Maximilian Brommer to scout some of the best players from the game.
The winner of the competition, International FC took home 1 million naira, second place won 750,000, and third won 500,000.
The Nottingham Forest star also had a lot of gifts for some of his old friends. Next up for him is national duty with Nigeria.
The Super Eagles camp opens on the 11th of June ahead of their crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Liberia on the 18th of June. He scored ten Premier League goals for Nottingham Forest last season, and he would be looking to take that form to Liberia.