The two Nigerian forwards are enjoying exciting moments in Europe after making their breakthroughs in Norway
Royal Antwerp winger Chidera Ejuke has talked up his friendship with Bayer Leverkusen striker Victor Boniface, Soccernet.ng reports.
Former Heerenveen dazzler Ejuke revealed that he struck up a relationship with Boniface while playing academy football in Nigeria before both of them met again at Norwegian side Valerenga.
After failing a trial at Liverpool, Ejuke’s first stop in Europe after leaving Gombe United was at Valerenga, where he nurtured his talents between 2017 and 2019.
During that period, Real Sapphire academy product Boniface arrived on trial at Valerenga, but he failed to nail down a contract with the Oslo-based club.
Boniface was later snapped up in 2019 by another Norwegian club, Bodø/Glimt, from where he joined Union Saint-Gilloise in 2022.
The 22-year-old spent only one season with the Belgian side before his celebrated move to German Bundesliga campaigners Bayer Leverkusen this summer materialise.
Meanwhile, Ejuke’s football career after he left Norway took him to the Netherlands, then Russia, Germany, and now to Belgium, where he defends the colours of champions Antwerp.
The two friends have kept in touch throughout their times apart, with Boniface returning to Belgium a few months ago to check up on Ejuke at Antwerp’s training ground.
Ejuke has also promised to return the favour and visit Boniface in Leverkusen in the coming days.
“He was there for me, yes,” says Ejuke, as per Gva, when talking about Boniface’s presence inside the Antwerp training complex.
“We have been friends for a long time. We used to live very far away from each other, but we met at youth tournaments and started talking.”
Recalling how they were close to becoming teammates at Valerenga, Ejuke said:
“He was on probation but was not allowed to stay. Fortunately, he ended up at another Norwegian club (Bødo/Glimt, ed.), and we were able to meet up regularly. We still do that now; I hope to be able to go to Leverkusen soon.”
While Ejuke has needed time to settle in Belgium, Boniface has taken to German football like an Eskimo in Iceland.
The Super Eagles star has been named the winner of the first four Bundesliga Rookie Player of the Month awards. He is a crucial member of a Bayer Leverkusen side that is undefeated in 23 games across all competitions this season.