As Nigeria claimed their third Africa Cup of Nations title, it seems only fitting that this week’s World Player of the Week should be a star of the country’s own Premier League: Warri Wolves’ Sunday Mba.
After scoring the winning goal against pre-tournament favourites Cote d’Ivoire last week, the 24-year-old continued his form as the Super Eagles soared to glory in South Africa. After a superb peformance in the semi-final demolition of Mali, Mba stepped up with the all-important strike in Sunday’s showpiece final, lifting the ball over the Burkina Faso defence before volleying superbly into the bottom corner.
The goal earned Nigeria an impressive triumph at the 2013 tournament, as well as a place in the Confederations Cup later this year – an achievement made all the more remarkable when you consider that Mba, along with five other players, still ply their trade in the local league.
Lolade Adewuyi, chief editor of Goal.com Nigeria, had this to say on a memorable week for the player:
“Sunday Mba has become famous for scoring key goals on sundays. The 24-year-old Warri Wolves star scored the winning goal for Nigeria in their 2013 Africa Cup of Nations final triumph over Burkina Faso on Sunday; earlier, he scored the winning goal in the Super Eagles’ 2-1 defeat of pre-tournament favourites Cote D’Ivoire.
“Not known much before this tournament, Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi’s decision to include six players from the local league in his Afcon team has thrown up a new class of star players, and Mba surely tops their ranks.
“The Afcon trophy is just reward for a player who has worked really hard to be where he is at the moment. Mba’s career is expected to soar with the confidence earned from this conquest.”
|Congratulations to Sunday Mba, Goal.com’s 195th World Player of the Week winner!
Gareth Bale – Tottenham/Wales
Miles Chambers: “Truly an unstoppable force at the moment.”
Goal.com’s Danny Hart: “Inspired Wales and Spurs to victory, prompting comparisons with Messi and Ronaldo.”
Guillermo Burdisso – Boca
@SlashFootballUK: “What a beauty, and from a defender too!”
Goal.com’s Stephen McIlkenny: “Given Boca’s shaky defence, perhaps he should become a permanent striker…”
Youssouf Hersi – W. Sydney
@captcorbo: “A beautiful story… the human spirit is a wonderful thing.”
Goal.com’s Joe Wright: “What a way for the fans’ favourite to celebrate a new deal at the club.”
Cristiano Ronaldo – R. Madrid
@Adisalat: “He scored his 21st career hat-trick against Sevilla… No doubt, he’s one of the greatest.”
Goal.com’s Iago Lago Fernandez: “Man of the match and man of the week in Spain. Simply awesome.”