Arteta reveals his favorite Nigerian player

Arteta reveals his favorite Nigerian player

Arsenal manager has praised exceptional talent former Nigerian international Haruna Babandiga, but regret the winger never made a major impact.

Haruna Babandiga arrived at Camp Nou from Ajax at 15 in 1998 and he was tagged as the next big star of European football.


 

The pin size winger was among the golden generation of Stars at Barcelona’s LA Mesia with the likes of Mikel Arteta, Carles Puyol, Pepe Reina, and Xavi Hernandez.

 

Haruna went on to score 44 goals in 110 appearances for the Barcelona B team but was never given the chance in the first team.

 

“In our dorms at Barcelona, we had Pepe Reina, Victor Valdes, Andres Iniesta and Carles Puyol. But I remember there was this boy called Haruna Babangida.”

 

“Wow! at 15, he was the best player in the world,” Arteta told TheAthletic.com in an exclusive interview.

 

Haruna who is the younger brother of Super Eagles star Tijaji Babandiga later left the club in 2004 for Olympiacos where he won Greek Super League twice.

 

The Kaduna born forward only cap for the Super Eagles came in 2003 in 3-0 defeat to Japan.

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