“Importance Of The Game Helped Me Pulled Through The Toughest Times” – The Nedum Onuoha Story

“Importance Of The Game Helped Me Pulled Through The Toughest Times” – The Nedum Onuoha Story

Chinedum “Nedum” Onuoha born 12 November 1986 is an English professional footballer who plays as a defender for Real Salt Lake. He is typically a center back, but he can also play at right-back or left-back.

Having had a very successful footballing career, Onuoha had also suffered some very discouraging moments. But most interestingly, he didn’t allow the incident to define his entire career, he quickly got over it and kept taking his career to greater heights.


One of his toughest moments happened sometimes in June 2007, when the Under-21s were taking part in the European Championship in the Netherlands, Onuoha, then at Manchester City, was subjected to monkey chants in a 2-0 victory over Serbia, an experience he has described as “the toughest 90 minutes of my life”.


“It is an experience that will never leave me, and to this day it is a source of sadness and anger that during an international football match, played in the 21st century, I was the victim of racist chanting from Serbia supporters”.


“It started during the first half of our group match in Nijmegen and got louder and louder, so much so that the PA announcer had to ask the fans to calm down.”


“Footballers are used to getting abuse during a game, it is par for the course, but when that abuse is racist in nature that takes the emotions you feel to a different level,” Onuoha said.


“I became more and more angry against Serbia, but because of the importance of the game – we needed a win to qualify for the next stage – I kept it inside and made sure I focused on doing my job. It was probably the toughest 90 minutes of my life.”

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