I didn’t want to join Man City – Iheanacho
Kelechi Iheanacho of Leicester City says he never imagined himself playing for a big club like Manchester City.
Iheanacho’s standout performance at the 2013 U-17 World Cup in the UAE, where he won the Golden Ball after seven assists and six goals, including four goals in a group stage win over Mexico, helped Nigeria win a fourth title, served as the impetus for his 2014 transfer to the Etihad.
Iheanacho won the League Cup in his first season at the Etihad less than a year after joining the Cityzens. He was also promoted to the first team shortly thereafter.
“I didn’t believe that it was going to happen,” Iheanacho told LCFC.
“After the U-17 World Cup, I was looking at going to other teams in Europe.
“But when they said I was going to Manchester City, I was surprised and saying, ‘How can I go there to that massive team? Am I going to play?’ I said that I wouldn’t go and that they should take me to a smaller team.
“However, my father said to me that it doesn’t matter where I go, I know how to play football and that I will get through there. So, I believed in him, he blessed me and I went to Man City.”
Iheanacho added that French defender Gael Clichy toughened him up at City.
“Gael Clichy, I called him my teacher,” Iheanacho stated.
“He’s the one who taught me how to go and get what you want and how to be tough and fight on the pitch, because he is a fighter. He never gets tired.
“He was always with me and pushing me. If he was against me (in training), he was going to kick me and say that I have to stand and fight back. I will never forget his kind words and teaching. He was my closest friend.
“Obviously, I didn’t get to play much but I was part of a big squad with brilliant players to win that. It was exciting. There were a lot of them (quality players). Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri, Jesus Navas, David Silva and Vincent Kompany, who always talked to me and gave me advice.”
The 26-year-old scored 21 goals in 64 games for Man City before joining Leicester City in 2017.
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