PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has used the occasion of the determination of the 2015 World Footballer of the Year Awards to declare that the beautiful game likes him which is why Nigerian teams do well under his watch.
Yesterday Barcelona and Argentine star Lionel Messi won the Ballon D’or for a record fifth time, beating Barca team mate Neymar and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo to the title. In a twist of fate, sports minister Solomon Dalung chose the day to visit the presidential villa to update the president on football developments within the country.
During the visit, Mr Dalung presented President Buhari with a Platinum Award given to him by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) at the recent Glo/Caf gala night. Caf presented the award to President Buhari for his good leadership since he assumed office as the president of Nigeria.
In his acceptance speech, President Buhari said that he seems to be lucky with football as the national teams always tend to do well when he is in office. He added that he will do all he can to honour and reward athletes who do the country proud.
President Buhari said: “I was in office when the national U-17 team won the maiden edition of the Fifa World Cup in 1985 in China. Now, 30 years after, I am being presented again with a trophy won by the Golden Eaglets in Chile and the Africa U-23 Championship won by the Dream Team VI in Senegal, so surely, football likes me.”
Already, the machinery is already in place for the presentation of presidential awards to athletes who have done Nigeria proud on January 21, 2016. President Buhari is yet to host a reception for the Golden Eaglets who won the U17 World Cup in Chile last year and they will be among the sportsmen and women to visit the presidential villa later this month.