Felix Orode, 25, who has not visited Nigeria for more than five years, has gotten help from his colleagues in order to be able to visit his family in Lagos. The midfielder at 4th division side, Sportivo Barracas, has lived the life of a journey man. The former Sharks FC player left Nigeria as a teenager for the promise of European football.
While in Spain, Orode got a call that he was wanted by one of Argentina’s most historic clubs, San Lorenzo under manager Diego ‘el Cholo’ Simeone. It was a move too good to be true which he could not turn down and he made the switch with hopes of making it big in South America.
Orode was sent out on loan the next year to Nueva Chicago and eventually left on a free transfer, at the end of his two-year contract, to CAI in the 2nd division. Further moves to Excursionistas, Communicaciones and then across the border to Peruvian club Walter Ormeno, meant he never really settled down professionally.
Through it all, he learnt the Spanish language and married an Argentine who gave him a son and a daughter. By the time Orode returned to Argentina and Sportivo Barracas, it had been more than 5 years since he last visited Nigeria.
The wages in 4th division of Argentine football are not the best which meant he has been struggling to raise his family with not enough funds to travel to Nigeria to see his mother and brothers. A return ticket between Lagos and Buenos Aires goes for at least N560,000.
When his teammates heard about his challenge, they decided to help. They pooled funds over several months in order to help him return to Lagos for a few weeks, with his wife, Yasmine, and their children.
In a chat with Goal, he said: “God willing, when I finish the season I will be traveling. I really cannot believe it. It’s a great joy. I’ll give a surprise to my mom who does not know I’m coming. I hope she can recognize me.”…. I also want to witness, first hand, d CHANGE dt Nigerians have been enjoying all alone…. Cc: Goal