Peter Rufai, the prince who became… professional football player

Peter Rufai, the prince who became… professional football player
Maradona and Rufai, Argentina captains and Nigeria respectively, They greet each other before meeting in USA'94 (sportsvillagesquare)

Unlike thousands of children, the future of the Peter Rufai and it was written when he was born in summer 1963 in Lagos (Nigeria). That baby would be the heir of the king Rufai, the monarch of the people ical. An honorific, but which involved a tribal responsibility.

Peter Rufai He grew to the defense of his powerful family, giving each more samples rather than its zero interest in politics, always had other plans in which there was a ball through. His heightened passion for football led him more than one punishment for pilfering money in the palace to buy a ball after another. With the excuse that the importance of academic training for someone his condition was Sent to Belgium to pursue higher education finance and computer and with the secret intention of finally forget his soccer career.

To be king needed the strength of a lion, something that I do not possess "

But the call of football was too powerful, the young would build its separation from parental control to start carving out a career humble, from below, but he gave minimal support for a renegade prince for his family could survive.

When it seemed the race Peter Rufai die in the lower divisions of the Netherlands, would his inexplicable meteoric rise. After a campaign in Portugal, he got his big break. Surprisingly is quoted by Bora Milutinovic as third goalkeeper of the Nigerian team that played the World US 1994. The vicissitudes of fate did finally emerge as a starter after the untimely injury of his two predecessors. Thus he starred, on playgrounds yankees, one of the leading roles of the African teams in World Cup history, Prodigious only two goals from Roberto Baggio got on the horn eliminate the green eagles of the championship.

It backed by its mundialista presence came to the newly christened League All-Star. Peter Rufai fulfilled a personal dream he shared with the entire city of Alicante. He joined Hercules, a club newly promoted to first division ten years later.

My family does not like football, They want to return, but I do not want to live in a palace, surrounded by bodyguards and with a fortune that I have not earned my work… I mean heels when I want "

His divine status has not gone unnoticed in the Mediterranean city. His companions in the Hercules surrendered a cult jocular tending towels on the floor as a royal crowns carpet and painting his name on the blackboard in the locker room. But the dream was short-lived alicantino, after a full season of ups and downs just down to Second Division. Surprisingly, Rufai, whose sports participation it was virtually gone unnoticed, fichando just by the almighty Deportivo La Coruna, who lived a time blinded by the brilliance of yesteryear and seemed determined to replace the Hercules Tower of Babel to the edge of Finisterre.

Galicia also had many opportunities. His moment of glory could be summed up in a few tenths of a second that they welcomed the penalty shot Savio, new signing of an entire Real Madrid, and the lucky stretched the goalkeeper. Its significance was always more for the color of blood that for his performances in goal. Surely his performance most talked about by the press was when, to the death of his father, I had to ask permission Lendoiro to go to Lagos and participate in choosing the line of succession to the royal throne.

His career would end ingloriously, resigned to return home and settling into our, where she felt free listening to Camarón in his clothing store located opposite Riazor. Recalling one single enviable international career overshadowed by suspicion real intermediation.

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