Published: July 06, 2012
EJIKE UZOENYI: I Am Honored To Be Called LIONEL MESSINigeria international Ejike Uzoenyi has admitted to allnigeriasoccer.com that his days at Nigeria Premier League pacesetters Enugu Rangers are numbered.

The 20-year-old flying winger is one of the hottest commodities in the local league. After previously trialing in Tunisia, Norway and Greece with Esperance, Tromsø and Panionios respectively, Ejike Uzoenyi, who has been dubbed Nigeria's version of Lionel Messi, could be on his way to Europe at the end of the season, and admits he would miss the fans of Enugu Rangers if he quits the club.

Uzoeyi, an admirer of Brazilian legend Romario, told allnigeriasoccer.com: ''I was informed after Nigeria's games in June that I am being followed by a club in Turkey. If I finally leave Rangers, I would miss my teammates, and the coaches especially the General Manager, they are all wonderful people.''

On being compared to Barcelona's super-star Lionel Messi, the Super Eagle said: ''It is very cool when I get to hear such comparisons. But I don't want to be Messi. I want to be Ejike Uzoenyi Chrisantus. I am honored to be called that name. He is the greatest football player I have seen play on the football pitch.''

Ejike Uzoenyi has showered praises on the former Anderlecht libero and Nigeria gaffer Stephen Keshi for giving the home based players an opportunity in his rebuilding process.

''Keshi is like a father not only to me, but the whole of the team. For considering us, the home based players, I don't need to tell you how many families have benefited from what he is doing.

''Many of us after a national assignment never wanted to go back to our clubs to start playing immediately, but coach Keshi made it a must. In the Super Eagles camp, you can't differentiate between a home based and foreign based player. I think it's the best step for our football to move forward,'' Ejike Uzoenyi said.

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