FROM BARRACKS TO BUNDESLIGA: The Rise Of Super Eagles & Bayern Leverkusen Star, Victor Boniface

Date: 19-05-2024 6:38 am (3 weeks ago) | Author: Mister Jay Wonder
- at 19-05-2024 06:38 AM (3 weeks ago)
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Victor Boniface's journey from the humble confines of a military barracks in Akure, Ondo State, to the grand stages of European football is a tale of determination and triumph. The Bayer Leverkusen forward's path to success is marked by talent, tenacity, and the overcoming of numerous challenges.

In a recent interview with Deutsche Welle (DW), Boniface reflected on his early football career, living with his grandparents in a military barracks in Akure. “I lived in the barracks because I lived with my grandparents. My granddad was in the military then,” he shared.

It was in these surroundings that his passion for football was kindled, thanks to a football-loving soldier neighbor. This neighbor, a talented player himself, introduced Boniface to the game and played a crucial role in his early development. “A soldier, my neighbor who was a fantastic football player, maybe unfortunately he didn’t make it to football, then decided to join the military. So when the soldiers go out to play, he will take me sometimes to watch them play,” Boniface recounted.

As Boniface's skills developed, his talent began to attract attention beyond the barracks. At T-Chris International School in Akure, his potential was nurtured by his first youth coach, Johnson Blessing. “I remember sometimes, juniors will play against the seniors and when I played the game, I was selected by a coach [Johnson Blessing], from there, I joined the Academy,” Boniface explained.

Blessing, who also coached Boniface at Royal Gold Soccer Academy, recognized his unique abilities early on. “He was highly talented and was not playing the way others were playing. He was different, that attracted me to him, that this guy is going to go far,” Blessing noted.

In 2019, Boniface’s career took a significant leap when he moved to Lagos to join Real Sapphire FC, marking the beginning of his international success. This move led to his first European transfer to Norwegian club Bodo/Glimt, where he honed his skills over three years. His performances there paved the way for a transfer to Belgian side Union Saint-Gilloise in 2022.

At Union Saint-Gilloise, Boniface's performances were electrifying, particularly in the Europa League, where he scored six goals, including a memorable brace against Union Berlin. His stellar form caught the eye of Bayer Leverkusen’s manager Xabi Alonso, leading to a high-profile move to the German giants in 2023. The transfer, worth €20 million, was the most expensive sale in Union SG’s history.

Alonso praised Boniface, calling him a “terrific player and a serious threat to opposition defenses.” Despite an adductor muscle injury that sidelined him for four months, Boniface scored 14 Bundesliga goals and 21 in all competitions in his debut season, playing a crucial role in helping Leverkusen secure their first-ever Bundesliga title during an unbeaten season.

Boniface's contributions earned him the 2023/24 Bundesliga Rookie of the Season award. As Leverkusen prepare for the Europa League final against Atalanta and the DFB-Pokal final against Kaiserslautern, Boniface stands on the brink of adding more silverware to his burgeoning career.

Posted: at 19-05-2024 06:38 AM (3 weeks ago) | Addicted Hero
- gogoman at 19-05-2024 12:01 PM (3 weeks ago)
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 Cool Cool Cool
Posted: at 19-05-2024 12:01 PM (3 weeks ago) | Grande Master
- fineboy77 at 19-05-2024 02:09 PM (3 weeks ago)
He's a star

Posted: at 19-05-2024 02:09 PM (3 weeks ago) | Addicted Hero


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