The success of Ladan Bosso’s team in the 2023 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations competition cannot be attributed to one player alone, but it is evident that Haliru Sarki played a significant role in their triumph. Despite facing personal tragedy, Sarki assisted in Samson Lawal’s goal in the opening match against Mozambique, which led to the team’s 2-0 victory.
However, Sarki’s performance fell short of expectations in the tournament, according to Simon Alfred, the President of Mahanaim Football Club. In an interview with Soccernet.ng, Alfred revealed that four days before departing for the tournament, Sarki lost his father, which had a negative impact on his mindset.
Despite this setback, Alfred believes that Sarki has full potential that he was unable to realize in Egypt and that he would do better in the ongoing U-20 World Cup competition in Argentina. Alfred and his team have been providing Sarki with support and advice to help him cope with pressure and perform better in the tournament.
The Flying Eagles of Nigeria will play their first World Cup match against the Dominican Republic on Sunday, and it is expected that they will win to secure their spot in Group D, which includes Brazil and Italy.
Sarki’s story is a testament to the resilience and determination of young African footballers who face personal challenges but still strive to succeed on the field. As fans and spectators, we should support these players and appreciate their efforts, even in the face of adversity.