FORMER Super Eagles skipper Nwankwo Kanu has been appointed as the senior special assistant on sports to the Imo State governor Emeka Ihedioha in what is his first political appointment in the country.
Kanu, 43, is an indigene of Imo State and grew up in Owerri where he played for local team Heartlands before joining Ajax of Amsterdam. Nigeria’s most decorated player, Kanu has won the Uefa Champions League, Olympic gold and numerous league titles in an illustrious career that saw him play for Ajax, Inter Milan, Arsenal, West Bromwich Albion and Portsmouth.
He became globally famous in 1996 when it was discovered that Kanu has a defective heart but despite this, he refused to quit football and went on to play for at least another decade. Kanu then opened a heart foundation to care for Nigerian children with heart defects, which has since saved hundreds of lives.
Aic Akwarandu, Governor Ihedioha’s spokesman, said: “In this new role, the Nigerian World Cup skipper will assist the Ihedioha administration on rebuilding the sports sector in Imo State.”
Born on August 1, 1976, Kanu popularly known as Papillo, is a holder of the OON national title and is also a also a Unicef goodwill ambassador. Apart from wining a Uefa Champions League medal, Kanu’s trophy cabinet also includes a Uefa Cup medal, three FA Cup medals and two African Player of the Year awards.