Over 14,000 fans paid tribute to former Nigeria captain Nwankwo Kanu during a lively testimonial game in Lagos last weekend. Fans defied early rain to attend the star-studded game in which the Super Eagles beat a Rest of the World XI 3-1.
The game was to mark the retirement of the Portsmouth forward, a two-time African Player of the Year, from international football after 16 years. Kanu announced his retirement at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa in June 2010.
The Super Eagles fielded a strong side which featured Sulley Muntari, who was supporting current teammates Victor Obinna and African Player of the Year Samuel Eto’o. Emmanuel Adebayor, Rigobert Song and Emmanuel Eboue also turned out.
The 34-year-old Kanu played for both sides and scored for the Super Eagles side that also included Danny Shittu, Kalu Uche and Yakubu Ayegbeni.
Fittingly, it was Kanu who scored the opening goal of the game as he beat Peterside Idah, the former South Africa-based goalkeeper.
Nigeria striker Ikechukwu Uche made it 2-0 for the Super Eagles Stars just before half-time.
Second-half substitute and self-confessed Kanu protégée, Emmanuel Adebayor, then stepped up the tempo of the game in the second-half to reduce the deficit.
As the World XI chased an equaliser, it was Uche put the game beyond their reach with a long-range shot, after taking out three defenders to wrap up the victory.
The World XI included Jean Makoun, Khalilou Fadiga, Anthony Baffoe, Jay-Jay Okocha, Sammy Kuffour, George Boateng, Joseph Yobo, Taye Taiwo, Herman Hreidarsson and Obinna Nsofor.
Other players who turned out in support of Kanu were Michael Essien, Kolo Toure, Stephen Appiah, John Utaka, Daniel Amokachi and Ogbonnaya Kanu.