Super Falcons defender Glory Ogbonna says her father’s words of encouragement helped her climb up the football ladder.
The Turkey-based footballer, in an exclusive chat with our correspondent, said her mother advised her to quit football, after she watched her writhing in pains on the treatment table.
“I remember the day my mum was crying as she witnessed an orthopaedic doctor fixing my knee injury and I was shouting. Then she said to me, ‘my daughter, stop playing (football), you have really tried and I am proud of you.’
“But then my dad said to her ‘Goodluck’, as he normally calls my mum, ‘please go to the kitchen, leave my daughter alone. Footballers pass through such challenges; when I was playing, I passed through same too. So, leave her, she will make it to the top.’”
Ogbonna, who joined giants Besiktas from ALG Spor Kulubu in the Turkish Women’s Football Super League last December, said her father’s words came as a soothing balm, and from then on she told herself she’ll never give up.
She also called on young footballers to pursue their dreams in the midst of challenges.
“Believe me, each time I remember those words from my father, it gives me reason not to bow to any challenge, but rather, have the courage to face them.
“I honestly can’t love my dad less, he’s my backbone, after God,” Ogbonna added.
Ogbonna, 24, who represented Nigeria twice at the U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2016 and 2018, and made her Falcons debut in 2018, helping the former African champions to their ninth African title in Ghana same year.