I Can Die For My Wife’s Egusi Soup – Super Eagles’ Adi | Independent Newspapers Limited
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I Can Die For My Wife’s Egusi Soup – Super Eagles’ Adi

Fanendo Adi
Posted: Apr 9, 2016 at 3:10 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chibuike Chukwu LAGOS
The invitation of Fanendo Adi of Portland Timbers in the Major League Soccer (MLS) might have popularised the name among the Nigerian football public, but there are other sides of the player not many Nigerians are aware of.
The striker was among the foreign-based players invited by Coach Samson Siasia for the already-executed Africa Cup of Nations twin qualifiers against Pharaohs of Egypt. Adi is the MLS champion with his Portland Timbers team mates.
He is one of the big reasons why the Portland Timbers advanced to the Western Conference Championship of the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs.
The Eagles striker came on particularly strong as the season wore on, scoring four goals to lead the team to three straight wins to end the regular season. And with six goals in his final five games, Adi set the Timbers MLS record for goals in a season, with 16 in his first full campaign with the club.
And in just a season and a half with Portland after his midsummer acquisition last year from FC Copenhagen, Adi has 25 goals and seven assists in 57 appearances (41 starts). He’s known for scoring goals in the Rose City, not to mention his stature at 6-foot-4, 185-pounds.
He is one of the more formidable forwards in the Major League Soccer, drawing much praise from Caleb Porter, head coach, for his physical play against bruising centre backs such as the Vancouver Whitecaps’ Kendall Waston and Seattle Sounders’ Chad Marshall.
But according to the player, it wasn’t quite easy for him when he started playing the game, saying hard work was the key to him achieving whatever he has achieved in the MLS.
“I was a little tiny guy when I’d go to play,” Adi said. “My friends would say you are so small so you stay in the posts, so I was a goalie when I was growing up. They never let me play because they said I was too small.”
Adi said becoming a forward was all about will power.
“It’s just putting your mind to what you want to do.”
Adi grew up poor in a small village in Benue State. He revealed that there at the village, he was always playing soccer. He told Timbers.com early this season that he would play for hours, sometimes only wearing bedroom slippers, and oftentimes skipping out on household chores much to the chagrin of his mother.
“A lot of trouble. A lot of trouble, actually,” Adi said with much laughter. That usually attracted severe punishment from mama. Truth was that I couldn’t stop playing with my peers on the streets,” he said.
“I hope sincerely that my perseverance to play might have taking me this far in my career,” he admitted.
But the mother, he continued, was not entirely against playing football but focusing on his education.
Adi’s mother and grandmother were never thrilled with the idea of him pursuing his dream to be a professional football player, preferring him to focus on his education first. And he hasn’t forgotten those wishes, having been enrolled in college classes since joining the Timbers.
“That was the main reason I enrolled in college classes. I have to live out those wishes,” he said.
On what he does if he is not playing football, Adi said: “When I’m not playing soccer, I like to play basketball, tennis or just hanging out with friends. But when it comes to special hobbies, eating was at the top of the list,” he said.
While the player admitted liking so many foodstuffs, he readily reeled out the bond he has cut with his wife’s Egusi soup, saying:
“The soup is made with some special ingredients from Africa, and it’s really, really good. I’d say it what makes me so strong, and I can die because of it,” he said with a big laugh.