Bichi Jr. is a young Nigeria footballer who plays for Yingkou Chagoyue FC in China. Born December 27, 2003, the youngster hails from Kano, one of Nigeria’s 36 states, but was bred in the country’s capital, Abuja.
His jersey name, Bichi Jr., took after his hometown, Bichi, a local government in Kano, one of the two most populous states in the country. Formally, he is Abba Yusuf Bichi–and he was born of Messrs. Aisha and Yusuf Magaji Bichi.
Many who have followed the unfolding of the last U-17 World Cup in Brazil and the Chinese division 1 tournament, are in awe over the escapades of the wonderkid. Was it his pace, his command over the ball, or even his dribbling prowess? The youngster embodied them all, and they were all out in all the tournaments he has participated in, leaving spectators with moments to remember at every turn.
He is now one of Golden Eaglets’ leading stars. But here is how he started.
Bichi Jr. started his football career in the streets of Abuja at a young age. From futsal to street football, he nurtured his ambition to be the next Neymar through an all-out dedication from strength to strength. In no long, his exploits became of note and was called up to join FC Wuse in Abuja in 2015, to begin his transformation into a professional footballer.
But his extraordinary abilities were soon to throw him into a global limelight. At Wuse FC, China’s Changchun FC came calling for his services. The promising kid became a constant object for talent hunt. In China again, Yingkou Chaoyue, after a goalscoring spree of 18 in 30 appearances, sought to covet him in their lineup.
There, at the age of 15, he was called up to join his country’s 21-man squad for the 2018 U17 World Cup in Brazil. Though they did not cross the round 16, Golden Eaglets still remain one of the teams with the most records in the tournament’s history, with five world cups and three runner up positions to their names.
Though he grew up admiring Neymar, he said his parents are a great influence on his career. ‘Growing up, my parents supported me every turn of the way and I am sure it made me what I am today,’ he once said. But he said he is also fascinated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the two leading footballers on earth today.
He is a regular forward for both club and country. Right footed though, his weaker foot is no less powerful. He has an unrelenting pace, with unwavering energy. These qualities make him flexible with roles. He plays from both flanks, and with his playmaking abilities, he is sometimes slotted on attack in the midfield to set off his teammates for scoring.
But at 17, it cannot be said that Bichi Jr’s best is seen. In his words, he said he is still working hard to improve on his abilities, which is the more reason his best may well still be on its way. ‘I’m always trying to perfect everything – dribbling, shooting, heading and control. You need to always improve everyday,’ he said.
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