The real reason why i left Al-Shabab for Al-Hilal – Odion Ighalo

Odion Ighalo reveals reason why he dumped Al-Shabab for Al-Hilal

Odion Ighalo, Super Eagles striker, has revealed why he left Saudi Arabian team Al-Shabab for their bitter rivals – Al-Hilal.

According to the forward, he departed Saudi Arabia simply because he was denied a visa to travel for the recent Africa Cup of Nations, Afcon 2021 in Cameroon.

Odion Ighalo reveals reason why he dumped Al-Shabab for Al-Hilal

Odion Ighalo

Ighalo, who had previously retired from international football following the 2019 AFCON, rejoined to national team play last year.

With Victor Osimhen and Emmanuel Dennis absent from the past AFCON 2021, the 32-year-old was projected to be one of Nigeria’s main target men upon his return.

Unfortunately, he was unable to continue his outstanding form to the AFCON due to Al Shabab’s refusal to allow him to travel to Cameroon.

It was the key reason for his January swap to Al-Hilal, according to the former Watford player, because he and Al Shabab were at odds after they opted to hold him back.

I was not happy with them and we decided to part ways because the Nations Cup that I didn’t go to caused a lot of bad blood. Four hours until my flight [to Cameroon], they had not sent me the exit visa. I called the team manager, and he told me they did not get an invitation,” Ighalo told ESPN.

He added;

But I had a copy of the invitation that was sent because they copied me in the email. We had all this back and forth going on, I changed the ticket to the next day, and then the third day, and they still did not send me the visa. At that point, I knew they did not want me to go. My anger was that they should have told me straight up, not smiling in my face one day and then acting a different way. That is why I decided to leave.”

And, of course, the former Manchester United striker scored twice in Al Hilal’s 4-0 triumph over Al Shabab in their last encounter on Thursday.

Ighalo, on the other hand, chose not to celebrate the goals against his old club.

His scoring prowess was never in doubt, as he had a fantastic season with Al Shabab, scoring 13 goals in 19 games.


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