Ndidi: My dad didn’t want me to play football

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The 20-year-old midfielder admits his family are yet to see him play for Leicester City in the flesh and revealed they wanted him to continue studying

Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi says he went against the wishes of his parents in becoming a professional footballer. 

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The 20-year-old Nigeria international joined the Premier League champions from Belgian side Genk in January and has been a first-team regular since.

Despite his rapid rise, things could have turned out another way had he listened to his family.

“My family were not really into football,” he told the Leicester Mercury.

Wilfried Ndidi Leicester City Champions League

Kasper Schmeichel Wilfred Ndidi Wes Morgan Leicester City

“My dad watched it on the television but he didn’t want me to play football. He is a soldier, but he didn’t want me to follow in his footsteps, he just wanted me to go to school.

“I did miss out on some school because of football. When I moved to Nath Boys academy then I started to miss out on some of my schooling.

“My family haven’t been over to see me play yet. They only see it on TV.”

After a debut win over Everton in the FA Cup, Ndidi’s first Premier League game came up against leaders Chelsea, while he has already faced Manchester United and Liverpool and he feels he is getting used to the big players around him.

“When I was going on to the pitch I was nervous, seeing players like Romelu Lukaku and the players I was used to seeing on television,” he said.

“But when the game started I was like ‘okay, let’s just do it.’ “That is how I try to do things. That is the way I live.”

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The Lagos-born player is not completely settled in though, as he admits he must get his driving licence, but he has team-mates to call upon to help.

“I know how to drive but I don’t have a licence. I need one over here,” he added.

“The lads came out and took a picture of me when the instructor came to pick me up for a lesson.

“Ahmed Musa has been helping me. He drives me around. If we have an away game, he picks me up and drives me to the airport, and he is showing me around.”

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