Wilfred Ndidi is a Nigerian defensive midfielder known for his long-range shooting power and speed. Presently, Ndidi is playing for Leicester City, and he is one of the key players for both his club and country. He was born on the 16th of December, 1996 in Lagos to a military man, while his mother was a trader.
Ndidi grew up among different military families due to the fact they lived in the Military Cantonment Ikeja, Lagos. As a result of this, he got early exposure to football harnessing his talent with his fellow friends. In Lagos, when you are in any public school, the rate of becoming a good footballer is higher because there are always football fields for pupils to blend with other talents.
However, he took part in lots of football competitions for his school including inter and intra-sport competitions. Along the line, his father became an obstacle to him, because he never wanted football to be his professional career. Most times, military men are known for their disciplinary attitude, and Ndidi’s father is not far from it.
Ndidi didn’t allow his father’s disapproval to disrupt his passion, rather he was motivated to succeed with his football talent. Since his father was a strict person that likes discipline and education, Ndidi was going to football training, and competitions behind his father to avoid scolding from him and the rest is history.
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Personal Life of Wilfred Ndidi
Ndidi is happily married to a girl called “Dinma Fortune” who has been part of his success when he had nothing. On May 23, 2019, they had their traditional marriage in Abuja, Nigeria. The event was filled with lots of socialites and influential personalities such as Kelechi Iheanacho, Kanu Nwankwo, politicians, celebrities, and many others.
Despite the fact he is a renowned footballer, he headed back to school to enrolled at De Montfort University, Leicester England. Presently, he is studying Business and Management. In Leicester, he has proved his self-worth on the football pitch making his employers paying him a weekly wage of £75,000 and which is NGN35.7 million.
Besides his weekly wages, Ndidi also takes part in commercial advertisements. Currently, he is one of the brand ambassadors for Nike, and he is seen wearing Nike clothes and boots. There was a time he had commercial deals with Coca-Cola, and also did TV commercials for them. Let’s get to see how his football journey has gone.
On January 31, 2015, Wilfred Ndidi started his club career with Genk (Belgian Pro League) playing against Charleroi. Luckily for him, he was on the pitch for the first 74 minutes before he was replaced by “Jarne Vrijsen”. Ndidi scored a long-range goal in a match against Club Brugge, and it was the best goal for the season. There was something spectacular about the goal and it was the technique involved in it because he lofted the ball above an opponent player before unleashing his shot.
On December 3, 2016, Ndidi decided to take another bold step in his footballing career by signing for Leicester City in a transfer deal of £17 million, and on January 5, 2017, the contract was confirmed. After two days, he played his first game against Everton in FA Cup and they won 2–1.
On January 14, 2017, Coach Claude Raineri included him on his starting lineup in a home defeat with Chelsea. On February 8, 2017, Leicester City played another game with Derby County, and he scored a goal using his long-range shooting prowess.
Furthermore, Ndidi is known for his ability to win balls from his opponent through his tackles, and it was noticed in a match against Liverpool where he made 11 successful tackles. On December 16, 2017, he was sent off from the pitch due to a rough tackle on another opponent and they lost 3–0 to Crystal Palace.
At the beginning of the 2020/2021 season on September 13, 2020, he played as a center-back in the first match of the season and kept a clean sheet for his club in which they defeated West Bromwich Albion 3–0. On September 20, 2020, he had an injury that kept him out for more than two months.
On December 3, 2020, he was fit to play against Zorha Luhansk, but his team lost. On January 19, 2021, he scored his first goal for the 2020/2021 season against Chelsea, and the game ended 2–0 in favour of Leicester City. Recently, he was part of the squad that defeated Chelsea in the 2010/2021 FA CUP final.
Wilfred Ndidi was part of the Nigerian youth at Nathaniel Boys of Lagos. During the African Under-17 Championship with the Nigeria team, the officials doubted his age leading to an MRI age test conducted on him. From the result, it was discovered he was a bit above the age threshold.
He has played for the under-20 team and was a pillar to the midfield. On October 8, 2015, he joined the senior team playing against DR Congo. Some days later, he played against Cameroon and the match ended 3–0 for Nigeria. He was part of the 35-man provisional football squad for the 2016 Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). In May 2018, he was in the 30-man squad for Russia World Cup. Besides, he has played in the African Cup of Nations held in Egypt.
Despite his father’s opposition to his career, Ndidi has shown he is someone who is determined and it has taken him to the top level of his game. It is difficult for one not to notice him when he is on the pitch. If you don’t see him shooting his long-range missile, you will see him carrying out amazing tackles on his opponents. The young bullish midfielder still has more to offer for both country and club considering his young age. If he continues this way, he might become one of the greatest defensive midfielders in the history of football.