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Football Great: Here are 4 Ways Nigerians Immortalized Football Legend Teslim ‘Thunder’ Balogun

TESLIM-BALOGUN-1

Children born in the 70’s and 80’s have heard various stories about how he unleashes a bullet of a shot with his magical left foot, meanwhile here are four of the popular folklores about Teslim Balogun.

The name of legendary late ex-international Teslim ‘Thunder’ Balogun is one that represents different meanings in the mind of Nigerians as far as football is concerned.

To some elites, he was known for his versatility as a skillful midfielder who played for the country at local and international levels while some other sections of Nigerians see him as a super hero likened to the ones in fictional folklore’s.

Children born in the 70’s and 80’s have heard various stories about how he unleashes a bullet of a shot with his magical left foot which was how he got his nickname “Thunder”.

Here are 4 of the popular folklore’s about Teslim Balogun;

1. His short killed a goalkeeper by tearing his stomach into the net

Owing to his powerful shots as his trademark, many believed it when the story was told that the former Queens Park Rangers player rifled in a shot that forced its way through an unnamed goalkeeper’s stomach and hit the back of the net whereby leaving the keeper dead.

In an interview conducted by Tribune with Teslim’s son Kayode Balogun, he confirmed that the said myth was true: “Yes, I remember that my father mentioned that when the Nigeria team played against Sierra Leone.

“During the match, their goal keeper was caught unawares by my father’s shot which hit his stomach and finally pushed the ball into the net and the keeper unfortunately died on the spot.”

2. His shot broke a goalkeeper’s hand and also tore the net

While playing in England in the 50’s, the former Kano Pillars coach broke two different goalkeeper’s hands on separate occasions after he unleashed his trademark power-driver.

If the tenacity of the shot of the former national team coach could pierce through the stomach of a human being then tearing the net of a goal post is nothing close to that in comparisons.

While playing for Ibadan based Thunder X1, the force of Thunder Balogun’s shot tore the net as he scored a goal during a match. His son also attested to this claim in the same interview.

“Another two occasions are when his shot broke a goal keeper’s hand in England and the other when his shot tore the net in Ibadan stadium,” he said.

A story of such magnitude never left anybody in doubt about the capabilities of the Nigerian sensation which ironically never had a video clip as evidence to prove.

3. Government paid him not to use his left foot

As a result of the said exploits by the late Green Eagles legend, it was rumored that the government had to pay the 1968 Olympic Football team coach to stop using his preferred foot because of the extent of damage done.

However the revelation about the fairy tale was that the ruling body at that time never allowed Teslim Balogun to further his coaching studies abroad because of the fear of losing the talent to another nationality.

During Thunder Balogun’s spell as coach with Ghanaian club Ashanti Kotoko, he found his way to Europe through the West African country to add to his knowledge about the coaching trade which eventually made him the first qualified African coach.

4. His shot got Nigeria the only goal in the 99-1 defeat to India

The famous international friendly between Nigeria and India is a folklore that can never be forgotten in a long time considering the humiliating 99-1 score line which never existed in any footballing record around the world.

According to the gist, Thunder Balogun supposedly scored the only goal for Nigeria after which he consequentially lost his life as a result of the super natural powers from the Asian country.
 

Credits: Naij

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