“I promised I would devote every goal I scored”: Odion Ighalo pays tribute to the supporting sister of Manchester United after his first attack on the club after she died tragically in December
- Odion Ighalo admitted that his first Manchester United goal was full of sadness
- The striker paid tribute to his late sister Mary, who died in December
- Ighalo celebrated it by lifting his shirt and showing a T-shirt with a picture of Mary on it
- The 30-year-old revealed his pleasure in playing under the idol Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Odion Ighalo enjoyed his first goal for Manchester United, but admitted it was tinged with sorrow because his late sister Mary was not alive to see him score.
The Nigerian striker made his first start against Club Brugge in the Europa League on Thursday-evening since he came on loan to Shanghai Shenhua until the end of the season, and marked the opportunity by scoring the second goal in a 5-0 win over Old Trafford.
Ighalo, 30, celebrated it by pulling up his sweater to reveal a T-shirt with a tribute to his sister who died in December.
Odion Ighalo revealed that his first strike for Manchester United was plagued by grief
The 30-year-old netted against Club Brugge and paid tribute to his late sister Mary
The United Boy fan said: “She is a Man United fan. We prayed for this moment to play for United, and unfortunately she is not here to see me do that.
‘I promised that I would dedicate (to her) every goal I scored. I am happy that I did that and wherever she is, she is happy that I do and she is doing great.
‘I dreamed about this. I dreamed of playing for United and scoring my first goal. I am very happy about that. It feels great. Old Trafford, hear the fans sing my name, shout for me. I am very grateful. I waited for this moment and it is a moment that I will cherish the rest of my life.
‘I am happy because I know that many United supporters are currently waiting to reach my first goal. I haven’t seen my phone yet, but I know that messages have arrived, so I want to thank everyone who supported me.
Mary Atole died at the age of 43 after collapsing into her home in Canada on December 12
Ighalo has etched her name on his boots and is now also putting on a white undershirt to pay homage
‘They see me as one of them because I supported United at a young age and I want to do my best to do everything that is needed to get ahead.
“They appreciate that and I appreciated them from the first day I stepped onto the field in Manchester. They have been behind me and I hope it stays that way. I promise I will do my best – win, lose, I don’t care about the circumstances. “
Ighalo joined United on the last day of the January transfer period in a surprise loan. Because he had arrived from China, he was unable to travel to the club’s training camp in Marbella or even train in Carrington due to the coronavirus alarm.
But the 30-year-old former Watford striker believes that he is slowly getting fully fit again after working with a personal trainer in Manchester.
The front man believes that he slowly becomes fully fit again after working with a personal trainer
“I’m getting better,” Ighalo added. “I know I’m not 100 percent fit. The last game I played was December 6. Then I played in the Chinese League, in the FA Cup final in China.
“So I am coming in little by little. The competition is faster, stronger and you need more strength. I’m getting better every day, but I’m not 100 percent fit. “
Ighalo enjoys the opportunity to reverse United’s fortune after admitting that the problems at Old Trafford since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013 have made him ‘angry’.
Asked if manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was his hero when he was younger, Ighalo said: “Yes, I watched him. I watched a lot – Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Ole, Teddy Sheringham – when I was young.
Ighalo revealed pleasure in playing for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whom he saw as a youth
“Playing for him now is great for me. I’m very happy. I am just one of the teams and we must work together as a team. I am here to contribute what is needed to help the team move forward.
“There is a transition in life in everything you do. So it is sometimes difficult when the team loses matches. As a fan you get angry.
‘Now that I am in the club, I have to do my best to ensure that we try to win and achieve results. Some games become difficult because some large teams spend more money in the Premier League and Europe.
“It’s getting harder, but we have young players and this way I think we have a better future.”