Odegbami: Victor Moses And The Burden Of Being Captain!

Odegbami: Victor Moses And The Burden Of Being Captain!

He is 27 years old.

Under normal circumstances no player voluntarily retires from international football at an age that he is at his very best – experienced, mature, exposed, comfortable and at the peak of his physical fitness.

So, to retire at 27 means something is not right somewhere.

This is the case of Victor Moses.

It may take a psychoanalysis of his situation to understand his motivation for announcing his retirement from the national team this week.

In the line of hierarchical succession Victor Moses should naturally become the Super Eagles’next captain and the heart of a new assembly of players that shall emerge from the debris of the 2018 World Cup campaign.

moses

So, with his premature retirement some things do not add up.

For the first time since he started representing Nigeria many years ago I saw him from close up in Russia during the last World Cup.

I actually shared a sentence or two with him, and took a picture with him for the first time in a relationship that did not exist between us for all the years he has represented the country.

I assumed he was either shy and reserved, or insecure for some reasons. A player with his prodigious talent and fame should not be insecure at all. His profile and achievements should naturally neutralize any insecurities, except, of course, if they are really much deeper than is assumed.

The few people that have interacted more with him in the team than I have tell me he is definitely not a shy person. That, indeed, sometimes he even tended to arrogance and not timidity. That speaks volumes.

His pre-mature retirement, therefore, attracts careful scrutiny so that the country does not lose the services of a great son, a needed asset and a true football hero without understanding why.

Victor Moses has always been on the quiet side, hardly speaking to the press, hardly seen in public places outside the field of play, especially in Nigeria.

Whenever he comes to Nigeria he stays away from the limelight of the media. He never stays in the country for long, breezing in at the last minute before matches and heading out with the earliest flight available.

I have never read about him travelling in the country for visitations during any of his trips to play for the country. He never came for vacations. In short, his physical links to Nigeria are very slim outside of football. He never looked comfortable outside of the football field whilst here in Nigeria. He was more like a mercenary hired to come and play without any links to the country.

Probably, and understandably, that may be because he did not play domestic football in Nigeria before he became fostered in the United Kingdom.

Probably, also, it might be the result of the reported traumatic circumstances under which he left Nigeria as a young orphan. But even that is shrouded.

The popular story about how his parents were killed during political riots in Kaduna and how he was ‘smuggled’ out of the country by a good Samaritan inspired the production of a movie by some foreign producers (in collaboration with me) who wanted to tell the story of Nigerian football through the experiences of a young Victor Moses and his grass-to-grace odyssey in football.

The production was halted when doubts arose about the authenticity of some of the facts. It would have been catastrophic to produce a movie based on a true-life story not in congruence with verifiable facts.

Who really is Victor Moses?

His allegiance to Nigeria was always reflected by the level of his commitment to the national team.

To most analysts he was a reluctant player even when the national team offered him the best opportunity to market himself globally at a time he was dangling between teams in Europe.

For some reason, Victor Moses always carefully selected his appearances for the national team. He also avoided interviews about his personal life like a plague, feeling more comfortable playing, living and identifying with his foreign clubs in Europe.

Now, fate has brought him closest to Nigeria. He is in the hierarchical line to become the next captain that a new Super Eagles assembly needs.

In Russia, he did not fully deliver. Following that ‘failure’, the challenge of restoring Nigeria to its place as a great football force would again depend to some extent on the role that Moses takes on and plays going forward.

That role will place him front and centre of Nigerians and Nigerian football, that will entail identifying with home more often, and demonstrating a higher level of commitment and patriotism.

Victor Moses appears on the surface not to be cut out for such of a role. I do not think also that he can do it, yet the country needs him.

Should he remain in the team and the responsibility of captain be handed to a younger player how would that impact on Victor’s psyche?

I can see his psychological dilemma.

He must have thought through all of this also and chosen to retire from the team and enjoy his private life in European club football

Moses loves football. He also loves to win.

He seems to want to avoid the scrutiny of his life that the responsibility of leading the Super Eagles and being the team’s face and the country’s ambassador would bring.

Barring any injuries, Victor Moses may still have a good 3 to 5 years of football left to give to the game and the country. He can be with the Eagles until the next World Cup in Qatar.

Moses may be afraid of the enormity of the weight of responsibility he has to carry should he be its captain.

So, two things can happen now.

Victor Moses must have thought through the present circumstances and chosen the easiest and lest complicated way out – retire, continue his football at club level only, and forget about playing for the national team again.

Otherwise, a crop of young very exceptional players will emerge that may motivate Moses to reconsider and return to the team but only after a new captain must have been appointed.

That way he can come back and resume his simple, unattached and unobtrusive role in the team without the burden of leading the team.

Finally, I believe that this retirement is temporary, all things considered.

We shall soon see him again in a new Super Eagles assembly that will take the country to Qatar 2022.

The big deal will be that Victor Moses will not be its captain!

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 26
  • Hmmmmm!
    This piece is only for those who can see through the storm!
    #Deep calls#

    I will always love VICTOR MOSES.

  • Victor Moses and, to some extent, Simon Moses are for me the 2 most exciting talents in the SE. Without them, Nigeria is just like the Togolese or Beninoise national teams. Good, but nothing really special. Victor Moses cannot retire, cannot retire and it should be accepted. In fact, Rohr’s silence about it all means a lot. I’m sure he’s trying to talk Moses out of it. Because, it just doesn’t make sense.

    There were certainly a lot of muted/understated meanings, shades and tones in this article. I can’t make out everything, but I feel the drift. It’s deep and calls for introspection. You kept talking about future captain without once making mention of the current one, Mikel Obi. That’s pregnant with meaning. Is that an insinuation Moses’ retirement may have something to do with the current hierarchy?

    Maybe, maybe not. Whatever the case, Moses should be back in the team. With him, Simon Moses and a few other current members of the squad, plus a few new addition of talents, I think SE stand a good chance of winning the next AFCON in Cameroun. That is, if egoistic Giwa and his saboteur friend, Dalung don’t bungle the whole thing.

    • Simon Moses needs to rest a bit. The injury that kept him out of the World Cup continues to plague him. Mikel, Ahmed Musa and Victor Moses have players who are pushing them to their limits now.
      For Victor Moses it’s the afore mentioned S Moses as well as next Right back Samuel Kalu. For Mikel it’s Kelechi Nwakali and Abdul Ajagun (defensive midfield is covered with Ndidi and Etebo). And for Musa it’s Henry Onyekuru, Lanre Kayode and Akinyemi Adeleke. 
      Best case scenario would be that the three of them stay until AFCON 2019 and then see if they are still first choice for their positions. By 2022, they will most likely be in decline and be at best on the bench.
      Next Captain? Maybe Ndidi or K Nwakali as the best in their position and unlikely to be benched by anybody

  • But why do u interfere with a players personal life.
    I Seem not to understand!
    That is suppose to be his privacy. He has served Nigeria and at this point he feels is best for him to retire from international duties.
    is that too hard to reckon with?
    Or did Emunike not also retire at a young age?
    what is this hullabaloo about!
    I think there is something this writer is trying to achieve by this post! and for whatever it is, am not interested.
    Moses is not the first to retire from Int football and will not be the last.
    Be careful how u intelligently navigate your points without bearing the weight!
    I think this is way too overbearing and overreaching, Mr odegbani. Please mind ur business!

    Thanks Victor Moses for all your sacrifices and commitments to the super eagles!

    • Haymaker 1 month ago

      Thank you sir. Odegbami always feeling like a conspiracy theorist. Mtchew!

      • Gbam. clayface, claymaker abi na crazemaker. why do u lurk in the shadows only to respond to comments of others. Are you that totally bereft of ideas or are you just plain clueless?
        Whichever, let it be known that you are a waste of space who is only constituting himself as a nuisance.

        • Haymaker 1 month ago

          Hahaha. I won’t waste my time on you. It’s clear you are a frustrated human being. Please go and hug the nearest transformer. Imbecile. Prostitute. Who in his right mind would use prostitute as his moniker on a forum? The gods have obviously made you mad and your complete destruction is around the corner.

      • Sir, Odegbami is only speaking his mind o. A bit of humility will be the right healing medicament for you as you are currently sick inside your skull.
        This man is a respected elder stateman don’t you have any respect?
        What have you ever done for your community. I laff in Spanish. Ka Ka Ka Ka!

        • I am speaking to Haymaker.

          • Haymaker 1 month ago

            Barber please keep shut. What do you know? So because Odegbami is an elder statesman, we should accept everything he says? I’ve known Odegbami for many years and I will insist that sometimes he makes fallacious statements that tend to mislead the public. His legendary status in Nigerian football, no one can take from him but I have the right to disagree with him, don’t I? Mumu barber. Olodo!

  • Presh 1 month ago

    I agree with you segun odegbami,but to some extent,he ‘s got his reasons but I don’t see him returning back. In his heart of heart he knows why he left.

  • Aleks 1 month ago

    There is certainly more to Victor Moses retirement than we know presently. However, the issue of running away from the responsibilities of captaining the team in the near future doesn’t add up at all. It is not a must that the oldest or most experienced player becomes the captain of a team. As a matter of fact, if that is what we have been practicing in Super Eagles,  it must be stopped forthwith. Captainship is about leadership – a player who has the charisma to connect with and carry along teammates, management, the press and general public, in addition to inspiring the team both in and off the field, and above all someone who leads by example and show dedication at all times. That person does not necessarily have to be the oldest, most experienced or most skillful player in the team. In my opinion, Victor Moses retirement has nothing to do with the fear of leading Super Eagles in the future. It wasn’t offered to him in the first instance!

  • Amaechi 1 month ago

    wch can fear of been a captain i totally disagree wt dat thought, d guy wants 2call it quit so lets let it b. If is d western world nobody wil cry, bt bcos is here we tend 2see it strange. For me at d age of 27-29 years old a footballer shud b tinking of calling it quit from d game, d consistent travelling b/w club nd country aren’t easy at all especially when u play outside ur country. So plz lets let him b and tink of geting mor young players 2com in2 d eagles a d prepare 4 Qater 2022 instead of still tinkin of d likes of mikel obi, odion ighalo, Echiejile etc lets move on & d tym 2build 4d nxt world cup is now since we hv 2 afcon (2019 & 2021) as well as Olympics 2020, ds tournaments shud serve as a window to xpose nd try new breeds. Goodluck GR!, Goodluck super eagles!!!

    • Haymaker 1 month ago

      Great comment. I wish there was a like button on this forum.

  • Thank u Aleeks and Hay maker. But I will passionately beg of us not to take on ourselves here but on the issues.
    Wise and civiled ones make issue-based comments and not cast aspersions on each other.

    yes! back to the issue thank u Aleeks. I also agree with the writer that their is more to moses’ retirement than its cover.
    However, that that he is running away from captainship is an easy place or safe haven for Mr Odegbami to hide his uttermost intents in respect of his piece, with respect.
    why do I say this! like u said Aleeks captainship is not about how long a player is on the field of play; there are other adjoining factors to be considered before someone is given the captains armband.If that is so,then it follows that Mr odegbami place is too elevated to be unaware of these other factors, since he supposes moses is a shy person or avoids giving audience amongst other suppositions; why then should he think he deserves captaincy of the team.
    If that point is well understood, then it appears that odegbami is actually trying to ‘say something he has not said’. That is he is intelligently trying to reveal something to the public about moses’ personal life he might have discovered, however doing this very intelligently.
    Only mentally mobile/active readers, can construe the spirit of the writer, which is far more beyond captaincy of the super eagles but a direct frontal attack on the personality or origin of victor moses’, just like he asked rhetorically, “who is this victor moses”?
    For crying out loud, what is your business with knowing who this victor moses’ is or really is as u posit.
    That he is a Chelsea player and a retired super eagles player not enough info u should be interested in of a player who plays football on a field? oh u want to know how many times he flies at night abi? since he might be tot as well a witch!
    so funny!
    Please, friends let’s be mindful what we think of others.Certain thinks basically does not concern u odegbami.
    You can go ahead and publicly make libelous statements but be ready to chew the accompanying gravels of it too.

    moses is a footballer in Chelsea and played for super eagles and he wants to face family and his club, if that is not enough please go ahead and tell us what exactly u have in mind and stop hiding under ur own shadows.

    We love Victor moses!
    He has paid his dues!!
    He deserves some accolades!!!

  • Dr. Drey 1 month ago

    “The few people that have interacted more with him in the team than I have tell me he is definitely not a shy person. That, indeed, sometimes he even tended to arrogance and not timidity. That speaks volumes.

    Whenever he comes to Nigeria he stays away from the limelight of the media. He never stays in the country for long, breezing in at the last minute before matches and heading out with the earliest flight available.

    I have never read about him travelling in the country for visitations during any of his trips to play for the country. He never came for vacations. In short, his physical links to Nigeria are very slim outside of football. He never looked comfortable outside of the football field whilst here in Nigeria.

    He was more like a mercenary hired to come and play without any links to the country.”

    • Dr. Drey 1 month ago

      The above lines capture who V. Moses was to Nigeria and the Super Eagles and why he would even think of retiring at the age of 27. Even the national anthem, he never sings, whereas the likes of Troost Ekong and Leon balogun who came long after him sing with passion when the team files out for the national anthem. Moses has always cut the figure of a mercenary….never really showed patriotism to the green and white beyond just wanting to be an international player. His retirement for sure is good radiance to bad rubbish..!

  • Ayphillydegreat 1 month ago

    Moses is our top player in Europe over the last few years. However, he will never be missed. With exceptional talents like Onyekuru, Success, Kalu, Imoh, Simon and the likes the SuperEagles will continue to be stronger.

  • Kenny 1 month ago

    “The production was halted when doubts arose about the authenticity of some of the facts. It would have been catastrophic to produce a movie based on a true-life story not in congruence with verifiable facts”

    I think chief Odegbami based his conclusion on what he discovered from the above statement. I once read something along that line also that I chose not to belief. Because England and many foreign media all believed the story about his parents which I also believed.

    But I think Chief discovered something that may be strong enough to the extent that Odegbami believes being a national team captain may put him on the limelight and expose him to clarify doubts in that area.

  • Hope you do realise that I was just kidding. Lol

  • Mosses Simon didn’t play at the world cup people are hailing him now, let him play a match and have an off day then u will start hearing something, Even Victor Moses that just retired remembered how he was criticised after Croatia match some were even saying he should be dropped.

  • antonio 1 month ago

    the issue at stake is very clear enough for us to sense the serenity of what chief Odegbami is insinuating. The fact is not gloomy at all but vividly arose in the in the video of the film that is unfolding.
    I met a friend who knows victor moses , they play soccer together and even victor was their ball boy. But I wouldn’t talk about his secret but the truth is victor is trying to avoid the local press, to dig into his unassuming personal life which I wont make it a vendetta.
    The international press is there too , but to keep the sleeping dogs lying , I guess he has to retire so as to have a fulfilled life in England.

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