In a recent episode of The Obi One podcast, Victor Boniface, the promising Nigerian footballer, opened up about his tumultuous journey in football, sharing profound insights into the challenges that almost led him to quit the sport at the young age of 21.
The discussion delved into Boniface's time in Norway, where he faced a series of setbacks, including injuries and personal tragedy.
Boniface recounted his three-year stint in Norway, winning the league twice but facing considerable chaos on the football front.
His struggles began with a severe ACL injury just two weeks after signing, sidelining him for six to seven months.
Despite the setback, he made a triumphant return, playing the last three games of the season, contributing to his team's second-place finish.
The subsequent year brought a league victory, marking back-to-back triumphs.
Victor Boniface: Contemplating retirement at 21
The turning point came during the celebratory moments after securing the league title. Boniface discovered his leg swollen, leading to a devastating diagnosis of another ACL injury.
“I went home, slept, and when I woke up, my leg was swollen like this,” he described.
Compounding his challenges, he lost his mother during this period, adding emotional turmoil to his physical struggles.
“I didn't even wait for us to get the trophy. I spoke to the coach and said I wanted to go back to Nigeria, so I traveled back. It was the worst.
“During this time I'm telling you about, I'm the only child of my mom, and then I lost my mom during this process. So I lost my mom during that time,” Victor Boniface explained.
Faced with these hardships and a potential 14-month recovery period, Boniface made the difficult decision to return to Nigeria.
Back in Nigeria, grappling with grief and uncertainty, Victor Boniface revealed contemplating quitting football altogether.
The weight of his mother's loss and the persistent injuries took a toll on his mental health, pushing him to the brink.
Despite his internal struggles, the Super Eagle underwent surgery but found solace in faith and determination.
Unexpected confidence boost
As he began the slow journey of recovery, an unexpected turn of events reignited his passion for the sport.
A call from his agent informed him that clubs had expressed interest during his time in Rome for a game against Roma.
This revelation injected newfound confidence and motivation, prompting Victor Boniface to redouble his efforts in training.
The footballer's resilience bore fruit as he returned to the pitch, albeit for a brief one-minute appearance in the last game of the season.
The coach's decision to include him in the squad for the crucial match marked a symbolic victory, despite minimal playing time. Inspired by this moment, Boniface continued to believe in his talent and work ethic.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago