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Ighalo: I set aside lunch money to pay to watch Man Utd on TV

Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo admits he skipped meals to watch the team play on television at home in Nigeria.

Viewing United in the early 2000s was a luxury in Ighalo's hometown, and as the striker recalled, he had to make an incredible sacrifice most weeks to see Sir Alex Ferguson's men play.

“I had to save money," he recounted to the UTD Podcast.

“Before you go to school, my mum would leave me some money if I wanted to eat lunch. From Monday I was saving my money because I wanted to watch Manchester United.

“I split it in two. Even though I would use part of the money for lunch, I would save some of the money because the weekend is coming. Sometimes you would be feeling hungry because you don't eat properly, but you don't want to miss the game at the weekend.

“You don't want someone to tell you how Manchester United played, how they scored. You want to see it yourself. It's that passion. You start saving money until the weekend.

"After Friday when school is done, you see everyone get happy. They get their Manchester United shirt, their Arsenal shirt; you wash it and dry it. Everyone's getting set for the weekend. It's like a celebration, like you're at a party.

“If Manchester United are playing on a Saturday, you have to pull on your Manchester United shirt and go to the viewing centre looking smart. When the game started, sometimes it would be so hot because there was no air conditioning, then you have to take off your shirt and you're fanning yourself.

“Then after the viewing centre, at the end of the game we're arguing about the match from the viewing centre to our home. Sometimes I cry if Manchester United lose a game. You cry because you come home and see people arguing and saying bad things to you. Sometimes I shed tears because you don't want your team to lose. That's how crazy it was back then."


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