By Sportgister Ng
Macaulay Chrisantus scored seven times for Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets on their way to winning the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup in South Korea .
The Nigerian forward was awarded the Golden boot and adidas silver ball at the end of the tournament .
At the time , Chrisantus was tipped as replacement for the likes of Julius Aghahowa , Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Obafemi Martins in the Super Eagles team. 15 years on (2007-2022) the forward has not made a single appearance for the Super Eagles team following a slide in his journeyman career that has not caught the attention of national team handlers.
The FIFA U-17 FIFA World Cup gave birth to some of the biggest names in world football at the moment , the likes of Real Madrid Midfielder Toni Kroos who won the Bronze boot at the tournament . Manchester United goalkepeer David De Gea was in goal for the Spanish team that lost to Nigeria in the final of the tournament alongside the likes of Krkic Bojan and defender Nacho .
The list includes Eden Hazard (Belgium) , Danny Wellbeck and Danny Rose (England) and a host of other names . For a player who had a podium finish as one of the best players at the tournament , a lot was expected from Chrisantus when he moved to Hamburg in Germany.
After failing to break into the main team , the Nigerian forward was sent to Kalursher on loan and later FSV Frankfurt. By 2012 when he moved to Spain to link up with Las Palmas , Chrisantus enjoyed his most successful spell at a club , scoring 20 times in 67 appearances .
A short stint in Turkey with Sivasspor produced only one goal in 8 appearances . Chrisantus swapped Turkey for Greece in 2015 to join AEK Athens . At the expiration of his 18 month contract with AEK Athens , Chrisantus joined Spanish side Reus Deportivu in July 2016 .
A crazy 2017 to 2022 transfer history has seen Macaulay Chrisantus sign for 9 clubs . A September 2017 move to Greek side Lamia opening a journey to his current club Aprilla in the Italian Serie D .
Born on the 20th of August 1990 , the forward is now aged 32 (2022) and into the twilight zone of his career meaning a Super Eagles appearance may never happen .
A story that hurts when compared to the golden height reached by German Midfielder Toni Kroos who won the Golden ball and Bronze boot at the FIFA U-17 World Cup where Chrisantus also shined with his Golden boot and Silver ball finish .
A simple explanation is from their different journey’s after the World Youth Championship , whereas Kroos made his debut for Bayern Munich in the German Bundesliga in 2007 , Chrisantus was lining up for Hamburg B in the lower division .
The conscious and deliberate efforts to develop their Golden boy saw Toni Kroos sent out on loan to Bayer Leverkusen where he grew in confidence before returning to Bayern Munich in 2010. Aside Macaulay Chrisantus , youngsters shining at the Youth championships and slipping into oblivion is a major challenge blocking the development of football in Nigeria .
Until deliberate efforts are invested towards monitoring and development of the Golden boys of Nigeria’s age grade teams , they will continue to enter the History book as players who won gold as kids but never reached golden heights in their career .