Famouns Nigerian footballer Nwankwo Kanu, OON was born 1 August 1976. A native of Abia State, Southeast Nigeria He was a member of the Nigerian national team and later captained the Eagles for 16 years (from 1994 to 2010).
Kanu began his professional football career at Nigerian league club Federation Works, before moving to Iwuanyanwu Nationale. From there, he gained himself a spot in Dutch side Ajax, Inter Milan of Italy, and English clubs Arsenal, West Bromwich Albion and Portsmouth.
He played for the Nigerian National team winning the Olympic gold in the football event at 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where he scored the winning goal in the 4-3 semi-final win over Brazil, his second goal of the match. Kanu participated in the 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cups.
Kanu underwent a medical examination at Inter Milan, which revealed a serious heart defect; he underwent surgery in November 1996 to replace an aortic valve and did not return to his club until April 1997. This led to his founding the Kanu Heart Foundation, an organisation that helps predominantly young African children who suffer heart defects and whose work was expanded to provide aid for homeless children in 2008.
READ: Thomas Toure Biography
As an international player, Kanu has won a UEFA Champions League medal, a UEFA Cup medal, three FA Cup Winners Medals and two African Player of the Year awards(1996, 1999) amongst others. He is also one of few players to have won the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League, UEFA Cup and an Olympic Gold Medal. He made the third-most substitute appearances in Premier League history, appearing from the bench 118 times. He is regarded as one of the best players in African football history.
Kanu is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and in 2015, he became Africa’s brand ambassador for digital TV operator StarTimes.
He got married to Amarachi Kanu in 2004 and their union is blessed with 3 lovely kids; Sean Chukwudi Kanu, Iyang Onyekachi Kanu and Pinky Amarachi Kanu.