George Finidi – The Speedy Nigerian Winger

George Finidi the speedy Nigerian winger was born in April 1971 at Port Harcourt – Nigeria. ” Finidi” means Future Full of Pils”. His combative style of play and the way he could take on defenders especially fullbacks was the most glorious thing his fans loved  while watching him play. Not to forget his vital goals when his team needed them most.

George Finidi the speedy Nigerian winger was born in April 1971 at Port Harcourt – Nigeria. ” Finidi” means Future Full of Pils”. His combative style of play and the way he could take on defenders especially fullbacks was the most glorious thing his fans loved  while watching him play. Not to forget his vital goals when his team needed them most.

Early Soccer Career

The tall Nigerian winger commenced his career in 1989 at Calabar Rovers team based in Calabar, Nigeria.  Calabar Rovers played their home matches at J.Esuene Stadium.

In 1990 he moved to Lwuanyanwu Nationale which later changed its name to Heartland F.C.

In 1991, he signed for Sharks F.C  aka The Blue Angels based at his home town and birth place Port Harcourt. Sharks F.C.’s home stadium was Sharks stadium although they played some of their biggest fixtures at Liberation Stadium. In 2016 Sharks FC merged with city rivals Dolphin F.C and formed Rivers United F.C.

Professional Soccer

Finidi George arrived at AFC Ajax Amsterdam in the Eredivisie league in 1993 alongside his compatriot Nwanko Kanu. He scored four goals to help Ajax Amsterdam win the Eredivisie title.

Finidi was part of Ajax Amsterdam golden generation that played in two consecutive Uefa Champions League finals: 1994/1995 an 1995/1996.

In 1996, Finidi joined Real Betis, a Primera  La  Liga side in the Spanish top tier. Finidi came close to joining giants, Real Madrid, but the deal did not materialize. He managed a top four finish with Real Betis that season.

After the relegation of Real Betis from top flight football in 2000, Finidi moved to Real Mallorca for a year and later signed for English Premier League outfit  Ipswich Town but the team underperformed under the stewardship of George Burley and got relegated.

In November 2003 the Nigerian winger went back to Mallorca where he played alongside Cameroonian goal predator Samuel Etoo. Finidi and his Real Mallorca teammates managed  11th position finish in the La Liga Santander that season. He later retired from active soccer in 2003 summer.

National Team Soccer

Finidi made his debut for Super Eagles of Nigeria in 1991 during AFCON 92 qualifiers against Burkina Faso. Before his retirement he had 62 caps for Nigeria. He represented Nigeria in 1994 and 1998 world cups. His phenomenon performance against Greece in 1994 world cup is the one he cherishes most.

He won the 1994 AFCON edition with Nigeria.

Life After Soccer

In November 2010 Finidi George returned to Real Betis as its Director of International football and he continued to live in Palma, Mallorca where he relocated after his retirement.

Honours.

Eredivisie: 1994, 1995 and 1996 with Ajax Amsterdam

UEFA Champions League 95 with Ajax Amsterdam

UEFA Super Cup 95 with Ajax Amsterdam

Inter Toto Cup 95 with Ajax Amsterdam

Johan Cruijff Shield 94, 95 with Ajax Amsterdam

Runners Up Copa Del Rey 97 with Real Betis

African Cup Of Nations – 94 Nigeria

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