Nigerian footballer, Alex Iwobi has expressed his shock in an interview with Guardian on how his Nigerian fans ask him for money rather than autographs.
“Everyone appreciates you [in Nigeria], you’re almost like a king!”. When I arrived at the airport I thought, I’ll just have my earphones in, but everyone was like ‘Iwobi! Iwobi!’ Oh gosh. Hi guys!
“I didn’t know what to expect. It was just mad. I always go with Kelechi Iheanacho. When we go we get escorted. Because I’m not used to the Nigerian culture as much as they are, they do help me with it. They help me with the fans.
The fans are very different there. They don’t ask me for autographs, they ask for boots, money. At my debut we played in a stadium that holds 30,000 and there was 60,000 – I don’t understand how.
People were standing on the floodlights, on the scoreboard,” he added. “I was thinking, ‘What? This isn’t even safe! But people there will do anything to watch the match.
Sometimes in a Premier League game the fans are a bit quiet but in Nigeria you just hear trumpets, everything. The atmosphere is so different compared to England.”