Iheanacho grew up in Nekede in Imo State where he had to hide to play football because his parents wanted him to study.

Now a bonafide Super Eagles and Premier League star with Leicester City, Iheanacho credits only God for his football career.

“God got me into football, it wasn’t my family,” Iheanacho told Leicester MercuryKelechi IheanachoI was in school and doing well but I suddenly I switched to playing football and started going backwards in my studies,” the 20-year-old explained.

My parents were not happy. Every time they tried to stop me playing, but I didn’t stop. I was so stubborn. I didn’t listen and kept playing.

“When I would come home after playing they would punish me. One time my mother said that I shouldn’t go to training, that I would get injured if I went. I ignored her and went.

“I had to be carried home once on someone’s back afterwards because I had injured my knees. I was about 10.Kelechi Iheanacho

“She said: ‘I told you not to go,’ and started to hit me. Before I would have run away but I couldn’t run with broken knees. I just sat there.

“But I still played every day.”

Now that he has made the grade as a professional footballer and one of the most recognisable faces in Nigerian football, his parents unsurprisingly are very proud of him.Kelechi Iheanacho

Now when they ask who is the father of Kelechi? My father raises his hand and says ‘yes, I am the father of Kelechi’. He is so proud of me,” Iheanacho said.

I was 11, or 12 maybe when I started to play for my state in the capital of Nigeria (Lagos). I started doing well in competitions so they started to let me go.

Iheanacho later joined Leicester City on a £25m move from Manchester City.