Ramon Azeez, the pull back and the comeback to reckoning


The Super Eagles’ camp will begin to bubble again in the next couple of days as they prepare to play former world champions Brazil in a graded International friendly, a chance Ramon Azeez will relish.

Expected in camp are some newbies, then the regulars and of course some old time players who have fought their way back into reckoning, one of such is Ramon Azeez, deservedly. 

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Having been frozen out of the senior national team, the Super Eagles, for almost 5 years, the return of the former Golden Eaglets’ captain to senior national team duty can be liken to finding a diamond in the mucky water which doesn’t come with the tenacious hard work. 

The Granada midfielder, Azeez, who already had four caps to his name, will relish this opportunity as he becomes one other option for the Super Eagles in that very pivotal midfield role. 

Ramon Azeez unlike so many footballers was lucky to have started out from the fame Future Pro Academy known for their procedural ways of unearthing budding talents then providing them the best platform to strive and compete favourably amongst other talents around the world. 

His talent was quick to attract national team’s selectors as he made his way into the U-17 where he was a regular and he led Nigeria to a second place finish at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup. 

Leadership traits are all written over him from that youthful age. To see his peers then, the likes of Ogenyi Onazi and Kenneth Omeruo constantly making senior team call-up one will probably doubt if Azeez was truly as good as he was at the age grade considering that he captained the aforementioned names. 

The success from 2009 earned him a move abroad to UD Almeria of Spain albeit to the reserve team, one will expect a top talent like him at the time to get a chance in the main team. He eventually spent the whole of his first season in the B category. 

At UD Almeria B, in the first season he struggled for games but was still deemed good enough to make the national U-20 team. Azeez had a low profile while he kept horning his skills in one of the most technical leagues in the world.

He got his debut against Barcelona B in September, 2012 in a game he got substituted twice in playing just 10minutes. How damming that can be! 

Image result for ramon azeez against barcelona

Following series of impressive displays afterwards, Azeez got promoted to the first team in the same season UD Almeria also got promoted to the top division. He got his first professional goal against Real Betis, the solitary goal that decided the tie in December 21st, 2013.

Good shifts he kept putting in and this earned him a call-up to the Super Eagles where he made his debut against Mexico in March 2014. The rave reviews never fade away as it coincide with his top performances at Almeria. 

Late Stephen Keshi took the bold decision to name him amongst the 23-man squad for the 2014 Mundial in Brazil where he made his World Cup debut against Iran in an assured performance. 

In 2014 alone, he was in the Super Eagles squad in nine different occasions racking up four caps, two in friendly games against Mexico and the United States America, one against Iran at the World Cup and of course his last senior cap was against Congo in an African Cup of Nations qualifier. 

Azeez had a beautiful 2014 and wanted a move in the summer of 2015 like every other player will do to keep progressing their career but was denied the chance which led to a clash with his club hierarchy and he got demoted to the B team.

Unfortunately, UD Almeria got relegated that season and he had to endured two more seasons in the Segunda Division which faded the light on the growing bulk of a budding talent. 

Image result for ramon azeez at ud almeria b

Things went further awry when he became a free agent in 2017 and had to go down the pecking order to sign for a Segunda Division 2 side, Lugo.

With form being temporary and class permanent, a La Liga bound Granada who has kept keen monitoring  and interest in his ability found him a worthy signing to help them achieve their final push for promotion last season which they achieved. 

Azeez was real steel in Granada promotion course where he played 13 games from January and only lost one of the games he played in (P13, W9, D3, L1). 

He has started this season in a similar bright fashion, now adding goals to his game most notably against Barcelona in an unexpected 2-0 defeat suffered by the Catalans. 

Image result for ramon azeez against barcelona

Ramon Azeez has posted six appearances this season already (P4, W4, D1, L1) losing just once in the games he has played in and that came this past weekend in the enthralling encounter against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu where it ended 4-2 in favour of the Galacticos. 

For a player who was plying his trade in what can be likened to third division in Spain this time last year but in 12 months he is posing 86.1% passes accuracy in Spanish top flight division according to WhoScored

We have decent midfielders in the heart of the Super Eagles already, nonetheless, the addition of Ramon Azeez will bring in more steel, great competitiveness and adequate options for the technical crew and of course for the larger good of our new look Super Eagles. 

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