Obasi: Meet Remo’s Vinicius Jnr


By: Abiodun Adewale.

Recently, players of Beyond Limits Football Academy, the youth team of Nigeria Professional Football League side, Remo Stars, have caught the attention of fans with their fluid style of play during a recent pre-season tournament in Ikenne, their base. They entered the tournament as wildcards and took NPFL side Abia Warriors to the cleaners, forced 3SC and Rivers United to draws and also came from two goals down to draw 2-2 against Kwara United before beating them on penalties.

Son of former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Daniel Aiyenugba, and his father Dele Aiyenugba might have stolen the headlines with their moment of history playing against each other, but one of the standout players for Beyond Limits Football Academy at the tourney was their captain and midfielder Onyebuchi Obasi, who won the Player of The Tournament Award.

With two goals and two assists in five games, Obasi ranked head and shoulders above other players in a tournament which had NPFL teams. It was no brainer that he also made the team of the tournament as he was included in a front three attack along with 3SC’s Taofeek Malomo and Kwara’s Samuel Ayanrinde.

His first goal contribution at the tournament was a sweeper against 3SC as he dislodged two defenders on the edge of the box before firing into the bottom corner with his left foot to give his side the lead in their 1-1 draw against the NPFL side. He followed it up with another thumping finish inside the box against Abia Warriors, just as he contributed to two other goals for his teammates.

Altogether, the young player earned N200,000 for winning a Man of The Match award, as well as the Player of The Tournament gong.

He said he shared some of the money with his teammates and sent the rest home to his family.

The team is currently competing in another pre-season tournament, where he continued his fine run with a goal and a couple of assists in three games.

Before now, his knack for goals has earned him the highest goals scorer of The Creative Championship League after he scored 11 goals on the way to his team winning the 2022/23 title in April.

Good with both feet with excellent composure on the field in terms of passing and creativity, Obasi enjoys operating as a wide No.10 from both flanks, little wonder why he has a knack for goals and likens himself to Real Madrid’s Vinicus Jnr.

“My role model is Vinicius Jr, I like the way he plays, we are similar,” Obasi told PUNCH Sports Extra.

From a humble background like Vinicius Jnr, Obasi is dreaming of earning a big move, and also desires to play for the Super Eagles.

“I wake up everyday happy and thankful to God that I am here at Beyond Limits Football Academy. It’s a great feeling that my dreams are coming into reality from this place. I see myself playing in a big club in Europe, and playing for Nigeria too,” he said.

Having gained promotion from the Nationwide League One, Nigeria’s third tier, to the Nigeria National League, the second tier, a bigger task is ahead of coach Olumide Ajibolade to lead his young charges to another milestone in the academy’s history.

He hinted that they are up for the challenge, while bigger moves are on the horizon for few of the players, including Obasi.

“Obasi is a player on the rise, a player whose potential is limited to whatever he chooses to become, nobody is surprised at his capacity now, his development is going as anticipated,” the coach PUNCH Sports Extra.

“If Obasi is available when the NNL starts he will compete, there is no special recruitment for the NNL, we are an academy, the boys will compete the same way they got the promotion. Clubs should be brave enough to give younger players a chance and they would be surprised just like they are surprised now,” he added.

Aside from their rapid progress on the domestic scene, Beyond Limits have also exported players abroad, including 18-year-old Ebenezer Akinsamiro, who joined Serie A giants Inter Milan in January, as well as Olushola Ogundana, who joined Flamengo in Brazil recently.

Obasi is another shining light from the famed academy, whether he moves abroad now or later, he looks set to continue making the spotlight wherever he is.