Nigerian professional footballer, Odion Ighalo’s latest brace has put him ahead of Portugal’s national team captain, Cristiano Ronaldo, as they both battle goal points in Saudi Arabia.
Recall that Ighalo joined Al-Hilal FC of Saudi Arabia in January last year. The 33-year-old Nigerian striker has now scored 11 goals in 15 games ahead of Al Nassr’s Ronaldo, who joined the Riyadh-based club in December 2022.
So far, Ronaldo has scored eight goals as the top scorer race continues in the Saudi Arabia league.
Nigeria’s Ighalo pulled a stunt on Saturday after he scored a brace to help Al Hilal thump Al Taawon 4-0. The former Super Eagles player scored the opening goal in the 32nd minute and then made it 2-0 in the 45th minute.
However, the Brazilian duo of Anderson Conceicao Talisca and Carlos Alberto leads the way with 13 goals each.
Ighalo was the Goal King of Saudi Arabia last season with 20 goals. The player has since dedicated his latest goals to his mother as a birthday gift.
“That was for you MAMA. Happy birthday to my sweet mother,” he wrote on Instagram on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur manager, Antonio Conte, has described Richarlison’s comment of not playing regularly as “selfish”.
Following last Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League round of 16 loss to AC Milan, the 25-year-old attacker appeared to criticize Conte for not giving him more playing time this season in an interview with Brazilian TV.
Conte agreed with Richarlison that the footballer’s season “has not been good,” as he noted that the Brazilian didn’t criticize him, as widely reported.
While responding to Richarlison’s assertion that this season has been bad, Antonio Conte said, “He is right”.
“He started well with us, he then had an injury and went to the World Cup and had another serious injury.
“He’s scored zero goals with us [in the Premier League], only two goals in the Champions League and the guy was really honest to say his season was not good.
“His season has not finished yet. If he deserves to play I’ll give him the opportunity.”
Richarlison joined Tottenham Hotspur from Everton last summer for a transfer fee worth £60 million.
Since then, the Brazilian attacker has managed to start just seven Premier League games for the north London team.
The only time Richarlison had scored for Spurs was in September when he scored two Champions League goals against Marseille. In his 661 minutes of Premier League action for Spurs, he is yet to contribute any goal.
Yet, after the 0-0 draw at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Wednesday, the Brazilian argued that he deserved to have started rather than coming on as a substitute in the 70th minute. The draw helped Milan to knock out Spurs from the Champions League 1-0 on aggregate after the first leg at San Siro ended in a 1-0 win.
Conte said: “I think [the] guy understood he made a mistake because when you speak with I, I, and I, not ‘us’, it means you are thinking only about yourself and you are selfish.
“I repeat to my players, if we want to build something important, fight for something important, fight to be competitive, and win a trophy, we have to speak with ‘we’.
“If we speak I, I, and I, we are only thinking about ourselves. The guy understood very well and apologized, which is good because I had an opportunity to clarify for another time the spirit of the team.”