LifeBogger presents the Full Story of a Nigerian Football Legend who is best known by the name; “The Shot Master”.
Our Sunday Oliseh Childhood Story plus Untold Biography Facts brings to you a full account of notable events from his childhood time, to his footballing glory days and after retirement.
The analysis of the Nigerian Football Legend involves his life story before fame, family life and many OFF and ON-Pitch little-known facts about him.
Yes, everyone knows about his thunderbolt shot in the 1998 World Cup match against Spain, but few consider our Sunday Oliseh’s Biography, which is quite interesting. Now without further ado, let’s begin.
Sunday Oliseh Childhood Story – Early Life and Family Background:
For Biography starters, Sunday Ogochukwu Oliseh was born on the 14th day of September 1974 in Abavo, Delta State, Nigeria. He was born to his Catholic parents, Mr and Mrs Oliseh. He is not related to Michael Olise – the footballer born in England.
Research has it that Sunday Oliseh’s father was an accountant, while his mother is a retired business woman.
Oliseh started kicking the ball from the moment he could walk in the village of Abavo, Delta State. He grew up with his siblings (6 boys and 1 girl) at Lawanson, Surulele, Lagos State.
Below is a photo of Sunday with his elder brother.
Sunday Oliseh had his primary Education at the Bright Starr Nursery and Primary School (Ojota).
For his secondary school, he went to Ajao Estate High school (Anthony Village) and the Methodist boys High school, all in Lagos State, Nigeria.
These Schools offered him the opportunity to passionately play competitive soccer during sports periods.
Due to the natural constraints at the time, Oliseh used every second he had during breaks between classes to play football.
Back home, he competed for everything. As Oliseh puts it; “Right from the time I was a kid, there was competition for everything.
There was competition for food, competition for the love of my parents, competition for sitting down on the sofa,—if you don’t sit down early, you will watch VILLAGE HEADMASTER on the floor. I carried this competition into school.”
There was no television station running at noon, therefore Oliseh would have to play football with his friends to make sure he returns home before his father gets back from work. His father often spanks him if sees him playing football.
Mr Oliseh Snr forbade his son from playing football because of the belief that he had no money, connections and the belief that he knows nobody making a good living out of football.
Sunday Oliseh Biography – Road to Fame:
Oliseh’s football was different while playing with his friends because he applied a lot of logic to it which his friends could not do.
The difference between him and his friends was his ability to apply ‘Jogo Bonito’ which denote providing great entertainment with the purest footballing moves. This technique has its origin in Pele and later adopted by Neymar.
Oliseh continued playing football for fun, little did he know that football would take his family away from poverty.
It so happened that, at a point in his life at school (combining school and playing for his local club), Oliseh was paid his first salary by his local club.
Quickly, he took the money home to give his father who not only got surprised but called the rest of his siblings saying;…”Your brother is being paid more than I was paid as an accountant”. This was when Oliseh Snr began to have faith in his son.
Sunday Oliseh Biography – Rise to Fame Story:
In the year 1990, whilst at Julius Berger Fc and still at school, Oliseh received an invitation from Mr. Claude Bissot, (may his blessed soul rest in peace)
A Belgian agent, to Belgium for trials. the year was 1990. On the 1st of July 1990, on board a Swissair flight to Brussels via Zürich, Oliseh went and all he had was $50, an Adidas sports bag, football shoes, few belongings and his most priced article, “The Holy Bible”.
Getting to Belgium, Oliseh realised the first training session was prepared for him. He was surprised the training ended quickly and the club’s director called the white man who brought him saying…
“From the explanation you gave of this lad, We thought he was good but didn’t know he was very good. We have agreed to sign him”.
To the surprise of this agent, Oliseh was signed into RFC Liege’s first team on the spot. This was how Oliseh landed himself permanently in Europe.
Oliseh got the moral assistance of Stephen Keshi (playing at Anderlecht at that time) who helped him settle down in Belgium.
After the day Oliseh made his League debut, his coach called and said to him, “I won’t be able to play you more often because you don’t speak the Belgium language”.
Upon hearing that, Oliseh felt sad, saying in his mind “Having known I spoke a language [Ika Lanuage] which belongs to the minority in Nigeria, Now, here I am, being among the minority again”.
Oliseh quickly crossed the road and went on to buy a language book. In the end, he got to known how to speak French, German, Italian and Dutch.
He saw himself playing at 8 clubs, including Ajax, Juventus and Dortmund. The rest, as they say, is now history.
Hafidah and Sunday Oliseh Love Story:
Behind every great man, there’s a great woman, or so the saying goes. And behind almost every ex-Nigerian footballer of Atlanta 1996, there’s was a glamorous wife or lover.
Oliseh fell in love with Hafidah, an Ethiopian woman and Belgian citizen during his early career days.
He got married to his beautiful Belgian Moroccan wife, Hafidahh shortly after the 1994 World Cup. Below is a photo of the two love birds.
The couple has celebrated more than 20 years of marriage and they have two lovely kids; a grownup son Denzel and a daughter. Below is a 2015 photo of Denzel Oliseh and his sister.
Oliseh once said about his wife..“My wife is a rare and special person and without her, I’m nothing. During my busy days as a footballer, she stood there by my side, mainly as the boss of the house.”
Oliseh once said his wife and children were angry with him for using his personal money for the Nigerian Football Federation when the organization went broke.
Sunday Oliseh Biography Facts – The ThunderBolt Shot:
One thing remembered about Sunday Oliseh is his thunderbolt goal in the group stage match between Nigeria and Spain in the 1998 World Cup that led Nigeria to victory.
The shot was described as explosive since it was fired from 25 yards straight into the net, to the astonishment of the Spanish goalkeeper.
Interestingly, it was his performance on that day that caught the eye of Italian scouts in the stands.
Sunday Oliseh Biography – Atlanta 1996 Story:
In Atlanta in 1996, Nigeria was so poor as a federation. Nobody knew they would get that far. The team got to the semi-finals in Atlanta and observed there was no hotel arrangement for them.
They stayed in a Motel, a place where men take their girlfriends and mistresses to have quality time. On the major way across, there were five-star hotels, where Brazil and Argentina teams stayed.
When Nigeria played the semi-finals with Brazil, thieves ransacked the hotel Brazilian stayed and robbed the South American team of their belongings.
The Brazilian team lost $55,000 worth of items and Nigerians didn’t lose anything.
After the Olympics, Oliseh went to Ajax. He was voted Africa’s 3rd best footballer in 1998 by CAF all thanks to his consistency after becoming a gold medalist in Atlanta in 1996.
Sunday Oliseh Biography – Fleeing Nigeria:
Oliseh was said to be in constant paranoia from fear that certain people were once after his life while he was a Nigerian national coach.
After contracting a virus in one of his official assignments, camp sources informed that the former Juventus player has alleged occultic manipulations by his enemies on his life and has vowed to flee far from the country to where they could not fly to attack him.
In his words…
“One day whilst coaching the Super Eagles in Abuja stadium prior to the Burkina Faso game, I all of a sudden felt dizziness, light-headedness, headache and could barely stand.
I managed to finish the session before calling on the doctor into my room who was clueless to what was happening.
Suddenly, I started observing sleepless nights, loss of appetite, high blood pressure and before I knew it I started losing weight.
After several visits to doctors abroad, nothing was found and they couldn’t pinpoint the cause of the actual illness.
Prior to the away trip to Burkina Faso for the final CHAN qualifier game in Port Harcourt after lunch, I was struck again with the worst feat of spiritual attack. This time, I could not walk and talk.
I was dizzy. It felt like I was going to pass out. I immediately flew to Germany for a check-up.
Doctors who checked me revealed that I had narrowly escaped a total collapse in Nigeria. At this time, I had lost seven kilos. My family was petrified and all feared the worst.
One thing was for sure though: had I not taken that evening flight to Germany when I did, there was a strong possibility of a far worse outcome. Thank God for his mercies,”
“He is always scared in camp and suspicious of even members of his backroom staff”, a close source to the team informed.
The source said that the outspoken coach once allegedly confronted his staff and warned them that there were many witches and wizards who were trying to undermine the success of the Eagles.
“He warned those fond of putting their hands or finger in their pocket before shaking him to desist or keep their handshakes as he feared they touch objects concealed in their pockets before offering to shake him”, The source said.
Sunday Oliseh Family Life:
As stated earlier, Oliseh comes from a lower middle-class family background. His father was an accountant, and it was his dream to follow in his father’s footsteps. It was Football which just tagged along the way.
His younger brothers, Azubuike and Egutu, are also professional footballers. His elder brother, Churchill Oliseh is also heavily involved in football.
Churchill (photo below) is the owner of FC Ebeidei. Churchill’s photos have been used by Nigerian fraudsters who scam desperate young footballers who seek a move to play European Football.
Below is a photo of Oliseh’s footballing brothers.
As a sourced claimed, Sunday Oliseh was the one who set all his brothers up. He doesn’t believe in giving monies to his family but believes in setting up his family and friends.
Oliseh is blessed with one sister named Tessy who is a designer and the creative genius behind Tesslo Concept. She is married to Ohimai Amaize pictured below.
Sunday Oliseh Biography Facts – Career Fall:
Despite captaining Nigeria during the 2002 African Cup of Nations, Oliseh was omitted from his country’s World Cup squad later that year for disciplinary reasons.
After missing out on World Cup selection, Oliseh retired from international football in June 2002 for having led the team as they demanded unpaid allowances and dues owed to be paid. Oliseh once said about playing in Nigeria…
“For the Nigerian team, the moment you play your first game, you’ll be called a superstar. The moment you play your first bad game, even your parents might call you to say you’ve put them in trouble”
In March 2004, Borussia Dortmund suspended and later sacked Oliseh. It happened after he head-butted his team mate Vahid Hashemian. The fight occurred while he was on loan from VfL Bochum. Sunday Oliseh accused him of racism.
In January 2006, at the age of 31, Oliseh retired from professional football after playing a half-season for Belgian top club K.R.C. Genk.
Sunday Oliseh Biography Facts – Post Retirement:
As a soccer player, the worst thing that can happen to one is retirement. When a soccer player retires, the men who are 65 years old still call them babies. This is the case of Sunday Oliseh.
As Sunday Oliseh retired, his family still had hopes for him for financial support. In a bid not to get broke, Oliseh told himself, “There is only one way to keep it going;…continue the education.”.
Oliseh went to North England to continue his education. Which relates to getting his UEFA Professional Coaches License, which cost him a lot of monies.
While that was in progress, he started another journey by becoming a sports consultant. For a German Television, CNN and working for FIFA as part of the technical study group.
Oliseh never went bankrupt after retirement. Unlike most of his friends, Sunday’s case was exceptional. Thanks to his wife, his family developed good spending habits.
Most importantly, starting a coaching career helped him to meet the outsized demands of his family and friends.
Oliseh has managed to grow a successful career as a football manager by furthering his education in all things football.
Taking a three-year course in coaching and a Diploma in Business Management helped him.
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