Former Nigerian star, Osaze Odemwingie, has acknowledged that he was taken to a Nigerian juju man after breaking his arm in training as a teenager.
The former Super Eagles star, who was born in the old Soviet Union, returned to Nigeria to play briefly for amateur club AS Racines Lagos before transferring to Bendel Insurance, where he spent two years.
“I had a fall in training; I also hurt my shoulder and broke my arm. I was afraid to tell my mom so they took me to the local juju man,” Odemwingie told championat.com
“They poured hot water to relax their muscles. Somehow they returned the hand to the place, while I yelled, they twisted some small sticks. There was a rite with a chicken.
“I came home, my mother saw the hand: ‘Broke?’ I answer: ‘Yes.’ I was taken to a regular hospital, anaesthesia was done, and they put the plaster on. All is well in the end.”
Odemwingie went on to say that a majority of African players believe juju men are more important than modern doctors.
He said: “No, just at least 70% of players believe in it. They think that some kind of salve will save them. This is more suggestion. Brainwashing goes.
“But three years in Nigeria have been helpful to me. They called me to the big league, and there my career developed much faster.”
The ex-West Brom striker represented Nigeria at the 2014 World Cup and became the oldest player to score for the Super Eagles in the mundial when he found the net against Bosnia aged 32 years, 11 months and six days.