August, 7 2022.
He was not just elegant, he was smooth, clinical and sharp. Benedict Akwegbu, the Austrian Bomber as they call him will be remembered in history as the first Nigerian to play in France and the Chinese League.
Akwegbu, who is now based in London, caught up with pressmen in his base, where he opened up on his illustrious career, both at club and international level.
*Why He is Called the Austrian Bomber*
Ben Akwegbu earned the nickname from players and the press in Austria after series of fantastic displays in the Austrian Bundesliga.
He won the Austrian League, Austrian Cup and Super Cup. He was also voted Best Foreign Player in the league. This earned him the nickname "Austrian Bomber", that is remembered till date in Austria.
*First Nigerian to Play in France*
History also has the name "Benedict Akwegbu" as the name of the first Nigerian to play in Austria.
When speaking to pressmen, he said "I was the first Nigerian to play in France, when I joined Lens, as far back as 1991, before late Stephen Keshi later signed for Stratsbourg".
*First Nigerian to Play in China*
On this feat, Akwegbu said "when I went to China, some people were laughing at me. They did not know I was visionary. Now, players like Didier Drogba, John Obi Mikel amongst many others have played in China". Akwegbu played for Guangzhou City F.C when he moved there on loan in 2002 and returned to play for Tiajin Teda.
*UEFA Champions League Goals Against Fabian Barthez*
On the 20th of October, 1998, Akwegbu's Grazer AK took on AS Monaco in a UEFA Champions League in Austria, which ended 3-3.
Akwegbu became the toast of European clubs after he scored a brace in the game for Grazer AK, against the legendary French goalie, Fabian Barthez.
Akwegbu will remain in history as one of the best foreign players to grace the Austrian league, and his legacy would live on.