Super Eagles ace Jamilu Collins has names two former Chelsea defender of Celestine Babayaro and Ashley Cole as his footballing idol when he was growing up.
The 25-year-old Paderborn left-back has been impressive form with the Bundesliga strugglers after making 21 appearances and scored one goal which saw Newcastle United and Southampton considering a summer move for Nigeria international.
Collins started his career as a winger with an eye for goal but said how former Super Eagles defender Babayaro motivated to shift to the left-back position when he was up in Kaduna just like him in a Instagram conversation with the Super Eagles Media Team.
“I never met Celestine Babayaro in person, I watched him a lot, loved the way he was playing, he’s the number one player in Kaduna. Everybody talked about him a lot, the way he plays, he attacks a lot, he has good moves.
“Growing up I was enjoying playing in attack but at the same time I was admiring him, so I got to a club and they decided to play me as a left-back, some people started calling me Babayaro.
“At that point I started to like the name a little bit but at the same time I was wondering why they were calling me Babayaro as I always wanted to play in attack.
“Gradually I continued playing left-back. Every club I go to I tell them I play attack but they put me in the left defence, sometimes I get angry.
“At the end of the day I stuck to the position and started watching a lot of Babayaro more, I started to fall in love with him because he became my role model and I was watching a lot of Ashley Cole also, they were the favorites for me back then.”
Collins made his Super Eagles debut later in a friendly against Liberia September 2018 was a member of Super Eagles squad that came third in last summer Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
Kaduna-born star started his career with Abuja Football College Academy, before a spell at Rijeka and Paderborn