Watford forward Odion Ighalo has won the 2015 Goal Nigeria Player of the Year award after seeing off keen competition from Portland Timbers’ Fanendo Adi.
The 26-year-old follows in the footsteps of his illustrious compatriots who have won the prestigious award: John Obi Mikel (2012 & 2013) and Vincent Enyeama (2014).
Ighalo took 30.5 per cent of the votes ahead of Adi, whose 28.6 per cent made this the most keenly contested Goal Nigeria Player of the Year award since inception as the field was widened from five to 10 contestants.
The Watford striker was presented with his award in England during the week and he appreciated the fans for believing in him.
“First, I thank God for the great achievement and all that and I’m very happy to have won the Goal Nigeria Player of the Year award. It’s a great achievement for me in my career and my life,” Ighalo said.
“Thanks to my family, thanks to all those who made it possible, my team-mates, my coaches and all the people who gave me the opportunity to grow as a player and most especially those who made this award at Goal and the fans that chose me to be the winner of the award.
“I thank every one of them and I think this is the sign of a good thing and it’s giving me motivation to work hard, to keep doing my best and make sure I win more.”
Ighalo had a breakthrough 2015 where he scored 30 goals in 75 appearances for Watford who gained promotion to the Premier League, the highest in English league football.
He also made his senior Nigeria debut and scored a penalty in a 2-0 defeat of Chad in Kaduna.
Voting took place throughout December on the Goal Nigeria website.