Ighalo's mixed emotions from first United goal
Odion Ighalo has dedicated his first Manchester United goal to his late sister, who sadly passed away six weeks before his dream move to Old Trafford.
The 30-year-old striker, who is currently on loan from Chinese Super League side Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, opened his Reds goal account when he scored our second in the 5-0 Europa League triumph over Club Brugge.
After scoring, Ighalo unveiled a T-shirt carrying a picture of his beloved sibling in a bitter-sweet moment for the Nigerian.
“The T-shirt is for my late sister," Odion told us after the game. “I lost my sister in December. She is very dear to me.
“She was a good United fan too. We hoped for this moment but, now I am at United, she is not here to see what is going on. It is emotional for me. I have promised myself that every goal I score, I will dedicate it to her. She is up there watching me.”
Despite the sadness behind marking his first United goal, Ighalo was also delighted to get on the scoresheet in his first start following a run of three substitute appearances.
“It feels great to score because this is what I have longed for," he said. "Now, it is a dream come true for me.
“I dreamed of this from when I was small, when I was young. Playing for the team and scoring goals means a lot to me. I am going to cherish this moment for all the days of my life.
“Before the game, they all sent me messages [from Nigeria]. They have been waiting for my first goal for United. They have been telling me I am close, I am close, I am close and said hopefully it would be today.
“So I’ve got a goal and I can’t look at my phone now because I have got hundreds of messages from Nigeria, from everywhere, congratulating me. I am very happy for that.
"I am enjoying it here. The lads are great and have helped me settle down so easily, so I am very happy for that.”
United await the last-16 draw on Friday as the Reds continue on a road that leads to the Europa League final in Gdansk, Poland, on 27 May.
However, Ighalo isn’t looking too far ahead. “Everything is possible in football but I want to take it step by step,” he said.
“The big thing now is Everton away on Sunday and then, after that, we go to the next game. We go like that.”
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