ENTER The Prolific Story Of Celestine BABAYARO /His EUFA champion league record

Years After His Champions League debut/Record............Celestine Babayaro Still Holds
Sway in HISTORY books

Asks Chief Mike DE Cerutti Osagie

* Enter The UEFA Champions League's youngest debutantes
Céléstine Babayaro was 16 years and 87 days old when he made his #UCLdebut on 23 November 1994; meet the competition's ultimate wonderkids.
One of the great joys of watching the UEFA Champions League is seeing fresh-faced prospects announce their talent to the world. We celebrate the youngest players to have graced Europe's top club competition.
*Céléstine Babayaro (16 years and 87 days)
Anderlecht 1-1 Steaua, 23 November 1994
The Nigerian left-back became the youngest player in UEFA Champions League history when he started for Anderlecht against Steaua in the 1994/95 group stage. His ground-breaking debut set more than one record, however, Babayaro becoming the competition's youngest player to be sent off 37 minutes later. He joined Chelsea in 1997, winning the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and FA Cup at Stamford Bridge.
*Alen Halilović (16 years and 128 days)
Dinamo Zagreb 0-2 Paris Saint-Germain, 24 October 2012
Dinamo Zagreb were well on their way to a home defeat by Paris when the waif-like Halilović trotted on for the last five minutes of added time. Billed as the most exciting Croatian talent since Luka Modrić, the son of former Dinamo player Sead Halilović had become the youngest scorer in Prva Liga history a fortnight earlier. Still awaiting his breakthrough, the 22-year-old joined AC Milan this summer.
*Youri Tielemans (16 years and 148 days)
Anderlecht 0-3 Olympiacos, 2 October 2013
Tielemans first came on to Anderlecht's radar as a five-year-old, and the midfielder made rapid progress through the ranks before playing all 90 minutes of the Belgian side's home loss to Olympiacos on his UEFA Champions League debut. He captained the club before his 20th birthday and switched to Monaco in 2017, helping Belgium reach the FIFA World Cup semi-finals this summer.
*Charis Mavrias (16 years and 242 days)
Panathinaikos 0-0 Rubin Kazan, 20 October 2010
Panathinaikos turned to Mavrias as they sought a winner with 12 minutes remaining of their group stage meeting with Rubin in 2010. The midfielder did not make a dream debut but later became the club's youngest ever European scorer and their youngest scorer in a derby game against Olympiacos. Still only 24, Mavrias signed for Scottish side Hibernian from Rijeka earlier this month.
*Kenneth Zohore (16 years and 263 days)
Barcelona 2-0 København, 20 October 2010
A distant relative of Didier Drogba, Zohore made his UEFA Champions League debut on the same day as Mavrias – in the illustrious setting of the Camp Nou. The forward left København for Fiorentina in 2012 but spent much of his stint out on loan, only finding stability since he signed for Cardiff City in 2016. His nine Championship goals last term helped the Welsh outfit seal their return to the Premier League.
Born in Kaduna, Babayaro began his playing career at Nigerian side Plateau United, before moving to Belgian club Anderlecht in 1994, and eventually would make a name for himself, quickly gaining first-choice status although still a teenager.
Babayaro set records as the youngest player to make an appearance and to receive a red card in the UEFA Champions League. He was sent off in a match between Steaua Bucuresti and his club Anderlecht (1–1), aged 16 years and 86 days.
Babayaro was signed by Chelsea after being spotted by scout Lewis Durkin in April 1997. He moved for a transfer fee of £2.25 million, a club record paid for a teenager at the time.[citation needed] He made his debut in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup against Slovan Bratislava, but an injury sustained in the 6–1 win over rivals Tottenham Hotspur in December 1997[4] ruled him out for the rest of the season. This meant he missed their victories in the 1998 Football League Cup Final and the 1998 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Final. However, with Chelsea he went on to win the 1998 UEFA Super Cup, the FA Cup and Charity Shield in 2000, and reached the 2002 FA Cup Final.
He was also instrumental in Chelsea's memorable run in the 1999-2000 UEFA Champions League. However it was to end in heartbreak for Babayaro as he was sent off in extra time against Barcelona as they bowed out of the competition at the quarter final stage.[8] He faced competition from Graeme Le Saux during his seven-year spell, but managed to play over 200 games for the London side. His acrobatic celebrations with backflips were noted and loved by the fans of the club.
The steady form of Wayne Bridge saw Babayaro start only four FA Premier League matches for Chelsea in 2004–05 under new manager José Mourinho. Chelsea ended the season as Premier League champions.
In January 2005, he left Chelsea to join Newcastle United on an undisclosed fee, where he established himself as first choice left back. He scored his first and what turned out to be his only Newcastle goal in a 3–1 win over Coventry City in the FA Cup.
In September 2006, Babayaro was given a three-match ban by The Football Association for slapping Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt in the face while Liverpool took a corner The slap was not seen by the referee Mark Halsey, but later footage showed Babayaro punch the Dutchman in the face. Babayaro accepted the allegations and apologised to Kuyt.
On 10 February 2007, after a 2–1 win over Liverpool, then-Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder revealed that just 12 hours before kick-off, Babayaro had called him saying his younger brother David had died from tuberculosis. Despite this, Babayaro insisted he would still play and put in a solid performance which earned him praise from Newcastle manager and fans. This fine form continued into United's 3–1 away victory against Zulte Waregem, in the UEFA Cup.[12]
Due to his many injury problems it was mutually decided, on 10 December 2007, that Babayaro should be released from his contract with immediate effect and a compensation figure was agreed.
In January 2009, former Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd described Babayaro as a "disgrace" who "didn't pull his weight" during a televised BBC interview.
Later years
On 21 January 2008, 29-year-old Babayaro came to an agreement with the Los Angeles Galaxy to join them on a three-year contract, effective immediately
With this move, the Nigerian re-joined Galaxy coach Ruud Gullit who previously brought him to Chelsea in 1997 and spent a season coaching him there. This time again, it was precisely recently hired Gullit who wanted Babayaro at his new club. However, it did not take long for the move to turn sour.
Thinking that he had arrived at sort of an American superclub that only a year earlier gave David Beckham what was widely reported to be the $250 million contract, Babayaro was agitated by what he considered to be "shabby" accommodations – from having to fly in the economy class to sharing a hotel room on the road.[16] His lack of commitment in training and preseason games reflected those feelings and he soon got on Gullit's and club president and general manager Alexi Lalas's bad side.
On 3 March, Babayaro was waived by the Galaxy after playing only 45 minutes in a preseason friendly against FC Seoul, receiving a yellow card and conceding a penalty in the process. The reason for this unexpected release was not stated explicitly by Galaxy front office. "After a period of evaluation, it was decided that it would be in the best interest of the club and the player to part ways,” Lalas said in a statement. “It is unfortunate that it did not work out, but Ruud and our technical staff are hard at work putting together this team and difficult decisions have to be made.
During pre-season for the 2008–09 English league season, Babayaro trained with Premier League club Portsmouth at the invitation of manager Harry Redknapp with a view to signing for the FA Cup holders.[18] On 14 August 2008 Redknapp revealed that he would not offer Babayaro a contract at Fratton Park.
On 8 July 2010, Babayaro officially announced his retirement from football.
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* IS THIS NOT THE APT TIME BOTH NIGERIAN Government and corporate Nigerian honor this rare talent with endorsement and talk time deals?
*Osagie De Cerutti, an author/IMAGE Image management consultant wrote this piece from his Abuja Nigeria base
He can be reached via :chiefcerrutti@gmail.com/WHATSAP #
+234 7042631895


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