Gbolahan Fuad Salami (pictured) is a precocious talent on the field of play which stands him out in the playing personnel of Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC). This season he has scored four goals and assisted his teammates in finding the back of the net four times – making him 3SC’s most outstanding player so far this term.
But the striker is not only known for his footballing talent. Growing up in Isale-Eko area of Lagos where he attended Eko-Akete Grammar School certainly shaped Salami for the rough and tumble of the round leather sport.
However, it added another side to his game on and off the pitch – an eccentric side for that matter. Some people now refer to him as Nigeria’s own Balotelli and others prefer to call him “The Enfant Terrible.”
Salami’s real first show of his Balotelli-like nature came to the fore during the game between 3SC and Sunshine Stars in Ibadan on November 6, 2010. He had just joined 3SC from Sunshine Stars where he had little playing time and his double strike put the Akure Gunners to the sword and ensured that the Ibadan club won 2 – 1.
The striker’s celebration was quite unconventional as he ran straight to the then Sunshine Stars head coach, Gbenga Ogunbote and almost knocked him down and uttered something like ‘can you feel me now?’ His celebration was apparently in displeasure of being condemned to the bench during his stint at Sunshine Stars the previous season by the same coach.
But trust Salami. He later went back to plead for Ogunbote's forgiveness by prostrating as a Yoruba man.
There have also been instances of Salami standing up journalists after agreeing to appointments for interviews. But the forward showed his bad boy side when he walked out of an appointment with a sports commissioner of Oyo State after he felt the man had kept him waiting for too long.
But like most eccentric footballers, Salami has his a life and things he loves outside of the sport. He loves music and Fuji is one of the genres he enjoys and he has met popular musician, Pasuma during one of his time partying with friends. Less we forget, he also likes pop music too.
Recently during a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) game against Lobi Stars, the dude revealed his love for his Italian idol, Mario Balotelli, when he revealed a t-shirt bearing the inscription “I love Balotelli” after scoring on that matchday.
This dude, who drives a black-coloured muscle Toyota Camry and loves the iPhone, says he is now a born-again. True to his words he recently saved the referee, Musa Shehu, who flashed him a red card from the angry Ibadan fans who felt he did not deserve to get the marching order against Sunshine Stars.
But one thing is so certain, Salami has got the footballing talent to carry him the whole hog of his career and even become bigger than Balotelli once he gets that break onto the international scene.