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‘My heart is here’ — Karim Adeyemi speaks on building sports facilities in Nigeria

Karim Adeyemi, Nigerian-German footballer, says he will continue to give back to Nigerian communities because his heart “is still here”.

Adeyemi spoke with Soccernet following a recent visit to Nigeria.

During the visit, the 21-year-old was present at Olubadan stadium, Ibadan, to witness the Karim Adeyemi Foundation Academy in action. He also attended a children’s party at the Maracana stadium in the Ajegunle area of Lagos state.

In October, Adeyemi, alongside Wilfred Ndidi, Super Eagles midfielder, had donated two residential buildings to the newly revamped stadium.

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The donated facilities include 96 fully air-conditioned beds, 24-hour power and solar backup, treated water supply, top-notch shower, and changing rooms.

Speaking on his drive to invest in football development in Nigeria, Adeyemi said he was moved by the sight of kids playing football on the pitch when he came to the country, and that emotion inspired him to give back to the communities.

“As I said, I think I have my roots here. My father is from here, and his heart is still here in Nigeria. Of course, my heart is also here in Nigeria,” he said.

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“[There is] a story of how I came here to Nigeria. I saw the kids playing football on the street, and I played with them. It’s a small story, but it touched my heart all my life. So I try to give something back to the community.”

On his part, Yemi Idowu, chairman of the Nathaniel Idowu Foundation, said the facilities will reinforce the spirit of the youngsters in the area.

“A lot of enthusiasm, some of them are too young to understand what this is all about but at least they will remember that when they were young, they came to a place like this,” Idowu said.

“The old ones, it is just a way to reinforce the spirit behind this place which is where you can play with kids that come from all over the state of your own peer group.”

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Adeyemi was born in Germany to a Romanian mother and Abbey, a Nigerian father who hailed from Ibadan, Oyo.

Although qualified to play for Nigeria, Adeyemi pledged allegiance to his country of birth in 2021 and scored on his debut.

Earlier this year, the Borrusia Dortmund winger credited his speed to nutrients obtained from eating Nigerian food and genes from his father.

More photos from his visit below:

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