Folarin Balogun: 7 Less Known Facts about the Nigerian Premier ...
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Folarin Balogun: 7 Less Known Facts about the Nigerian Premier League Striker

Folarin Jerry Balogun is a striker who’s making headlines both in the Premier League as an Arsenal player and internationally as a member of the United States national team

As a dynamic force on the soccer field, Balogun’s story is as diverse as his skillset. 

Beyond the goals and victories, his journey from the streets of New York City to the grand stages of international soccer showcases the determination and talent that has brought him to the forefront of the sport. 

Let’s delve deeper into the lesser-known facts of this remarkable player’s life and career.

He is nicknamed ‘FLO”

Folarin was born to Nigerian parents in New York City. Reports say the premier league striker was nicknamed “Flo”, during his years at Arsenal’s Hale End Academy. His fans also refer to him as “Balogunner.”

Folarin joined Arsenal at 8

Fola and his parents moved to England when he was just two years old. He developed a passion for football which was easily spotted by his parents. His parents later enrolled him into a football academy and he was allowed to play for Sunday League side Aldersbrook.

He however joined Arsenal at age 8 when the north London club spotted him while playing for Aldersbrook.

He almost signed for Tottenham Hotspur

Balogun who had always wanted to be a “gunner” almost signed for Tottenham Hotspur. Narrating the details of his early days, the Nigerian footballer said, “While I was having my trial at Arsenal I kept in touch with Tottenham in case things go south. Fortunately, the gunners signed me. I was happy and it was one of my life’s special moments.”

He is eligible to represent three different countries

The 21-year-old multinational was born in the United States to Nigerian parents and raised in England. All of this makes him eligible to represent any of the three nations at international countries. 

Speaking about his decision to represent the United States, Folarin said, “My decision to represent the United States came together with my family. In the end, it became a no-brainer, but for sure it’s just something I wanted to do and it feels like I’m at home here. To represent the United States means a lot, more than people would know. I’m very proud and honoured to have this opportunity, and I want to give everything I have to make our team successful.”

Folarin has never played for the Nigerian Team

The striker who is eligible to play for three nations played for England at the under-17 level and appeared in the 2018 UEFA European Under-17 Championship. He has also played for the United States under-18 national team and recently joined the U.S. Men’s National Team for the Concacaf Nations League Final Four. But he has never represented or played for the Nigerian team.

Balogun has also played as a trequartista in youth football 

Folani is a talented footballer who played trequartista during his early days. Trequartista is an Italian name for three-quarter specialists. 

Trequartistas are creative players between the forwards and the midfield who are known for their deft touch, technical ability, dribbling skills, vision, ability to shoot from long range, and passing prowess.

He scored 21 goals when he was loaned to Reims

Balogun moved on loan to French club Reims in August 2022. He finished the season with 21 goals, making him the fourth top scorer in Ligue 1 during that season.

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