- Carl Ikeme was forced to retire from football in 2018
- The goalkeeper was diagnosed with leukemia in 2017 weeks before the new season
- Rui Patricio insists Wolves number one jersey belongs to the ex-Super Eagles star
Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Rui Patricio has insisted that his side's number one jersey still belongs to former Super Eagles star Carl Ikeme.
The England born Nigerian star was forced to hang his gloves after discovering he had leukemia in the summer of 2017.
Ikeme, as usual, was preparing for the new season with Wolves two years back but the devastating illness immediately ruled him out of every football activity.
The goaltender announced he is now in remission but will never play football actively again and Patricio says he is an inspiration to all.
He told Express & Star: “Without doubt for me he is still the number one and he deserves this shirt because he had a problem that can happen to any of us.
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“Carl is an example because of the way he turned around the situation and I would say that I look up to him quite a lot.
“He was here (at the training ground), even last week, he was at the doctors and when I was looking at him, I thought he was a person to look up to, because of how hard he worked and how he dealt with this problem.
“This example doesn’t just apply to people, it applies to life, so number one is his for what happened. He deserves it, it is his own, because he is an example, once again, of how we look at life.”
Patricio was in goal when they newly returned to the Premier League and Wolves qualified for Europa League at the end of the season - finishing seventh on the table.
They progressed to the Round of 32 in the UEFA's second-tier championship while maintaining top six on the Premier League log so far this term.
He said: "Without a doubt, this season has been amazing. This season has been better than the previous one last year, because – with the same amount of games that we had last year we still have one extra point. Obviously we want to do more, we want to be better and we want to grow more.”
Patricio added after his first season outside of Portugal: “Last year was my first season here in the club so everything was different everything was new.
“I have always played in Portugal and only last year did I changed, and it has been a completely new world, a new home, a new club, new people to handle with. “It has been a lot of change and obviously the language is one of them, as well.
Legit.ng earlier reported that former Super Eagles goalkeeper Carl Ikeme has expressed desires to return to Wolverhampton Wanderers on an official capacity.
The 33-year-old goaltender was forced to retire from football after he was diagnosed with acute leukemia after returning abnormal blood tests during a routine pre-season check-up.
One year after, the English born Nigerian star announced he has come in "complete remission" but will never return to the sticks.
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