It took Paul Onuachu just eight seconds on his first start for Nigeria to write his name in the history books as he scored a superb volley to hand Super Eagles a 1-0 victory against Egypt in Asaba.
As the crowd celebrated in excitement, many did not realize that they had just witnessed a record that may never be broken in their lifetime.
The reason being that since Nigeria played its first official game in October 1949 while still a British colony, no Nigerian goal has been scored faster than Onuachu’s goal.
Making such an impact in his first start and only just his second game for his country, one could tell that Paul Onuachu was on his way to the top.
Barely two years after that goal, Onuachu is having his best football season ever, as he has found the back of the net 30 times in the Belgian league with Genk.
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Onuachu joined Genk in 2019 from Danish club FC Midtjylland for a fee of €6 million scoring 51 goals in 132 appearances for the club.
During a conversation with Legit.ng while at FC Midtjylland, Onuachu said: “I have the height I can fit into any top league.”
He sure was right as the 26-year-old has scored 30 league goals this season for Genk which puts him ahead of the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on the list of top scoring players this season.
Legit.ng highlights five facts that Nigerians may not know about the new goal scoring machine.
1. Born in South East, Raised in South West Nigeria
Paul Ebere Onuachu was born in Owerri, Imo state, but raised in Ojo, Alaba, Lagos state. He started his professional football career with FC Ebedei before moving to Danish club FC Midtjylland back in 2012 on a scholarship.
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FC Ebedei is serving as the African football academy of FC Midtylland.
Like most footballers, Onuachu had a humble beginning and realized he wanted to become a footballer at a very young age.
“Everyone was born with a talent and for me I got to realize mine at a very young age. I started playing football with my barefoot,” Onuachu told Legit.ng.
2. Rose to fame 5 years ago
Despite scoring 23 league goals for his new club Genk this season, Onuachu rise to stardom can be traced back to 2016 when he scored the winning goal for FC Midtjylland in their famous 2-1 win against Man United in a round of 32 Europa League game.
Describing how he felt after scoring against Man United, Onuachu told Legit.ng: “That moment felt so good because Man United is the biggest club I have played against in my career, so scoring against them is a big thing in my football career.”
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3. Toughest opponent he has faced
According to Onuachu, Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly is the toughest opponent he has ever faced.
“I have met so many tough defenders but Napoli’s Koulibaly is the toughest I have faced,” Onuachu told Legit.ng.
4. Onuachu holds the record for the fastest goal by a Nigerian team
“My goal against Egypt is one of the biggest achievements in my career and I feel so privileged to know it is the fastest goal ever scored by Nigeria,” Onuachu told Legit.ng.
5. Onuachu has scored more league goals than Messi and Ronaldo this season
While Lionel Messi has scored 28 league goals this season, Cristiano Ronaldo has 27 league goals to his name.
But there is a certain Paul Onuachu who has scored 30 league goals this season and is in the race for European golden boot.
So when you hear the name Paul Onuachu, remember that he is not only the record holder for Nigeria’s fastest goal, he is also the only Nigerian player who is hugging major headlines in Europe this season because of his goal scoring prowess.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Onuachu revealed playing for Premier League side Arsenal would be a 'dream' come true for him.
The 26-year-old has been super impressive for his Belgian club side Genk helping them to win the Belgian cup.