When asked, in a chat with The Punch, who was the toughest striker he ever faced, Shorunmu said;
“It was definitely Gabriel Batistuta. I first came face to face with him when I was with FC Zurich in 1997 when we went for pre-season in Italy and we played against Fiorentina.
“It was like a tug-of-war between him and my defenders and even though he is an Argentine he played like an African. Again, I faced him at the World Cup in 2002 in Korea.
“The first 20 minutes of that game was tough and we had a collision and my boot got torn. I had 60 per cent advantage of getting to the ball first, but all of a sudden, I don’t know how it happened, Batistuta got there before me and I rushed out and tore my boot.
“I had to collect Vincent Enyeama’s boots to continue the game because I didn’t have extra boots. He was the toughest striker I ever faced, no doubt about it.”
Ike Ibrahim Shorunmu is a former Nigerian football goalkeeper. Shorunmu was born in Lagos. After a few years in Nigeria he moved to play in Switzerland, and made his mark there.
Author: Okunlola Kayode. F