John Guidetti: From Kibera to Sweden's best

John Guidetti: From Kibera to Sweden's best

23 Jun 2010, 15:26
Once upon at time there was a young man from Sweden mingling in the dusty tuff of Kenya from Kibera to wherever else there was a pitch with players on it.

Many thought he was lost or without focus of anything else to do with his time. He spent most of his time out of school playing football. He was despised for this and his father, who was always by his side, seen as a detriment to his education.

That was back in 2004 and 2007 when John Guidetti was in Kenya. His father Mike worked at the Swedish school in that period and he was keen on having his son play football the ‘hard way’.

Trip to Kibera

The youngster attended some Academies in Kenya with the most visited being Ligi Ndogo which was a stone throw away from the Swedish School.

But after sessions at the Ngong road based academy, Guidetti, chaperoned by his father, would then take a trip to Kibera where on any open field they would stop and the player sent on to take on the kids of the slums.

Fast forward to the present day Guidetti, now 18, is regarded as Sweden’s greatest football prospect.

Manchester City

The youngster who spent lots of time with Swedish side Brommapojkarna’s youth Academy made a great career leap when Sven Goran Ericsson signed him at English Premier League side Manchester City in 2008 on a three year contract a few days before turning 16.

The striker who is currently on loan to Brommapojkarna is averaging a goal a game at the U18 level at both club and country.

For sweden’s U18, Guidettti has scored 12 goals in as many games with another 13 goals in 13 games for Manchester City’s U18.

Focus and vision

“Most of the players that he [Guidetti] played with while in Kenya have either become to busy for the game or all together given up” said Ligi Ndogo Academy CEO Chris Amimo while talking to KenyanFootie.com.

“But his stride in the game goes to show what early coaching and determination can do a player. When we thought he was unfocused in playing too much, he indeed had a focus and vision of where he wanted to be. Now it’s for all to see” added Amimo

After spending two years at the Manchester City Academy and reserve team, Guidetti moved to the Swedish top flight the Allsvenskan to join Brommapojkarna on a season long loan.

But according to reports, the ‘Wayne Rooney’ of Sweden who, in his own admission says Kibera shaped up his football development, is expected to return to Man City to sign a new contract ahead of the upcoming season.

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