Carl Ikeme has revealed that missing the FIFA 2018 World Cup in Russia was hard for him to take, Vanguard reports.
Ikeme was diagnosed with leukaemia a few months to the tournament and after his recovery he announced his retirement from the game, with the Nigeria Football Federation offering to make him an assistant coach in the Super Eagles coaching crew.
“The World Cup was probably a bit more difficult to take.
“The World Cup, to me, is the pinnacle of football. No disrespect to Wolves, because I loved playing every minute for them, but the World Cup is a different stage – they’re the memories you have as a kid. So that was something that I’d knew I’d miss out on and never get the chance to do again.”
The goalkeeper who made 207 appearances for his boyhood club Wolves further spoke about how he revealed the news of his diagnosis to his wife who was then none-month pregnant.
“She was the first person I told. I was obviously upset, as you would be after that sort of news,” Ikeme said. “I was in shock. I got back home and thought: ‘I need to tell Saba.’ I called her and I couldn’t get it out on the phone, but she knew something was up.
“I got back and Saba came in and I told her the news. She was nine months pregnant at the time, due next week. I’ve never seen her cry the way she cried. It was tough.”