How USMNT purpose machine Dike went from enjoying Mario Kart to going through Kante


Daryl Dike is the identify on everybody’s lips within the Championship.

The 20-year-old has been a revelation since becoming a member of Barnsley on mortgage from Orlando Metropolis, with the Yorkshire membership now hoping to benefit from their choice to purchase the ahead on the finish of the season on a everlasting foundation.

Nevertheless, the Tykes are acutely conscious that after six objectives in seven video games, america worldwide has caught the eye of a number of Premier League scouts in current weeks.

It’s exceptional to assume, then, that Dike wasn’t even enjoying for an expert group 16 months in the past.

Whereas finding out finance on the College of Virginia, Dike lined out for the Virginia Cavaliers. Nevertheless, after being drafted by Main League Soccer outfit Orlando Metropolis in 2020, he’s all of the sudden probably the most talked-about attacker within the Championship.

“The whole lot has gone within the blink of an eye fixed,” Dike advised Purpose. “For those who advised me two or three years in the past that I might be the place I’m immediately, that I might have a nationwide group cap, that I might play for Orlando and Barnsley, I might have laughed at you.

“I might have been like, ‘There’s simply no approach!’ But it surely’s nice. My profession goes effectively. I can really feel myself rising as a participant. In a short while, my life has fully modified. I really feel actually blessed.

“I’m super-happy however, on the similar time, I do know I’m not but the place I need to be. I need to proceed scaling new heights. So, I do know my life and profession, and all the things round me, will proceed to vary.”

Dike’s meteoric rise maybe should not have come as such a shock, given his household’s spectacular sporting pedigree. 

His cousin, ex-West Ham ahead Emmanuel Emenike, beforehand performed for Nigeria, together with Dike’s brother, Shiny, who made two appearances for the Tremendous Eagles. 

In the meantime, Dike’s sister, Courtney, has additionally represented Nigeria at senior degree, after successful a silver medal on the 2014 Underneath-20 Girls’s World Cup. 

It will not come as a shock to study, then, that Dike’s dad and mom, who emigrated to america earlier than they have been born, performed a key position of their kids’s sporting success.

Certainly, Shiny jokes, “Whether or not it’s my sport or Daryl’s sport, in case you hear a girl screaming behind the purpose, then it’s at all times our mum! Everybody in our household is comfortable on a regular basis and pushing one another to the subsequent degree.”

Certainly, Daryl says sibling rivalry nurtured his will to win.

“That is one factor about our household: everyone seems to be so aggressive,” Daryl, the youngest of the 5 Dike kids, reveals. “Nobody likes to lose however I’m certain they obtained used to it after we used to play Mario Occasion, Nintendo video games and stuff like that!

“We truly did not play that many sports activities at house. It was largely in class or with our groups. However we nonetheless wished to compete by some means, so what higher approach than Nintendo and playing cards?!”

Shiny almost moved to the UK himself, lengthy earlier than Daryl joined Barnsley in February. 

Certainly, again in 2014, Shiny was attracting curiosity from then-Premier League golf equipment Hull Metropolis and QPR, in addition to Scottish giants Celtic and Rangers. 

Nevertheless, he suffered a critical knee damage in February of that 12 months which not solely scuppered his hopes of a switch, but in addition price him a spot in Nigeria’s World Cup squad for Brazil. 


The entire Dike household is now hoping that Daryl avoids comparable misfortune in his fledgling profession. Issues actually could not be going a lot better for the time being. 

As a childhood Chelsea fan who idolised Didier Drogba, Dike could not consider that he obtained the prospect to make his debut towards the Blues in an FA Cup fifth-round conflict at Oakwell on February 11. 

“After solely seeing these guys on TV, I used to be like, ‘Wow! I’m warming up subsequent to [Olivier] Giroud!’ he enthuses. “I assumed I might solely see him on TV and now I’m enjoying subsequent to [N’Golo] Kante and competing for a header with [Kurt] Zouma.

“I used to be doing this stuff and, truthfully, it was a dream come true. I’m a Chelsea fan and I liked Drogba once I was youthful. Me and him play a sort of comparable sport. I loved watching him.

“So, [playing against Chelsea] was loopy, significantly after such a brief house of time. It was a blessing for me and an enormous expertise.”

The main focus now, although, is on attempting to assist sixth-placed Barnsley safe promotion to the Premier League. 

“I feel the group can do it,” he says. “We’re doing very well and now we have the required instruments however we have to hold going.

“The season isn’t over, we nonetheless have a variety of work to do nevertheless it has been a loopy expertise for me, to say the least. I am unable to even take into consideration how a lot it impacted me and the way loopy it’s for my complete life.”

Certainly, on the charge he is going, Dike would possibly quickly be the identify on everybody’s lips within the Premier League.

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