Friday Zico fled war-torn Sudan as a youngster but shone as a footballer in Australian club Cockburn City that he nearly joined Manchester United and is now one of South Sudan’s nation’s brightest stars.

 Zico, a defender who can also play on the left wing has made only two appearances for the national side a figure he will undoubtedly add to.

As the country is starting to build a solid enough squad to compete with the smaller African nations , His debut was made in July 2015

Football brings peace

“After we got to Uganda, we were refugees and the Australian government took us in whilst John Howard was the prime minister,” he told planetfootball in an interview

“They brought us to Perth; we didn’t really ask too many questions about where we were going as long as we knew it was safe to live in.”

South Sudan national team
South Sudan national team

“Football is very big in South Sudan, everywhere you look there are people wearing colourful jerseys. Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United absolutely everywhere!

“It is the only thing they talk about, football is the only thing that brings happiness to the people of South Sudan, to every kid that is affected by the war and lost everything, their whole families.

“Through all of that they stand and smile when they watch their national team, they get inspiration that drives them to get somewhere.