Alexander Akande grew up in Oshodi, Lagos, schooled there, and played his youth football with one of the academies in the community before making his way to the United Kingdom where destiny smiled on him.
He currently plays for Dalian FC in China following a series of successful spells in Kitchee and other Hong Kong clubs.
Akande revealed in a recent chat with Footballers Connect on Instagram how he was helped by a fellow Nigerian whom he played against – and with – while honing his skills in Nigeria.
“When I moved to the UK, it wasn’t easy,” he said.
“I went to Denmark to visit Hakeem Agbetu, who at the time was playing professional and had a Chinese-Canadian agent. He introduced me to his agent who came to see me in the UK, and asked if I would like to play in Hong Kong, I said yes, why not and that was it.
“To cut the long story short, that was how I found myself in Hong Kong, and later got to the highest level which is playing for the senior national team.”
“Hakeem and I met while playing against each other for our boyhood clubs. His team was from Mushin and they were very good. I remember they defeated us in the match and were making jest of us.
“That was the first time I met Hakeem. They were really a set of naughty boys,” he laughed. “We later played against each other again and at some point, we played together before he later traveled to Europe.”
In Hong Kong, it was not all that easy for the Nigerian-born striker, stating that he almost returned to the UK because he could not sign for a team in the top-flight at the time.
“I was on my way back to the UK when my agent told me he wanted me to stay back in Hong Kong, start from the second division and see what happens in the nearest future.
“My career in Hong Kong then started from Tai Chung, it was not long before offers started coming from different clubs even in the first division.”
Following impressive club performance and living in Hong Kong for more than seven years, he obtained residency and became eligible to play for the national team.
“One day I visited the national team camp and the coach met me in the lobby, he told me I’ll be with the team very soon.”
He soon made his debut for the Hong Kong national team in a friendly match against Myanmar in 2015, he also scored his first goal in the match.
Alexander Akande has so far featured in more than 25 games for the national team with ten goals to his name.