People look at wealthy professional sportsmen, all those riches, and only imagine just how life is easy and comfortable for them.

Seldom do we think how terribly difficult it has been for them to get to the top, the sacrifices made, and worse, the great personal anguish some of them had to overcome.

Such has been the case with the $48 000-a-week Chelsea star Victor Moses.

Family tragedy

When Moses was 11 years old, his parents were killed by Muslim extremists in religious riots in his homeland Nigeria.

His parents were Christian missionaries.

Young Victor would arrive in England as an asylum seeker a week after the tragedy – a young boy dealt a cruel life blow and looking for an escape from the devastating experience.

The callous and senseless killing of his parents was horribly painful for the youngster. While in Britain, Moses enrolled at a school in South Northwood, where he revived interest in his God-given talent, football.

File picture, West Ham United's Victor Moses (L) celebrates scoring the opening goal with Dimitri Payet during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, Britain, 19 September 2015. Photo: ANP/EPA/PETER POWELL

File picture, West Ham United’s Victor Moses (L) celebrates scoring the opening goal with Dimitri Payet during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, Britain, 19 September 2015. Photo: ANP/EPA/PETER POWELL

Moses had immense potential at a young age and he was spotted by Crystal Palace, who were then in the second-tier league of English football. He made his Palace debut aged just 16.

The rest, as they say, is history, and now Moses is one of Chelsea’s key players in pursuit of a league title they are now firm favourites to clinch the title at the end of the current season.

The 26-year-old Nigerian forward has fitted in quite perfectly in Antonio Conte’s team, having previously been sent on loan to Liverpool, Stoke City and West Ham in the last three seasons.

He thrives on trickery, blistering pace and an eye for goal.

Still a proud Nigerian

Moses became a British citizen a few years after arriving in the UK, he was chosen to represent England at the youth level, featuring for the Under-16, Under-17, Under-19 and Under-21 teams.

But his love for his country of birth never died despite the painful experience that forced him to leave as a young boy.

In 2013, he honoured a call-up to represent Nigeria at national level, going on to help the Super Eagles win the Africa Cup of Nations that year in South Africa.

Nigeria's forward Victor Moses (R) celebrates with an unidentified member of the Nigerian Football Federation after scoring a goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup African zone group B qualifying football match between Nigeria and Algeria at the Akwa Ibom State Stadium in Uyo on November 12, 2016. / Photo: AFP  /ANP/ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

Nigeria’s forward Victor Moses (R) celebrates with an unidentified member of the Nigerian Football Federation after scoring a goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup African zone group B qualifying football match between Nigeria and Algeria at the Akwa Ibom State Stadium in Uyo on November 12, 2016. / Photo: AFP /ANP/ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

“Yes, I’m Nigerian. I was born here and I grew up here,” Moses was quoted in 2011 after he was initially called up by Nigeria.

He further quipped: “Or is it because I speak differently? Well, I’m Nigerian and I can speak like a Nigeria if I want”.

He, however, still has bad memories of Kaduna, his hometown where his parents were killed.

“No I’m not ready to visit Kaduna again and you know why. Oh no, no, I’m not going there”.

He was also in Nigeria’s squad at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Nigeria, however, failed to qualify for the just-ended Afcon finals in Gabon, which means Africa’s biggest football showpiece was deprived of one of the continent’s finest talents.

But despite that setback, Nigerian football seems to be on its way back to its rightful place – at the top.

Manchester City's Kelechi Iheanacho celebrates winning the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain, 10 September 2016.  Photo: ANP/EPA Peter Powell

Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho celebrates winning the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain, 10 September 2016. Photo: ANP/EPA Peter Powell

The current national team composes of red-hot talent, highlighted by such Europe-based stars as Moses, Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City), Ahmed Musa (Leicester City), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), amongst others.

They are among the favourites to qualify as one of Africa’s representatives at the next World Cup in Russia in 2018.

Prospects are also looking bright with Chelsea. Moses played in the 3-1 win over London rivals Arsenal at the weekend as the Blues continued to march on.