Katsuya Takasu, the Japanese surgeon who fell in love with the Nigerian U23 team the ‘Dream Team’, has fulfilled his promise of donating $390,000 to the team.
Takasu gave the Nigerian Olympic football bronze winners $200,000 and $190,000 to the coaching crew after they defeated Honduras 3-2 on Saturday.
The $200,000 covers the bonuses and allowances as promised and the $190,000 is for the bronze medal,” Takasu told BBC Sport.
“I had travelled from Tokyo prepared to reward them anyway, and to watch them win the bronze inside the stadium was very fulfilling.”
He became a fan of the team after it arrived Manaus, Brazil, five hours before the game against his home country, Japan, which ended in a 5-4 victory for Samson Siasia’s side.
The Dream Team persevered through all its funding challenges, and eventually lifted bronze at the end of the male football event.
“This team showed resilience and fought the hardest to achieve success, despite all their problems — some people would have given up but they didn’t,” said Takasu.
“In everything we must always let people understand that they are appreciated and not just in football but generally in life.”