Nicolas Jackson – From Adversity to Achievement
Nicolas Jackson’s story is a testament to resilience and determination, navigating through a maze of challenges from his birthplace in Banjul, Gambia, to his rise as a prominent footballer in Senegal and later conquering the global stage at Chelsea. Born into a middle-income family, his journey was not just about pursuing his passion for football but also about embracing identity, overcoming adversity, and striving for greatness.
In this article Goal 90 dives deep into Nicolas Jackson’s life, and rise to fame from being one of the many kids in Africa who dream of becoming footballers to finally fulfilling them.
Embracing Two Homelands
Nicolas Jackson’s story began in Banjul, Gambia, where the rhythm of life echoed through the streets of his middle-class neighbourhood. School days were his realm until the unsettling winds of change swept through in 2017, urging his family to seek refuge in the peaceful embrace of Senegal’s Casamance region.
A Gambian at heart, Nicolas found himself in the spotlight of Senegal’s football scene, his talent painting him as a potential icon for the nation’s sport. However, amidst the cheers and acclaim, a different narrative emerged. The Senegalese administration, eager to claim him as their own, spun a tale of sole Senegalese roots, erasing his Gambian beginnings.
The football authorities even whispered advice, urging him to downplay his Gambian heritage to keep diplomatic waters calm between the neighbouring nations. Caught in the whirlwind of fame and football, Nicolas treads the delicate line between his origins and the allure of newfound stardom, navigating a dual identity shaped by the beautiful game and the complexities of national allegiance.
Nicolas Jackson Relationship
Nicolas Jackson has stated that he is a family man and has chosen a different path compared to some of his Chelsea and Senegal counterparts.
While players like Raheem Sterling, Nkunku, Reece James, Edouard Mendy, and Ismaila Sarr are engaged in relationships or marriages, Nicolas has deliberately focused solely on his career and personal development.
His dedication to his craft and his identity as a family-oriented individual have kept him away from the spotlight of romantic involvement. As of now, he remains committed to enhancing his football career, prioritising a legacy built on resilience and skill.
Nicolas Jackson’s brother Christian Valentim Dama was also obsessed with football however it was only Nicolas who could make it big. However, they both share a very close bond and have both made their parents and community proud in their own ways.
Rise to Prominence
Nicolas’s love for football sparked in his childhood in Africa, where he and his elder brother played the sport passionately. His talent shone through in the local championship “Navetane,” propelling him into the spotlight and earning his first significant contract with the local club, ASC Tilene. At a tender age of 16, Casa Sports recognized his potential, signifying the start of his impactful journey in the Senegal Premier League.
His rapid ascent within the footballing circles was remarkable. His exceptional abilities and contributions at a young age garnered immense respect and recognition. Representing Senegal U-20 was a testament to his burgeoning talent, eventually capturing the attention of Villareal in 2019, marking a significant step towards the upper echelons of European football.
From Villareal’s Trials to Chelsea’s Grandeur
The transition to Villareal didn’t come without its challenges. Nicolas faced initial struggles, entering quietly without much fanfare. Subpar performances relegated him to Villareal B, an obstacle that didn’t deter his determination. Loan spells, like the one at Mirandes, presented hurdles, but he returned to Villareal B with renewed vigour, contributing significantly to their promotion to the Segunda Division.
Recognition finally arrived when Villareal’s manager, Unai Emery, observed Nicolas’s progress, promoting him to the first team. His adaptability across multiple positions and innate knack for favourable positioning finally propelled him onto the global stage. An unexpected transfer mishap with Bournemouth preceded his move to Chelsea, a powerhouse among football clubs.
In his debut season with Chelsea, Nicolas made an unforgettable mark, astonishing fans with a stunning hat-trick against city rivals Tottenham Hotspurs. His journey symbolises resilience, an unwavering spirit, and an unyielding determination to overcome the adversities on his path to success.
Amidst trials and tribulations, Nicolas found solace and motivation in the words of his idols. Bob Marley’s resilience in the face of hardship deeply resonated with him. Marley’s words,
“I don’t come to bow ya, I come to conquer,” became a mantra, fueling Nicolas’s mental fortitude during challenging times. Similarly, the wisdom of Muhammad Ali, who famously said,
“I have one bodyguard. He has no eyes, though he sees. He has no ears, though he hears. He remembers everything with the aid of mind and memory. When he wishes to create a thing, he just orders it to be and it comes into existence.” inspired Nicolas’s actions and creativity, shaping his mindset on and off the field.
Nicolas Jackson’s journey is not just a footballing tale but a narrative of resilience, determination, and an unrelenting pursuit of excellence, embodying the unwritten story of an athlete destined for greatness.
Facts and Trivia
- Gaming Passion: Nicolas Jackson finds joy in video games, particularly FIFA and Call of Duty, immersing himself in virtual worlds during his leisure time.
- Literary Enthusiast: He is an avid reader, with Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” holding a special place as his favourite book, reflecting his appreciation for profound storytelling.
- Musical Tastes: Nicolas enjoys listening to music, and among his favourite artists are Drake, Wizkid, and Burna Boy, showcasing his diverse taste in music genres.
- Social Initiative – “Back to the Roots”: Nicolas spearheads an initiative named “Back to the Roots,” focusing on social causes in Africa. Similar to fellow African football stars like Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, who have achieved success in Europe, Nicolas aims to contribute to a brighter future in Africa through this initiative, advocating for positive change and progress in the continent.
Nicolas Jackson’s journey from Gambia to Chelsea epitomises resilience and dedication. His football ascent intertwines with a complex identity, navigating fame while preserving his roots. Beyond goals and victories, his commitment to Africa’s progress through “Back to the Roots” cements his legacy as more than a football star but a beacon of hope and change.
Nico, Senegalese Drogba, Senegalese Neymar
Date Of Birth
June 20, 2001
Place Of Birth
1.88 m (6ft 2 in)
- David Jackson (Father)
- Lynette Jackson (Mother)
Club Jersey Num
- Casa Sports
- Centre Forward
- Alternate position – Right Wing