Sheffield United teammate outlines Iliman Ndiaye class after golden boot victory
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It is a measure of Iliman Ndiaye’s humility and general decency that even after Oli McBurnie’s goal at Birmingham City drew him level in the race for Sheffield United’s golden boot award, the Senegal star wanted his teammate to stay on the pitch and score one more.
“That just sums Ili up,” admitted McBurnie, who ended United’s amazing promotion season tied with Ndiaye on 15 goals and half-joked that his teammate’s award, handed out before the end of the season when he led the scoring charts, should be sawn in half.
“Either that, or someone’s going to have to get me another one! I think they’re going to sort it but that’s just the kind of kid he is. When I scored at Birmingham he came up to me when we were celebrating and said: ‘Stay on for another 10 minutes so you get another one and beat me’.
“He’s the nicest guy in the world. Such a good kid. But I definitely want half of the award! The other way around I’d have been saying: ‘Go on man, get off’.
“He’s so genuine as well and the most humble guy, he wanted me to do well. I’d like a little argument with him but he’s too nice even for that!”
McBurnie and Ndiaye’s partnership – with over 40 goal contributions between them – was the foundation of a remarkable season for the Blades, which saw them reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup and maintain their top-two position for most of the campaign, even in the face of multiple challenges on and off the field.
“I knew we wouldn’t fold,” McBurnie added, “because I know what the lads in the dressing room are like, and how strong they are.”