Before the game, on a trip away from home to Southampton, Nigerian striker Taiwo Awoniyi twice invited his parents to come and watch him play in the previous game against Chelsea.

The extra motivation was all the 25-year-old needed as he turned in such an important performance that saw him collect his first Premier League man of the match award since joining Bundesliga side Union Berlin last summer.

Riding that wave, the striker, on the visit to Southampton, scored the much-needed goal in a 1-0 win and again, picked up a second man of the match award.

After the game, Awoniyi, a devout Christian, took to his Twitter page to thank his creator for things going right, but something stood out. It began with a now-viral religious phrase: “What God cannot do, does not exist.”

Interestingly, this is not the first time that a Nigerian footballer will use the phrase WGCDDNE (as abbreviated by this author) after a great achievement.

But why is this suddenly becoming such a big part of the country’s football culture?

In 2020, after leaving his job at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Nigerian digital evangelist Pastor Jerry Eze launched the New Season Prophetic Prayers and Declaration (NSPPD). ), an online digital prayer meeting.

The prayer ritual, scheduled every morning at 7am Nigerian time in a YouTube live stream that is shared on social media platforms, is according to the analysis website Playboardthe second highest among the gospel channels with the most live viewers worldwide.

A norm during Eze’s online miracle healings is a catchphrase that sings “What God can’t do, doesn’t exist,” a term that was also coined in a song featured by Nigerian evangelical artist Dunsin Oyekan, at some point. of 2020.

Since 2021, the term has infiltrated the Nigerian football domain, with Super Eagles and Super Falcons stars using it after notable achievements.

After gaining his dual citizenship in May 2021, Nigerian midfielder Mikel Agu took to his Instagram page to announce the development with a photo of his new passport and the caption: “What God can’t do doesn’t exist, now a Portuguese “.

Similarly, Watford winger Samuel Kalu used the term while boasting in an interview with Complete Sports that the Hornets, who were relegated to the EFL Championship last season, are on course for immediate promotion back to the Premier League.

Even beyond the male gamers, ‘religious jargon’ is one thing.

Sometime in August 2022, after the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) in Morocco, Super Falcons vice-captain Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene shared a live testimony during one of the NSPPD sessions.

Okobi-Okeoghene claimed that it was because what God can’t do doesn’t exist that she was finally called back to the women’s national team by coach Randy Waldrum after months of missing out.

But while there have been multiple discussions, particularly on social media, about the certainty of WGCDDNE, Eze says he doesn’t have time to argue with them as they have no context for the phrase.

“The Bible says: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ God can do everything in his nature,” he added.

Awoniyi is, most recently, the most popular figure in Nigerian football to believe in the phrase and have used it.

However, it is unknown how deep this phrase goes into the Christian-dominated Nigerian Super Eagles and Super Falcons teams.