‘Representing Nigeria Would Be A Dream Come True’ — Barcelona Youngster, Olabige
Barcelona Academy star, Bolu Olabige has declared that it would be a dream come true for him to represent Nigeria at the international level.
Olabige, a winger is an American of Nigerian heritage on the books of the Barcelona Residency Academy in Casa Grande, Arizona, United States of America, USA.
A number of Nigerian-born players have represented foreign countries but the youngster has pledged his future to the West Africans.
“I am definitely interested in playing international football because this would help fulfill my dream to represent my fatherland and bring the best of me in giving a good account of myself and skills,” Olabige stated in an interview.
“If invited by the football team selectors, it will be a great privilege and honor to put on the green-white-green jersey of Nigeria, the Great football giant of Africa.”
The 16-year-old also reflected
on his sojourn into football.
“Football was the first sport I ever remember watching with my dad. I was interested in it because of the passion I had for the sport. When I played, it was something I had a natural instinct for and something I began to love,” Olabige added.
“I have a family that grew up in a football-saturated environment. I started playing football at the age of three and followed through with the right steps to take the sport seriously and fulfill my aspirations of becoming a professional.
“Until I was 14 and a half, I was only playing club football for my local town teams, going to and winning tournaments, scoring goals, and making a name for myself. Then, I took a calculated risk to move to Arizona to play for Barca Residency Academy.
“There, I’ve moved my way up the ranks in around 2 years and now I play for U-17 MLS NEXT in the highest youth soccer league in the United States. “
For any youngster, achieving a set goal would require parental support, a humble Olabige, recognized his parents role in his football development and thank them for their endless sacrifice.
“I would say constant support and encouragement from my parents because they sacrificed a lot so I could play football competitively,” added the teenager.
“Also, I would say wanting to play professionally from a young age because it made my mindset stronger. These include discipline, dedication, devotion, and focus. Most importantly, God has helped all the way through as a player.”
A die-hard Manchester United fan, Olabige hopes he will get the chance to play in the popular English Premier League in future.
“The English Premier League. The EPL is one of the best leagues in the world because they are known for being physical and high-pace.Playing in that league would mean constantly challenging myself to raise my level and constantly performing week-in, week-out.”
For every young footballer, there is always a role model they look up to.
Olabige, who has scored nine goals and provided five assists so far for his team ,identified Cristiano Ronaldo and Ousmanne Dembele as the two top stars he look up to.
“Cristiano Ronaldo because of his mentality to never give up and always reaching for the best influenced me into how I look and play the game today,” he declared.
“Also, I would also say Ousmane Dembele because of how well he plays his position. He is versatile because he can play both wings. His one versus one beats his defenders, and his crosses are consistent and what is expected of a winger.
“He also contributes assists and goals to his team. “
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