Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Cagliari, Locomotive battle for ODIBE

Arsenal Kiev center back Michael Odibe could make a return to the Italian championship, according to highly rated Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Odibe who was shunned out of Super Eagles list for the 2013 Nations cup in South Africa is said to be interesting Italian outfit, Cagliari in the January transfer market.
The former First Bank of Lagos towering defender spent his first Italian Serie A experience with AC Siena before he moved to Ukraine (Arsenal Kiev) last two season, and a move to Cagliari will be his second spell in Italy.
Arsenal Kiev, reportedly in financial difficulty, might fancy selling Odibe to Cagliari to balance their books and get the needed cash injection.
Apart from Cagliari, it is also understood that top clubs in Ukraine, Russia and France are on the queue for the determined player who still have a dream of playing to the highest stage for Nigeria despite a snubbed from the national team coach, Stephen Keshi.
A top agent based in Russia disclosed authoritatively to 9jasoccerboys that there are two UEFA Europa cup league campaigners weighing up move for the Nigerian defender. One of the club is Locomotive Moscow.
His contract with the Kievites expires at the end of next season. He will cost interested suitors around € 1.5 million in transfer fee.

OBOABONA: Growing more in confidence

Godfrey Oboabona, one of the home-based players picked for the Super Eagles’ 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), said that the car of his dream is nothing than Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV).
Authorities on automobiles reckon that SUV come in different shapes and sizes.
“There are more than two dozen compact-sized SUVs on the market, “noted an expert on luxury cars.
“With base retail prices ranging from just over $15,000 for a two-wheel-drive Jeep Compass with a 4-cylinder engine and a manual transmission to more than $36,000 for an all-wheel-drive BMW X3 with 6-cylinder engine.”
Of course, the Compact Sport Utilities for instance, offer all-wheel drive, comfort, safety features and more, hence Oboabona’s fond admiration for the wonder-on-wheel automobile.
“I am not a car freak but I like sport jeep (Sport Utility Vehicle),” the 23-year-old Oboabona said as a matter of fact
 Oboabona earned his place in the Super Eagles to the 2013 AFCON following his stellar performance with Nigeria Premier League with the Sunshine Stars of Akure defender, where he established himself as a free-scoring defender and team skipper.
“I have benefitted a lot playing for the national team,” Oboabona said on the eve of his departure to the Super Eagles’ pre-AFCON camp in Faro, Portugal where he pulled the chestnut from the fire by being one of the six local-based players that eventually made the South Africa-bound team. “ It is a great privilege being part of a great national team set up like the Super Eagles and I have improved a lot especially with my  composure and confidence playing in front of a big crowd .
“Frankly, I’m so thrilled to be playing under Coach Stephen Keshi. He has made me a better player because there are differences between playing for the national team and club sides.
“He has been like a father, uncle and friend to me and I count myself lucky to be playing under him because he distinguished himself with the Super Eagles when he was a player.
“He actually told me to keep dreaming and without doubt, he has really boosted my career both for my club and country,” he enthused, describing his first experience with the national team set up with trepidation and fear.
 Said he:“I was nervous the first time I met coach Stephen Keshi at training ground and he told us then that nobody was  guaranteed a permanent shirt in the Super Eagles, as such we must work hard to be part  of the team.
 “What I cherish most in this current set up of the Super Eagles team is that we are all equal in the presence of the coaching crew, whether you are local-based or foreign-based professional.  The truth is that the foreign-based players relate well with the local players, and we are like one big family.
“There is no secret about my game rather consistency with my club, Sunshine Stars has helped me to have the opportunity of playing for the Super Eagles.
“There are lots of things involved before you become a successful footballer, but one factor is consistency,” he explained, as he speaks on sundry details.
You  were quoted sometime ago as saying that Joseph Yobo is your role model and that he made you settle well in the national team, what  are your chances of playing as long as Yobo for the Super Eagles?
Yobo is a very humble person, a great leader, a motivational leader and reliable pal and he helped my stability in the Super Eagles. He always encourages me to keep improving whenever I get the chance and I can’t forget my first encounter with him. I felt great because this is a player I do watch on television and coming close to him in the national team is a privilege. Yobo is a patriotic Nigerian and I want to emulate him. One thing I have learnt from Coach Keshi and Yobo is their act of patriotism and I am determined to achieve success with Super Eagles too.
Did you see yourself being a future Super Eagles captain like your role models?
I will wait for the time but I have charisma too and with my exposure in the national team, I can always get better!
What was in your mind before the Super Eagles’ final qualifiers against Liberia in Calabar? How confident were you that Nigeria would beat Liberia to the Nations’ cup ticket?
I had sleepless nights before that encounter in Calabar.  If Nigeria failed to qualify, that could be the end of the journey since the coach could be sacked. Personally, I may not get near the team again since a new coach might not give home-based players the same opportunity like coach Keshi has done.
That was why I was everywhere on the pitch because my survival depends upon it. I really thank God for helping me come this far under coach Keshi.
Super Eagles will tackle Zambia, Cape Verde and Ethiopia. How will you rate Nigeria’s chances in the group?
None of the teams has 100 percent chances of qualifying from the group, as such we would have to work hard. I believe we(Super Eagles) have a slight edge, so nobody should write us off.  All I know is that Super Eagles will qualify ahead of Zambia but we must be careful about Burkina Faso and Ethiopia because we don’t know much about them.
 How are you coping in the midst of foreign-based professionals in the Super Eagles?
It’s good to appreciate your colleagues and give them their deserved respect. Most of them are my friends; they usually call me when they returned to their clubs.  We share many things in common and they give me my deserved respect and that is why there is so much unity in this team.
Would you still like to continue your career in Nigeria Premier League after the expected trip to 2013 AFCON?
Of course, I have a dream of moving to Europe soon, but one step at a time. I don’t want to put that on my head for now and I have not achieved anything yet.  I am still hungry and my future is very much bright, so I don’t need to rush, the best time is waiting for my own time!
If you are to move to Europe, which country will you prefer?
I hope of moving to Spain or England because that is where the action is today but God knows the best place for me.
Who is your role model in Europe?
I always look up to intelligent defenders like Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid and Thiago Silva of PSG. They are great defenders and I really look up to them.
 Who is your favourite coach?
 Coach Stephen Keshi of Super Eagles.
 What is your favourite food?
Rice and fish

IDEYE vows to justify AFCON place

Dynamo Kiev striker Brown Ideye has told revealed that he hopes to replicate his club form for Eagles at the AFCON to justify his selection.

Ideye, 24, has scored 13 goals for Dynamo Kiev this season, but has struggled to be as prolific with Nigeria since he made his full international debut three years ago.

He has represented Nigeria at U20 level and was a late replacement for injured Mikel Obi on the final squad to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. However, he did not get any minute of game time during the tournament.

The former Sochaux striker said he will raise his game with the Eagles to justify his inclusion on the final AFCON squad.

"I'm happy to be named in Eagles final team," said Ideye.
"It's great to be in South Africa with Nigeria. That was my target at the early stage of the qualifiers, and all I have to do now is to do well in South Africa to justify my inclusion in the team.

“I will have to work harder to be in the starting line-up and prove my worth. I want to get goals for Nigeria as I have been doing at my club.

"There are a lot of striking options for the coach, but I will definitely prove myself when called upon."

Emmanuel Emenike and Ikechukwu Uche are ahead of Ideye in the top striker role.

AKINSOLA: Why I quit Santander for Cyprus

Former U-17 winger Kabiru Akinsola has revealed why he quit Spanish Segunda club, Racing Santander for Cyprus club, Doxa FC on a five month deal.
Akinsola, who had an impressive showing at Cardiff FC while on loan from Granada,   had torrid time at another Spanish second tier side, Racing Santander.
“It was a crucial decision that I took to move to Cyprus and it has nothing to do with money," he stated."Of course money is important but at times, you must make sacrifices to get to the top.
"Spain is a lovely place to be for sure and I was very happy during my stay there and I may still go back if things come better in the league.
“I left Racing as a matter of inconsistency on the pitch, so I decided to join Doxa to play regularly and help the team out of relegation zone.
"I believe I can create my own world here also and play better in my five month deal before I finally decide if I would return to Spain in the future,” he added.
Doxa FC is currently on the 8th position in the top league of Cyprus.

KRYVBAS splash £1m on MICHAEL

Kryvbas FC of Ukraine has put a £1m price tag on the highly demanded Nigerian youngster, Babatunde Michael before he can be prised away in the future.
Michael, a former youth international, has been a regular player for Kryvbas since last season and has bas become a subject of interest of top   clubs in Ukraine and Germany.
"Michael may leave Kryvbas during this January transfer window,” revealed a close confidant of the player. “There is a big club coming for him in Ukraine and I understand there are other clubs in Germany discussing with his club but Kryvbas are demanding £1m for his transfer.
The Dream Team IV star had earlier confirmed his possibility of joining another club in Ukraine with Dynamo Kiev and Shakhtar Donetsk amongst the likely candidates.
"I don't know where my future is for now, but I am hoping to be at my best, I want to be consistent. This is a year of great mission, I have everything to be at the top level I dreamt.
"Of course, there are clubs that want to sign me but it seems my club is reluctant to discuss any deal at least for now,” he recently stated.
The left winger dubbed ‘African Messi’ last starred for Heartland in the Nigeria Premier League before a move to Ukraine.