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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE

John Ogu, Super Eagles
Midfielder
Like every other footballer, especially in this part of the world, football is a passion that requires dedication and determination, also playing for a good club and regularly is something important for every footballer.

John Ogu started football from the street, he imbibed football passion from the street, though he use to see himself as a banker and dreamt of becoming a Bank Manager in Nigeria.

Speaking with a media man, he disclosed how passion for football shut down his desire of becoming a bank manager,

" I use to move from our street to the next and to far ones while playing football and from there the passion just grew. God blessed me with a talent that could not be hidden and I have to show it to the whole world, though i use to see myself becoming a banker then, But football just killed everything. If I wasn’t playing football I probably would see myself as a manager of a big bank in Nigeria.

" Football is my life and even when I’m relaxing I’m watching football. I watch football a lot. I watch past games and the best way for me to relax is to watch football. When I am tired I slot in a football tape and I feel energised. Football is it for me.

The midfielder had declined a fresh contract at the expiration of his four-year deal with Hapoel.  He felt he deserved more.

" The contract I was given was too little and my agent and I decided to look elsewhere. I had to wait for six months to get a suitable contract coming from Saudi. I wasn’t easy to watch others play while you watch from the stand but I remained positive that I have what it takes to do well in bigger clubs in Europe.”

Ogu’s confidence stems from a superlative 190 appearances and 18 goals for Hapoel while helping them to three Israeli Premier League titles, two Super Cups and the Toto cup in 2017 all within four years.

Though his sight was set for top European clubs in Germany and Spain the deal from Aladalah was good enough to steer him off his course.

He said of the Israeli debacle in a recent interview with BBC: “It’s been a long, tough and crazy six months, but I want to quickly put it all behind me by getting involved with Aladalah immediately. To watch others actively playing on television at the start of the season was tough and now I have a lot of catching up to do personally on the football pitch.

His transfer to Saudi League side Aladalah Club may have brought to an end his six-month ‘lockdown’ at Hapoel Be’er Sheva of Israel, but Super Eagles midfielder John Ogu, is not happy about the pandemic shutdown that has cut short his comeback bid.

Super excited to have teamed up with the Saudi team in January market on free transfer, Ogu said he was just beginning to enjoy competitive action again when the novel COVID-19 struck, leading to a complete lockdown in most leagues of the world.

Ogu made his debut appearance for Aladalah against Al Ittihad in a goalless draw and followed up with another on February 22, a score draw against Adha.

So far, Aladalah has played five matches and secured five draws before the lockdown was imposed and all league matches stopped.

" I’m optimistic that the season will pick up for us but right now we have to deal with this pandemic that has made a mess of football in the world,” said Ogu.


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He has joined thousands of players all over the world to observe the stay at home order. “It is very strict in Saudi Arabia and no one is toying with it.”

" Though bored of staying in-door, and missing my family who are in Nigeria plus the game of football badly, he is of the opinion that staying at home is the best way to contain the coronavirus.

Last week, Ogu, returned home with another Saudi based Super Eagles top player, Ahmed Musa, and took to the social media to celebrate reunion with his family. “Thank God for journey mercies. Y’all stay home.”

Furthermore, Ogu revealed his intention to play the Nigeria Professional Football League before retirement.

" I did not play in the Nigerian league before going abroad. But I would like to experience it before I end my career. I will come back home to play for a team in Nigeria. I think it is high time that we promote our league. If you watch Brazilian players, they go back to their home country at a point in their career and play there.

It will be a very good way to give back and grow the league. I would rather come back to Nigeria to play than to play abroad without getting paid. This is the time to appeal to our ex-players to give back and help grow the league in Nigeria.

" That would help bring back the sponsor and the fans into our stadium. I’m 100 per cent sure that I will come back to play in Nigeria, I’m confident of my ability and confident that my body is ready for the battles and vigorous games in the league.”

Ogu is positive he would do well in any club that captures him and will help lift the club’s position.

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