Posted by The PM News on
Adefemi Olubayo is a member of Nigeria’s U-23 Eagles to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where the team won silver medal.
Q: Welcome back home after a well deserved holiday, how has it been since moving to Romania ?
A: First, I want to give God the glory for his mercy. He has been wonderful. As for my move to the Romanian club, I’ll say it’s a big career move because after playing in Israel for some time, I think it’s important for me to move to another club where I can express myself better. So, the move to Bucharest of Romania is a dream come true.
Q: Why Romania and not somewhere in central Europe?
A: Yes, after our performance at the Beijing Olympics, a lot of offers came my way from different clubs. Some came from France, Spain and even Belgium, trying to sign me. But, Rapid Bucharest showed more commitment in signing me with their Sporting Director calling directly and telling me he wanted me to play for his club. I felt it was a great honour for such a respected director to call and tell me how he wanted my services in his club. So, having looked into the profile of Bucharest and found out that the team are among the top teams in Romania, I made up my mind to sign for them. And so far, so good, I’m happy taking the option of playing for the club.
Q: How will you compare the league in Romania to that of Israel? What has this move done to your career?
A: It’s a big move for me and a major transfer in my career. I know many people want to see me play in central Europe but I see the recent move as a stepping stone towards that dream. The aim of every player is to play in Europe and I will get there someday. Comparing the league in Romanian and Israel, to be honest, the Romania league is far better and more technical than the Israeli league.
Q: How did the fans and management of your club receive you?
A: The fans are great supporters and being one of the big clubs in the country, the fans always want to win; they don’t want to lose any match; and that brings a lot of pressure on the team. As a foreign player, you have to be hundred per cent good and must earn your position ahead of their citizens before they can respect you. For now, I’m only trying to learn their language so that I won’t have anything working against me in that country. But I think I’m having fun and for the management, they have been very supportive.
Q: The 2010 World Cup and Nations Cup qualifiers will begin in March, and already a few of your team-mates are in the Super Eagles. When will Nigerians see Olubayo in the senior national team?
A: It’s interesting to note that about five or six of my mates in the national U-23 team are now in the Super Eagles. It shows that anybody can be there. These are the players that we have played together for about 3 to 4 years now. Players likes John Mikel Obi, Chinedu Obasi Ogbuke, Onyekachi Apam, Dele Adeleye and lately, Femi Ajilore. So, I know that my time will surely come, I don’t want to be a one-game Super Eagles player. No, that’s not my portion. My target is bigger than that, because once I am called by the chief coach, Shuaibu Amodu, I want to remain with the team for as long as my legs can carry me. I will keep the Eagles shirt any time I lay my hands on it. With some members of the Olympic squad already playing for the senior team, it means I can also still play for the team with hard work. All the same, I am not the coach and we all know that the coaches reserve the right to select players that they want to work with on any national assignment. I believe the decision to invite me or anybody to the Super Eagles can only be possible if I continue to work hard and post good performances in my club’s colours in Europe. Since it is the dream of any player to play in the colours of their national team, with hard work and God, I will also play.
Q: What are the chances of the Super Eagles in the 2010 World Cup and Nations Cup qualifiers, with Tunisia, Mozambique and Kenya playing in the same group?
A: I have absolute confidence in the ability of the Super Eagles to pick the only ticket available in their group for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but they must take all the matches serious as there are no more minnows in Africa football. I want to add that the Super Eagles already have one-leg in South Africa. I want to also urge the team to go for victories in Mozambique and Kenya, while trying to get a draw in Tunisia after winning all their home games. I think is possible because we have players who can do it. All they need is the support of all of us. With this, 15 points will take them to the 2010 World Cup.
Q: Lets talk about the Olympics; you guys lost to Argentina again in the finals of the football event, What went wrong? Does it mean the Argentinians are better than your team?
A: It was just luck, not because they are better than us. Without taking anything away from the Argentinians they deserve their victory. If you recount, when we were leaving, nobody gave us a chance to win anything, but without sounding boastful, we believe in our ability to come back with a medal, the colour of which we don’t know. So, we were not disgraced, looking at the kind of players that came to the Olympics with the likes of Ronaldinho and we coming back with a silver medal, I think we did well giving our poor preparation towards the games. He who fights and run away lives to fight another day. We shall meet in the future.
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