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Faeren Igyar: My dream is to win World Cup with Super Eagles

Bingham University Nasarawa State and Youth Arise Football Academy (YAFA) Abuja player, Damian Faeren Igyar, has said his ultimate dream as a young football player…

Bingham University Nasarawa State and Youth Arise Football Academy (YAFA) Abuja player, Damian Faeren Igyar, has said his ultimate dream as a young football player is to win the FIFA World Cup with the Super Eagles. In this interview with Trust Sports, the young attacking winger said he is inspired by the success of Real Madrid Star, Kyilan Mbappe, to aspire for greatness at a young age. He also spoke on the challenges faced by upcoming players who combine football with academics.

How early did you start playing football?

I started playing the game of football right from when I was in primary school. While growing up, I played a lot of football at home. My dad bought balls for me to play. Moreover, even as I was still very small, I loved to watch football on television.  I loved the skills the players exhibited and I began to imagine that I would be like them one day.

Apart from buying balls and kits for you, what else are you parents doing to support you?

My parents’ support has been unwavering. Like I said earlier, right from day one, the support from my dad and mum has been there. I still remember when my dad bought my first football kits. Even as we speak, my parents still buy boots to encourage me to pursue my passion. They give me transport fare to attend training even far from home. In fact, allowing me to pursue my passion alone is a great motivation.

Do they pay the same attention to your education?

Sure, they do. As a matter of fact, my parents are passionate about education. They know I have interest in football but they always ensure that I pay more attention to my education at least for now. They made me understand that there is life after football. So, by the grace of God and the support of my parents, I am now a final year student of computer science in Bingham University in Nasarawa State.  I am sure if I were not doing well in my academics, my parents would have stopped me from playing football. They don’t toy with their children’s education.

How do you combine your studies with football?

I won’t lie. It is never easy. However, I see it as an opportunity to overcome the challenges to become an educated football player. So, I make sure that I am educationally stable while maintaining my level of fitness on the field. It helps me to build my mental alertness and vibrancy at all times. I am actually enjoying the opportunity to combine my education with football. So, it is not easy but I try to juggle the two.

What are the other challenges you face as a young football player?

As an aspiring football player, one is bound to face challenges like lack of basic training equipment. Sometimes, you want to train but you are constrained by the absence of good training facilities. It is a big challenge. To make it worse, in Africa, most of the youth football academies are not properly managed. And sometimes when you play, the energy and vibes you get from people around can be discouraging but when you are passionate about something, you don’t give up easily. Moreover, since football is a contact sport, there are always injuries to deal with.

How active are you in your school team?

Very very active. I have been a member of the school team right from my first year. I have played a lot of matches for my team. In fact, I am one of the regulars in the present squad. I have been with the school team for four years now and it has been really amazing. Now that I am in my final year, I have been made the training coordinator of the school football team. And recently, I was picked as the player of the year by my teammates. To crown it all, I emerged as the highest goalscorer and Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the most recent tournament in my school. I give glory to God because it wouldn’t have been possible without Him.

Could you share your experience in the Youth Arise Football Academy (YAFA) with us?

At YAFA in Abuja, I will say what I have learnt so far is more of the basics of the game of football. Sometimes, they are underrated but it is one of the surest ways to becoming a successful football player. So, I am learning the basics to achieve greatness. What I have found so special about the academy is the eagerness, the persistence and determination by everyone to be the best.  At YAFA, young players are developed to play at the highest level.

What aspect of your game do you think needs more development?

I am working so hard to improve on the technical aspect of the game because with good techniques, you can easily exhibit your skills. Once you are technically sound, it gives you confidence to do a lot of things with the ball. I am also working on my dribbling and shooting abilities because as a striker, I have to score goals.

What’s your favourite position on the field?

I play as an attacking winger and I like to operate from the left side of the attack. I like to dribble and take on opposing defenders. But a good player should be flexible so I feel comfortable in other positions as well.

What’s your dream club in Europe?

My dream club in Europe is Real Madrid. I have been supporting them right from when I was small. Apart from the fact that they are the most successful football club in Europe, I like their never-say-die spirit. They don’t give up. Their winning mentality is what impresses me the most. If I have a second choice, I will also like to play for Arsenal because they are another club that I support. I love the way they play too.

Who is your role model in football?

Kylian Mbappe because when I watch myself play, I feel I have some of his attributes. And the fact that Mbappe has actually achieved so much at such a young age makes me believe that I can also do it at a young age. I like his techniques and physique.

What is your ultimate ambition in football?

My ultimate ambition is to play at the World Cup and help Nigeria to win the most prestigious football trophy on earth. I also want to play in the UEFA Champions League. I admire the big stages of football. So, like I said, winning the World Cup with the Super Eagles is my ultimate ambition but I will start from the cadet national teams like the Golden Eaglets and the Flying Eagles. I am trusting God for this.


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