Ifeanyi ‘Aguero’ Ogba: I almost quit football after the death of my parents | Dailytrust

Ifeanyi ‘Aguero’ Ogba: I almost quit football after the death of my parents

Lobi Stars striker, Ifeanyi ‘Aguero’ Ogba
Lobi Stars striker, Ifeanyi ‘Aguero’ Ogba

In this interview with Trust Sports, Lobi Stars’ leading goal scorer, Ifeanyi ‘Aguero’ Ogba, spoke on how he managed to overcome the tragedy of losing both parents, his performance in the ongoing NPFL season, the reappointment of Dominic Iorfa as Vice-chairman of Lobi Stars and his ultimate dream which he said is to play for the Super Eagles and emerge winner of Ballon d’or.

How did you start your football career?

My football journey started right from my senior secondary school days. When I graduated from school, I joined Ottasolo football academy in Lagos State. I honed my football skills in the club and made my professional debut there.

Did you enjoy the support of your parents when you started?

It is quite unfortunate that when I joined Ottasolo to pursue my professional career, my parents were no longer alive. I had lost both parents. However, before their demise, they gave me all the necessary support.

How much of an effect did the passing of your parents have on you?

I was devastated. As a matter of fact, I had to pause my football career for like three months. Luckily, I had good friends who encouraged me not to give up on my dreams. They also provided me with transportation money and training kits.

Before Lobi Stars, which other clubs did you play for?

Like I said, I started in Ottasolo when they were in the Nationwide League from where we were promoted to the second tier of the Nigerian Professional league, which is the Nigerian National League. So, I joined Lobi Stars from Ottasolo.

There are 20 clubs in the NPFL. What informed your decision to join Lobi stars?

My former club, Ottasolo FC played a pre-season game against Lobi Stars. The coach really liked me and showed that he wanted me. That was very key in making my decision to join the team. I had other offers but my former club also encouraged me to come over to Lobi Stars

What can you remember about your debut for Lobi stars?

I made my debut at home against Rivers United. As a matter of fact, I was in the starting eleven. To be honest with you, the atmosphere was different and I was a bit nervous. Honestly, the first fifteen minutes were tough for me. I struggled to find my feet but my coach and teammates encouraged me a lot. So, in the end, we drew 1-1 and I justified the confidence reposed in me by my coaches.

How did your debut experience improve the mental side of your game?

I started in the lower leagues so that experience made me understand that the NPFL is a different ball game entirely and I decided to step up. My first coach in Lobi Stars, Eddy Dombraye, motivated me a lot.

The season is about to end, how satisfied are you with your performance for Lobi Stars?

I will say I am quite happy with my performance. The reason is that I am Lobi Stars’ leading goal scorer with seven goals. I have also provided assists so over all, it has not been a bad season for me. Don’t forget this is my first season in the topflight. I am sure I have scored more goals than some of the more experienced strikers in the league. I give all glory to God who has made this possible.

What would you say is responsible for the less than satisfactory performance of Lobi Stars in the ongoing NPFL season?

In the early stages of the season, the team lacked motivation. In football, even if you have quality players, motivation is very important. You can see that since the arrival of our new Vice-chairman, Dominic Iorfa, a former Nigerian international, there have been positive changes.

Lobi Stars are struggling against relegation. How confident are you that they will survive?

I’m very confident that we will survive. A major reason for our resilience is the new Vice-chairman who has instilled in us the fighting spirit to get some good results. Iorfa has infected us with his passion for football and survival instinct.

In the fight against relegation, which result would you say boosted the team’s chances of survival?

The match against Niger Tornadoes which we won 1-0 after a late goal by Chinonso Okonkwo was very vital. I didn’t play but I was with the team in Jos to render my support. That was the turning point in our fight to survive.

If not Lobi Stars, which other club in the NPFL would you like to play for?

Honestly, apart from Lobi Stars, I admire Enyimba, Rangers and Rivers United because they are formidable sides in the NPFL. They are clubs any young player will like to play for. However, for now, I’m happy in Lobi Stars and we will be very good next season.

You were invited to the national U-20 team but didn’t make the team. What was the problem?

I had passport issues. I’m sure if not for that I would have made the final squad for the WAFU B Championship in Niamey.

How disappointed were you?

I was very disappointed and it somehow affected my performance in the NPFL for Lobi Stars. I felt it was my best opportunity to represent the country. However, I believe it is just a matter of time before I do so.

Who is your role model in football?

Sergio Aguero. Apart from the fact that we have a similar stature, I love the way he plays. His hold up play, his shooting and everything about his game. I am happy to be compared with the more famous Aguero.

Who is your favourite Super Eagles player and why?

My favourite player in the Super Eagles is Victor Osimhen. I love his fighting spirit and his focus levels. I hope to emulate that in the future.

What is your favourite club in Europe?

I love Chelsea FC. I support them because of my love for the colour blue. In the current Chelsea team, my favourite player is Mason Mount.

What is your ultimate ambition as a professional football player?

Apart from playing for the Super Eagles, I want to win the Ballon d’or. I look up to Cristiano Ronaldo. He inspires me to win the Ballon d’or one day.

 

By Esosa Oba

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