Bayelsa United striker, Robert-Mizo Christian, has said he plans to score an unprecedented 30 goals and end the 2023/2024 Nigeria Premier League (NPFL) season as the top scorer. Mizo who is leading the goals chart with six goals from seven matches netted the first hat-trick of the season on the opening day against Akwa United. In this interview with Trust Sports, the bullish striker spoke on his career, his future plans and Super Eagles chances at the 2024 AFCON in Cote d ‘Ivoire.
How did your football career start?
I am from Ogbia Local Government of Bayelsa State. I went to St Kizito’s Nursery and primary school, then later to Mater Dei high school for my secondary school education. All my formal education was in Imiringi in Bayelsa state. Though I later tried College of education but dropped in the second year because the financial load was too much on my parents and I knew I could make a living out of my God-given talent, which is football. So, when I was in primary 5, I started playing football. I was a goalkeeper but my school wanted to play a match against school, and we had a better goalkeeper, so I was drafted as an outfield player and boom! I scored four goals in the match. Though we lost 8-7, that was the beginning of my journey as a striker.
What were your parents, family reactions when you decided to be a footballer?
At first, they were all disappointed at me when I left school to play football but glory to God Aalmighty, they are proud of their son now. They wanted me to further my education beyond secondary school.
How many clubs have you played for so far?
I started my career with Aperetia FC which is my boyhood club. From there I went to George Turnah FC and I am currently with Bayelsa united.
What would you say are your major achievements in football?
As a young player, I won lots of trophies, like Bayelsa State league on two occasions, Bayelsa State FA Cup (Aiteo Cup) one with George Turnah fc while in the Nationwide League, the other with Bayelsa United. In addition, I won my first Federation Cup with Bayelsa United in 2021 when we were still in the Nigeria National League (NNL).
At the moment, you are the leading goal scorer in the 2023/2024 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL)season. How motivated are you?
Well, I will say it is hard-work and the grace of God working in my life. I’m a born goal scorer so all I want to do is to keep on scoring goals. There is no motivation beyond me pushing myself to score goals. My target is to score 30 goals this season. So far, I have scored six in seven matches so there is hope for me to meet my target.
When the season started, were you confident about what you have achieved so far?
Well yes! My target was to score more goals than I did last season. Last season, I scored nine goals in an abridged season. I was the second highest goal scorer then but this season, I am leading the chart by the grace of God.
What are the changes you want to see in the NPFL?
It’s a thing of joy to know the league is improving and I believe we can do better so they should keep it up. We will get there soon. Officiating has improved but we can do better. Furthermore, players’ welfare is still not what it should be. But I can say there is so much improvement compared to what existed before.
What would you say is responsible for the consistent failure of Nigerian clubs in CAF inter-clubs competitions?
For me, I think we don’t have good facilities compared to the North African teams. In addition, we need some good coaches in the league to help improve our style of play. I am not saying we don’t have good coaches but they need to match up with their counterparts which means they need to upgrade themselves regularly.
Have you ever received any national team invitation?
It is my desire to be called up. But at the moment, I am yet to be invited but by the grace of God, I will don the national colours. My ultimate ambition is to play for the Super Eagles.
The Super Eagles will be in the AFCON next year, what are your expectations?
I’m expecting a better outing from them, if possible, to win the AFCON. We have fantastic players who are doing well in their various clubs abroad. I will love to see them replicate that form for us during the AFCON. We have seen some flashes of their form during the qualifiers.
What is your dream club in Europe?
Well, every player’s dream is to grow higher and play football abroad. I don’t have any club in mind. I just want to play in some of the top clubs in the best leagues.
Do you have any regrets playing professional football?
No regrets at all. Football is my life. I am enjoying it completely.