- Expects a Super Eagles call-up in the next World Cup
- About the World Cup, says ‘there are no more pushover’
Jersey Number Twelve shares a room with Usman Bello. He is from Kaduna and was born in Kaduna. He likes traveling and seeing new places. He’s got a keen interest for history and politics and crazily passionate about football according to him, like Ediale Kingsley (the interviewer), ‘football is all he’s known since childhood’. He started playing football on the streets before joining an academy. It was in the Pepsi Football Academy that he was selected to travel out to study and play football (in UK). He has played for Kaduna United and now with Katsina United. His father has three wives, his mother being the first. He is the last born of five kids by her mom. Other wives have three kids each. Enjoy Ediale’s chitchat with this hard working defensive midfielder.
Have you been following the world cup? What’s your take so far about the games and surprises?
Yes I have been following the world cup and I’m not entirely surprised about the surprises because football has changed and there are no pushovers anymore and besides I like it, it makes it interesting.
Do you think the super eagles will get to the next stage?
Well, as a Nigerian and a supporter I’m really hoping they qualify for the next stage but for us to do that we really need to get at least 4 points from d remaining two games.
As a footballer playing in the NPFL what are your chances of ever playing in the world cup?
Based on recent history we all know the chances of a home-based player going to the world cup are slim but I’m an optimistic individual that believes it’s possible. Ezenwa of Enyimba is an example moreover who knows? I might be playing in Europe before the next world cup.
Do you enjoy being a footballer or was there a time you wished you were doing something else? Like the regulars, doctor, lawyer etc?
I really enjoy been a footballer it’s all I’ve ever wanted in life. I’ve worked so hard and I’m still working but as you know there are certain moments that make you have doubts but I think it’s normal, life is full of challenges…I thank God that I am a footballer.
Are you happy with your club’s plight in the league this season? What do you like about your present club that makes you more comfortable than your old club?
Yes I’m quite happy because unlike last season when we were battling relegation we are in the top 6 now. My former club was playing in NNL but with my present team we are now playing premier league.
You talked about the opportunity of playing in Europe. Which would be your dream destination? And why?
Usman Bello with team Katsina United.Spain will be my dream destination because I like how football is played in La Liga and I think it ‘ll suit my style but I’m open to playing anywhere, I adapt easily to all styles.
How have you added value to your club this season?
I’ve always tried my best when called upon, I’m not comfortable praising myself.
You don’t like praising yourself. Okay pick a Super Eagles player that is your mentor and tell us why you think he is good. Do same for a foreign player that is not a Nigerian.
Mikel Obi…without a doubt, he is a good player; he is calm and uses the ball well. And Yaya Toure, he is a complete footballer; he is good at going both offensive and defensive.
If you had the opportunity and power what three things would you change in the NPFL?
I’ll like to change the officiating, it’s not always fair. Secondly I’ll like to change the welfare packages, it does need improvement. Thirdly, most pitches in the NPFL are artificial and it’s not good for us, we should revert back to using natural grass and finally if possible long journeys should be with flight, traveling by road is really tiring.
With your experience what two advices will you give a JSS3 students who wants to be a career footballer?
I’ll tell him to work hard with a lot of humility and pray hard to God almighty. He ‘ll need to understand the basics of football but above all, he must be hardworking…I learned through a lot of training and watching a lot of football on TV and watching my seniors play.
Which of the NPFL team has giving you a tougher competition so far this season and why was it very tough?
Plateau United at their home ground because they were quite physical.
We see brand endorsement a lot in Europe. Why is the reverse the case in Nigeria? Are you a brand ambassador for any brand? If not, let’s try and see if you call out a brand for a deal if they will answer… (Mention a brand you’ll like to come forth with a deal)
(He giggles) I really don’t know why maybe because the brands don’t think they ‘ll gain anything from it. I’m not a brand ambassador for any company… I have no preference but if I have my way it ‘ll be Adidas.
Share with us a funny story instead. Maybe a camp incident or a travel story that was so funny or crazy.
(Laugh) It happened in a plane when we were traveling out to Dubai for a tourney and one of our teammates put a serviette in his mouth thinking it was edible. And so we asked him why? And he said everything that was brought on the plane was to be eaten and since the serviette was warm, he thought it should be eaten as well…God so kind he didn’t swallow!!
You can watch Usman Bello in action here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Fju35B8HVDU
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