Sep 10, 2012

Ahmed Musa Reunites with the Grassroots


Ahmed Musa was in town, the suburb of Bukuru in Jos, where he was born, raised and learnt football. He had trained at the muddy pitch of Aminci Football Club, his grassroots club, in the morning and was scheduled to come back for the evening session. We heard this and all gathered, waiting to see the guy that has made the town of Jos very proud with legs that unleash slug. The training was a special one meant to honor him. All players were unusually serious.
He was schedule to come later, when the training was already in progress, a mark of respect. So we waited... three local journalists, kids and unemployed youths who often spend their free time watching free football. I did not notice when a black Range Rover jeep arrived but noticed it when it was about to leave. It was clear that a personage had just arrived. I could see children crowding around an individual and looked critically to see that the star had arrived. He appeared so simple he makes you doubt if he is that guy that used to generate confusion in the goal mouth of opponents. He wore a black T-shirt and Super Eagles green shorts and prevented his aids from driving away children who crowded him.
After exchanging pleasantries, signing autographs and taking photos with fans, it was time for us the journalists. Musa talked about playing in the English Premiership League, saying that it is the dream of every Nigerian footballer to play in the Barclays Premiership League and his own position regarding that isn’t different. He said that he is aware that he is still young. The implication is that he has so many years of active football ahead of him and that playing in Russia is satisfactory but also provides an opportunity to be noticed by bigger clubs, a lot of which are in England. The star said that even though he is a fan of Arsenal, it does not mean that he must necessarily play for Arsenal alone as football these days is also about the money. He is going to wait and pray for the right time and the right club that destiny brings.
Musa referred to playing in the Champions League as a dream come true that also afforded him the chance to meet his favorite player, Christiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid with whom he had a photograph.
Football fans will recall that Ahmed Musa joined the Nigerian Senior National team, The Super Eagles under Coach Samson Siasia who was eventually sacked when we could not make it to the Nations Cup. Siaisa was replaced by former national team captain, Stephen Keshi. Musa told us that his fortunes had remained the same under the different coaches. Siaisa, according to Musa, kept encouraging him, telling him that he’s got what it takes and can play anywhere around the world. With Keshi, it is the same thing, he says. Keshi has continued to encourage him to help him bring out his best.
Musa expressed disappointment with the inability of the Super Eagles to qualify to play in the last Nations Cup. He said that one of his immediate dreams is to play in the Nations Cup and as such he was devastated when the national team failed to qualify for Africa’s premier football tournament. This time, he says, he believes they are going to qualify. Already, he says, they earned a point when they played a 2-2 draw with the Liberian National Team and sees no reason why they will not defeat the Liberians in the return leg in Calabar.
In the past, Nigerian footballers like Julius Aghahowa had frustrating times playing in Russia because of severe low temperatures. Ahmed Musa said that though the weather in Moscow is colder than in Jos where he comes from, it has not posed any treat or frustration to his career over there. As a matter of fact he is enjoying playing in Russia and looks forward to even better days there. 

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