Super Eagles Midfielder John Ugochukwu Ogu has tipped John Obi Mikel to be crowned 2013 CAF African Player of the Year.┬áThe Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) have fixed January 9 for the CAF Award ceremony.┬áWith Lagos chosen as host city for the event there is a strong indication that the award may be returning to Nigeria after Nwankwo┬á Kanu last won it in 2000.
The physically imposing defensive midfielder in an exclusive interview with football411.net said Mikel had done enough to win the award this year. “I tip Mikel to be crowned African footballer of the year because he has won all there is to win for both club and county this year ,so I believe he deserves it.ÔÇØ
John Ogu made his debut for Nigeria in a 1-1 draw with Kenya in March this year and was instrumental to Nnamdi OduamadiÔÇÖs late equalizer in that game. The Acad├®mica Midfielder has gone ahead to make 11 appearances for Nigeria and has one international goal to his credit.
Ogu talks to us about his background, career, Super Eagles as well as his expectations for the world cup.
THE FULL INTERVIEW
Q: Can we get to meet John Ogu?
I am Ogu John Ugochukwu.I am from Anambra State in Nigeria.I am the 1st of 5 children in my family. I have three sisters and a brother.
Q: DID YOU PLAY FOR ANY CLUB SIDE IN THE NIGERIAN LEAGUE? HOW WAS THE EXPERIENCE?
No, I didnÔÇÖt play for any club side in Nigerian League. I started from an Academy called Starlet FC in Ilesha Surulere.I later moved to Flying Sports Academy at Festac┬á before travelling┬á out to play professional football┬áin Europe.
Q: INTERESTING.HOW WAS THE FEELING GETTING YOUR FIRST BIG BREAK IN EUROPE?
It was a great feeling. I was really happy when I signed my 1st professional contract in Europe for a club called NK DRAVA PTUJ in Slovenia. I played there for 4 years.
Q: PRESENTLY YOU PLAY IN PORTUGAL WITH ACAD├ëMICA. CAN YOU TELL NIGERIANS ABOUT THE┬áPORTUGUESE┬áLEAGUE?
The League here is very competitive and interesting. We have top teams that play quality football. Porto, Benfica, Sporting Lisbon, Braga and so on. It is a good League with quality players.Really nice playing here.
Q: SINCE YOU MADE YOUR DEBUT YOU HAVE BEEN A MAJOR PART OF THE EAGLES SET UP.CAN YOU SHARE WITH US YOUR JOURNEY SO FAR IN THE NATIONAL TEAM?
It has been a fantastic experience. First, I want to thank God Almighty and also the “Big Boss”(Stephen Keshi) for this great opportunity of realize my dream of serving Nigeria. I really thank the Big boss for the believe he┬áhas shown in me. My journey started from the streets in Nigeria before moving to Slovenia with NK Drava later to Spain and now Portugal. I give God all the glory.
Q: WHO IS YOUR CLOSET PAL IN THE SUPER EAGLES?
I donÔÇÖt do closet pal. Everyone is my pal. We are one big family in the Eagles team and this has been one of the secrets to our success so far.
Q: JOHN WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR BEST ATTRIBUTE ON THE FIELD OF PLAY?
My passes and skills
Q: WHAT DO YOU DO BEFORE A GAME?
I just pray and Listen to inspirational Music
Q: AWAY FROM FOOTBALL, WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE NIGERIAN MUSIC ARTIST? WE HAVE SEEN YOUR OLAMIDE #GunManPose ON INSTAGRAM
I like a lot of Nigerian artists .Yea I had to join the fun plus Olamide is one of my favourites
Q: WHO IS YOUR CHOICE FOR AFRICAN FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR?
I tip Mikel to be crowned African footballer of the year because he has won all there is to win for both club and county this year ,so I believe he deserves it.
Q: FOR THE BALLON D’OR WHO DO YOU TIP?
I will take Ronaldo. He has been great for club and country
Q: HOW FAR DO YOU SEE THE AFRICAN TEAMS GOING IN BRAZIL 2014?
In football anything can happen. We all saw what Ghana did in South Africa in 2010.They almost got to the finals. I believe African teams will do better this time. I know there will be a lot of surprises in the World Cup. All we need to do is focus and play our game
Q: A WORD TO YOUR FANS BACK HOME AND AROUND THE WORLD
I just want to say a big THANK YOU to them all for their support and encouragement.
THANKS JOHN FOR YOUR TIME.IT HAS BEEN NICE TALKING WITH YOU
The 2014 FIFA world cup is just some few months away. On a regular basis football 411 will bring you face to face with Nigerian Internationals as well as other world Cup bound players. Join us again as we bring you another Super Eagle in the coming days.