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I Was Kidnapped And Rejected For Being Skinny - Olayinka

  • 13 November 2019
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For a young Nigerian coming from the dusty streets of Lagos, Olayinka said he was overwhelmed to share same pitch with Barcelona legend and captain, Lionel Messi.
It was a reward for his struggles to make a mark in the game and was a modest response to his desires to achieve greatness from football. It also told him about how far he had come. More importantly, it solidified his choice of moving to Slavia Praha. The story however wasn't of pearls and roses. They were gory days before the moments of glory.
After going back to Albania having failed to tie down a deal in Turkey, Olayinka continued his story;
''Along the line, he (the agent) contacted Skenderbeu because before I left, they showed keen interest in me''
''Initially, they had doubts, and thought I wasn't in a good place to sign for them. When I got to Albania, the other team, Kukesi, the second best team in the league welcomed me. Skenderbeu sent spies to come and watch me in training.''
''They saw my training and they really wanted to sign me. Afterwards, I was kidnapped later in the night from the other team. They spoke to my other agent, packed my loads and took me to their camp. That was how I signed for Skenderbeu. I played my first season and it was really good for me. That was in 2015.
''In 2016, I played half of the season for them, till December when I signed for Gent. Before December, I had scored ten goals. Then Gent came in, and I signed for them.
''In 2017, I broke my ankle in Gent, during preseason and was out for the rest of the season.
''Some drama broke out afterwards, when the coach called me and said I'm too skinny, that I need to add up and I have to go on loan. I argued but at the end, I accepted to go on loan. I was on loan at Dukla Prague where I played for one season.
''After one season, with Dukla Prague, I needed to go back. Before the end of my loan spell, we held a meeting with them, and they said I was not part of the 25-man list.
''I told them I wanted a loan move in Belgium, because they arranged the loan to Dukla. Before I left Gent, I told the manager he will beg me someday to play for them.
''After then, I went on holiday and joined Zulte Waregem. I scored one in the first friendly game, two in the second and three in the third friendly match respectively. It was funny.
''The season began and in my first away game, I made four assists. I was in the spotlight. Since then, more clubs have been watching.
''Gent wanted me to terminate the loan but I refused. I told them I was happy. I said we will sort it out and talk when the season ends. We didn't do well, we were down that season... But I had 15 assists and 11 goals. It was really fantastic for me.
''Gent called me to give me a permanent contract but I refused because I was not happy to play for them. I told them how they disrespected me and they soon switched to threats. I told them if I come back and I don't play, they will have to explain to the press.
''They soon dropped guard and Slavia Praha showed interest too. I was willing to play for Zulte. They were the only ones serious about me. Along the line, I moved to Slavia Praha. I saw the opportunities ahead. There was a chance to feature in the Champions League also.
''There was also a chance to play in the Europa League, automatically. I felt it was a good place, followed my mind and didn't listen to what critics were saying about leaving Belgium for Prague. They thought I was too confident about my chances but I know the league is a good one to build a career. I agreed, came here and played.
''Last season was difficult because when I came, I got injured for two months, which meant I had to start all over again. But this season, I started the season with them, everything has been fine and we are in the Champions League.
''Life has been good in Slavia and I feel it is because of the coach and tactics. It could be difficult as a new player. I now understand the coach's demands better. This is helping me to improve in the game, both offensively and defensively.
''I play out on the left wing here but it's not my first time. I started playing as a left winger at Dukla. I played on the right wing for the Super Eagles against Brazil.
Olayinka speaks in sharing same pitch with Messi.
''Playing against Messi was great for me. It was a dream come true, in all honesty.
''I kept my scoring boots against Inter already. Something I can look back to and say I scored against Inter Milan. I may frame it.
''Now we're heading to the Camp Nou, it is another big game I'm looking forward to. Personally, I'm not scared, I want to do well, show myself and perform great. ''
Slavia Praha pulled a shock goalless draw against Barcelona at the Camp Nou.
On how he got called up by the Super Eagles. Olayinka said; ''I was contacted by the assistant coach, and Gernot Rohr called me himself later.''
He has been placed on standby by Rohr for Nigeria's two AFCON qualifying matches against Benin and Lesotho. Th skillful winger said he will stay back in Prague to rest, except if a late callup comes up.
''I'll stay back in Prague during the international break and rest because we've been playing a lot of games.''
Asked if anyone knows about all his struggles, he was quick to answer that he doesn't really speak to people about his problems but said his manager has always been in the know about him.
''Francis Ugede, my manager knows a lot about my ordeals and I think he is the only one I really spoke with during that period.
''I don't spread things about me a lot because people cannot really help you. I keep it to myself and to someone who can help me out. He is still my manager, and he has been great.''
He said he hopes to someday play in the German Bundesliga.
''My dream league is the German Bundesliga because I like the atmosphere. The stadia are always full.''
Then, Olayinka speaks about his parents and family.
''I have two elder brothers. Two of them are about the same age. My mum is late but my dad is still alive. I stay in Lagos when I'm in Nigeria.''
A hardworking young man must also enjoy his life. He reveals his dream car and what he cruises in at the moment.
''My dream car is Mercedes GLC. I drive an X6 in Prague and I got my licence in Belgium.
''It's been fantastic here. I live alone in Prague, and we have another player in the league here.''
Olayinka is not the only Nigerian player in the Czech Republic, he said there is another player, Ubong Ekpai, a former Kano Pillars and Akwa Utd midfielder, who is on loan at Dynamo Ceske Budejovice, from Czech giants, Viktoria Plzen.
Source:Oma Akatugba


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I Was Kidnapped And Rejected For Being Skinny - Olayinka

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