THE ART OF BEING A CAPTAIN
“The captain must be respected, be a leader. The real bosses are the coach and the team manager who take the decisions off the pitch. That’s not the captain role.”There are several ways to captain. The most important, I think, is to be who you are. I’m not going to invent a personality. Football is evolving; the mentality of players is even though we are younger, too. You don’t have to live up to the old clichés of what made a good captain. I’m not a captain here to police, but to help my colleagues.Today, the most important thing is to relay information from the coach to the team; to be an example, both on and off the field. And to be performing consistently at high level , because it is on the field that you gain your legitimacy in the role.”But it is also important to understand that the captain cannot be alone. Leaders are very important, but only when part of the group.”On the pitch I need to show energy, have the best attitude and to be sure that the others are ready to do the same.”Off the pitch, I like everyone to feel free, but I am also aware of the hierarchy. I like rules, but I do not like when there are too many constraints. It must be said that everything that happens away from the field has repercussions on the pitch. The most important thing is mutual respect.”In England and in world football the captain is a very important role. It’s something that plays a major part in the culture of football worldwide. Being a captain is a source of great pride for us (captains). But it’s funny, because it’s never enough for me. I need more. That’s how I am.”There are no ego problems for me . Having a strong personality alongside you in the team is a plus as you can relay [information]. [It’s only] when a strong personality does not have that legitimacy that it can become a problem in the team. Before you are able to pass messages or blame someone else, you must be able to look at yourself.”On the field, I have always had a strong temperament, even if away from the game I’m quite a relaxed person and funny person . I have always been a winner when I get on the pitch. There are experiences that allow us to discover ourselves.”My first year at Viables football academy was about the will to integrate myself into the team. Then came the tournament in which I performed great , which helped my personality grow. Everything came naturally.”I feel confident because I have the respect of the others. I am respected for what I am as a human . I have this faith because of my experience during growing up . We are chosen to be a captain. I am who I am. I never try to be someone else.”The hardest part in football, and even in life in general, is making things simple. I love simple football. But it is complicated to achieve that simplicity.”It arrives through exchanges, dialogue.”I think young players need the older ones. Now that I’m a young player] I I’m in great need of them. Most times i go home on break and i go to the field where older (ex-professionals) play.. Listening to their messages is always very important. There is always something to take on board and something to leave behind, but the older players have experience that allows you to anticipate certain things, to mature quicker. I have very good memories of my interactions with older players.”
GOALKEEPER FIRST, OR CAPTAIN.
“I believe a goalkeeper must boss his entire half of the field. You can see a lot from behind the play. As captain you must play your role and also take responsibility. The two functions are compatible, which is why we see a lot of goalkeepers as captains.”To be honest, I prefer to say that I’m a team member, rather than a captain or a goalkeeper . The armband can elevate you [your status], but I prefer to think of myself as an equal.”
DOES A CAPTAIN HAVE TO LIFT TROPHIES.
“That is my motivation, my ambition. Winning matches is one thing, winning trophies is something else. It is always the same clubs [team] that win in football. Because they are great institutions, because they are great teams, with great coaches,great players… it’s inspiring to look at these clubs.”There is also a luck factor that comes into play. I’m an human. I always love to win, not just matches but trophies . I find here there is already a big difference between the Viables that I discovered on my arrival and the Viables I see now. The Academy is on the rise. A lot of players have moved to bigger teams, It’s thanks to the work of the directors but also of Head Coach Izuchukwu Ogbodo, who is one of the great coaches who have impacted my life greatly .”We will try to win something before the end of the year . We are competing in two competitions. To win with your country is also very important. But first in need to work my way up the development ladder and get in the various national team level. Winning the world cup with Nigeria will be a dream come true