Villareal of Spain and Super Eagles of Nigeria’s mesmerizing winger, Samuel Chukwueze was recently in Abia during the off season holidays in Europe where he was considered the second most prolific player after Real Madrid’s Vinicus Junior. Chukwueze, who never forgot his root, visited his native land of Ibeku-Umuahia. In an exclusive chat with Newsreel Publisher, John Thompson, the former Under 17 world champion cum versatile winger, spoke on why aspiring professional players should inculcate the value of humility in their life.
The young player maker who used the opportunity to host his annual community football tournament on the play ground where he started to kick the round leather game as a little boy, also paid homage the Commissioner for Trade, Commerce and Industry, Dr. Chimezie Isaac Ukaegbu, a worthy Ibeku son, whom he referred to as ‘My Big Uncle’ for the symbolic presentation of his Villarreal Club jersey to the Commissioner. The Nigerian international was also a special guest at the Government house, Umuahia for the presentation of Champions League Trophy to the Executive Governor of Abia state, Dr. Alex Otti, won by Enyimba Football Club of Aba. Excerpts:
What has been your experience considering where you are coming from, Ibeku- Umuahia to conquer Europe?
The major thing is, when you remember where you are coming from, and you also know that people are watching and looking at you, waiting for you to do so many things and if you fail, so many souls have failed also because there are many people that you need to help also. So, there are people back home praying for me to go farther and remembering all these things makes me happy and also makes me want to work harder and inspires me to do so many things to go further. You know, when you remember that back home, so many people don’t have something to do, people don’t have work, and something to eat and they keep praying for you, that’s the most important thing when they are praying for you and their prayers work actually and they always pray that this their son is going to make it and bring something back to them that’s what actually motivates me. When I want to play a game and I remember my place, how it all started, I get pushed further.
What can you say about life’s lesson you have learnt so far?
In this life, there must be challenges, ups and downs but you just learn how to keep your head high but all you need is dedication. For me, coming from a background like Ibeku, its very hard to see people believe that a player and a no person can come from that kind of place but I think its an opportunity for people to believe that there is nobody that cannot come out from anywhere and make it in this life, you know, for me coming from Ibeku, Ugba precisely to make it, I think its an honour for everybody.
You are a source of inspiration to young ones, what’s the word you have to give to them as they look up to you?
For me, its humility, they should keep working hard and they should believe in themselves, that’s the most important thing. They should display humility inside and outside the pitch and they should just believe in their goals.