How is life in Sweden after your not too impressive stay with Zamalek in the Egyptian topflight?
You know Sweden is in a different league when compared to other countries. It is very different from what we have in other leagues in Europe, but it’s good and I’m enjoying every minute of it. Also playing in Sweden has given me more knowledge about how football is played in different parts of the world.
What is the latest regarding the transfer row you had with Zamalek? What is your reaction to FIFA’s decision last year?
No, FIFA has not decided that the Egyptian club has won. They only said both parties were free to go, but the case is still continuing because I have appealed.
You’re appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport?
No, I’m appealing to FIFA about it. They (Zamalek) need to pay me money for delaying me before releasing my papers.
In the last five years, a few Nigerians have moved to Sweden. What is the unique selling point of the Swedish league?
The truth is that clubs in the Swedish league like African players, because most of us are heavily built and strong. And as such, they believe players from Nigeria usually possess these qualities. So they are always willing to invest in Nigerian players because they get good results from them, especially the strikers. On the other hand, it is a learning process for most of the players. When they play in Sweden for two to three years, they are more mature to play in other European leagues. Indeed, it is better for the players’ development than going straight to England.
What is happening with the Beninese national team?
Yeah, we had a lot of issues with the Beninese national team; at a time, we had two football associations running side by side and always going to FIFA to complain. Also, the frequent changing of coaches has not helped matters. In the last two years, we’ve had two to three different coaches. This no doubt will not help any team and is a very big problem. However, at the moment, they are trying to resolve the differences in the national team.
So, are you done with international football?
No, I’m still open to international football with the Squirrels.
What would you say about the not too impressive placing of Nigeria in the monthly FIFA rankings?
What I think is missing in the Super Eagles is who to do it and what to do. And who to do it comes from the coach because he has to build a team; but building a team requires time to get it right. Yes, the talents are there but they are lacking in confidence to show all that. The coach wants immediate results but some players need two to five games to gel. Giving a player just one game or 30 minutes playing time is not enough. But by giving them more games, our players will be ready and you will see that in their game too. To build a team and bring out the talents in them like the Austin Okochas and Nwankwo Kanus take a lot of time. That is what the senior national team of Nigeria need at this moment; the coach and the players ultimately need more time to get it right. As for the rankings, I don’t think ranking is the most important thing right now. If you have your team in place, everything will get better with time, but not with one game.
Are you saying that Nigeria have the talent to beat Egypt and other teams
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