The Chairman of Ekiti State Football Association, Bayo Olanlege, has challenged the kids in Ekiti state to become the next Cristiano Ronaldo.
Olanlege, in a special message to the young footballers participating in the inaugural edition of Oba Ademola Ajakaiye Memorial U-13 football competition, reminded them of the epic rise of the 5- time Balon D’or winner to stardom.
“Did you know he also started like you? He started playing academy football at the age of 13 at Deportivo Nacional of Madeira in Portugal and started full football at 17 years with Sporting Lisbon. And joined Manchester United at 18 years in 2003. Meaning he became a star in 5 years,” Olanlege admonishes.
Olanlege went ahead to reveal some secrets behind the stellar career of the Portuguese superstar as a template for aspiring footballers.
“He was creative and did not depend on his physical talent. He wasn’t playing football like every other person. He was doing what others could not do. He developed his talent; scoring freekicks, penalty kicks, running and dribbling skills.
” He was time conscious and get to the stadium very early every training day, even before his coach. He would be training himself and therefore was always better than others.
” He knew what he wanted. He wanted to be better than Pele and Maradona. He wanted to be the world best. He became the world’s best 5 times. He was committed to footballing as a career.
” Now, how many of you want to be a professional footballer? How many of you want to be the next CR7? How many of you want to be better than CR7?” Olanlege asked rhetorically.
The highly regarded and award- winning youthful football administrator further admonish the impressionable lads to be disciplined and imbibe the spirits of competitive sports which includes, fair play.
” Always play responsibly and safely. Don’t injure your fellow players. Put in your best at every game played. There would be many scouts and big clubs interested in signing you someday,” he said conclusively.