Super Eagles and FC Ufa of Russia midfielder Sylvester Igboun ‘Sly’ was a guest at the Elephant Football Club, Ashade, Agege, Lagos on Sunday 18th December 2016 at the annual tournament that showcases young stars.
Before going for greener pastures in Russia, Sly once played for Elephant FC from Ashade compound, Agege. He later played for FC Ebedei in 2004.
In this chat, he reveals how he will love to play for Super Eagles against Cameroon in the World Cup qualifier next year and his love to play in the EPL.
lots of people have been showering encomium to you for showing great love to the club, Elephant FC. did you actually passed through the club while playing football in Nigeria?
It is a great pleasure. I am always happy to be here. This is where I was born. I started my career here- Ashade. I always get inspired here. People always welcome me whenever I am around. Seeing my childhood friends here is happiness for me. This is not the same atmosphere in Russia where I play football now. I grew up playing street football. I still have the street attitude in me. It is very difficult to neglect my people here.
You played for Nigeria under Sunday Oliseh lots of people hardly read update about Sylvester Igboun?
Everything has been good as far as my football career is concerned. Sly is not playing for Nigeria at the moment is as a result of Nigeria politics and policy. Nigerians don’t care about performances of players who have played for Super Eagles to be honest. The most important to my career is giving my best to my club. That is what I care about currently. Any other thing is secondary. When I have the invite, I will honour Super Eagles.
How would you rate the current Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr who has performed excellently well in the two legs World Cup qualifier?
He should just keep up doing the good work. He should continue getting the good points for Nigeria. Excellent results are what people count. More so, Nigerians only care about results. They don’t care about the players or coaches. When he doesn’t do well, they will get back at him.
If you are invited to Super Eagles after the team qualifies for World Cup, would you honour the country?
Yes, why not. I will be glad if I receive invitation. The most important for me is that I’m doing well in my club. I’m playing very well at the moment. And I’m happy.
Lots of your fans want to see you playing for a club in English Premier League. What effort are you engineering in making sure the dream come true?
Of cause I will love to play in England. The policy is that it is either you have European passport or you play 80% in your national team. I don’t have European passport neither I have played up to 80% in my national team. Let us see what will happen. I still have lots of years ahead of me. Great things are ahead of us. I believe it will happen.
While growing up, I know you would have a football club you support?
I love Real Madrid so much. I was a Manchester United fan when Christian Ronaldo was playing there. But CR7 currently plays for R. Madrid, my favourite club.
What platform are you establishing for young guys to benefit from being an international footballer now?
Advice is the first you give young players. If I give young players money, it will finish as soon as possible. Though, I give money to young people and footballers. It is very painful that I can’t satisfy everybody. I also give them hope as well. It is very challenging.
What is your relationship with Fuji Star, Malaika that made him to praise you in his new album, Original?
Malaika is a nice man. I always admire Malaika when he came to perform at Elephant Carnival years back. He is a good musician. I love his music. He is very humble. I have never seen a Fuji musician as religious as Malaika. He is never joke with God (Allah). If someone has a good personality like that, you always want to associate with the person. That is the normal norms. Recently, I was at his place. He welcomed me amicably. That is awesome. He is like a brother to me. It is a privilege for me. I urge him to keep up the good work and attitude. When you do good things, you always get reward from God. That is why God is blessing him abundantly.
What about your relationship with Sunday Oliseh?
It is the same good relationship while at Super Eagles camp.
When was the last time you called him?
We chat during his last birthday. I wished him happy birthday.
What is your message to NFF?
NFF should endure to appreciate people who give their effort to play for Nigeria. The Super Falcons issue is very where. All Nigeria footballers are not happy. I’m not happy on that issue. These ladies put all their efforts to play for Nigeria. They also won the trophy for the country. At the end of the competition, the ladies were displaying placards for the federation to pay their dues. As a player, it is not encouraging. Imagine during the competition, they get injured. Any of the player career has ended. That is finished! We know it is very tasking. Let us keep up the good spirit. NFF should be positive to players. We will make them smile also.
Super Eagles play against Cameroon next year, what is your take. If you are invited for the game how will you turn things around for Super Eagles?
Nigeria is always the favourite. Any team Super Eagles play with in Africa, Nigeria is the attention. We just have to be focus and performed the way we played against Zambia and Algeria respectively. Football is funny also. If I am invited for the game, I will play my heart out for the country. I don’t have another country. It is a privilege playing for Nigeria-Super Eagles.
Who is your role model?
I love Christian Ronaldo a lot. But I will love to remain Sylvester ‘Sly’ Igboun. I don’t have to copy anybody as a footballer. I’m myself.