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Dudu Omagbemi Exclusive: The former East Bengal and Mohun Bagan striker gives his thoughts on World Cup, India

Dudu Omagbemi

Dudu Omagbemi is a name that is etched in the hearts of the millions of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal supporters in India. The forward started his career with Sporting Club de Goa and then went on to play for the Kolkata giants. In his illustrious career, he has had stints with Dempo, and Salgaocar and has also donned the jersey of former Polish Champions Wisla Krakow and Hungarian Champions Debereceni.

He also has played in the ISL for the likes of Pune City and Chennaiyin FC and has scored numerous goals for them. His left footers were a treat to watch, and as lethal he is on the pitch, he is that great of a human being off the pitch.

Recently, MyKhel sat with an interview with the striker who is currently plying his trade in Finland. He opened up from his footballing journey in India to the World Cup. Here is an extract from the interview-

Where are you playing now?

Right now I am training with a team here in Finland.

Dudu Omagbemi

How are you enjoying your life there?

Life is still going good. I have to appreciate what Life has given me. I am enjoying with my family now.

You had some great years here in India. Where did you enjoy most while playing?

I enjoyed most of my playing careers in India.

You played for both East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. What is your opinion on Kolkata football and the fans?

Both East Bengal and Mohun Bagan have differences in terms of organization and Fans. Respect to these two teams who have made the world know more about India Football and still going stronger and stronger.

Do you follow ISL anymore?

I do follow the ISL sometimes. People do ask me why am not still playing there when they see me playing with them.

Are you planning to make a visit to India in anytime soon?

I will surely visit one day with my Family. I have to show my kids where their Father start his career from.

Dudu Omagbemi

What is the difference that you have seen in Indian football and the other parts of the world where you have played?

I have seen and played under different coaches with a different mindset. Tactically different.

Take us through your experience of Wisla Krakow and Deberceni.

I was really happy when I was told I will be invited to play in Europe. When I joined Wisla Krakow, it was really different, winning the championship with them in my first season was amazing. Debreceni, on the other hand, was another team that I will say it was great to be there as well. In my first season with them, I was champion with them too. So all in all, my experience in Europe was magnificent.

How was your European Football experience? What was the difference in the preparation compared to India?

India had taught me all I need to know about European football before I came here. Sporting Clube de goa was playing great football at that time and that made it easier for me to adapt to the system.

With the World Cup currently happening in Qatar, which country you think can win the World Cup?

The world cup is too early to predict who will win. I do know the best and lucky team will win the World cup.

Any idea on the Golden boot winner?

You can't predict who will be the golden boot, you have God a lot of hungry attackers who are hungry to score goals.

What do you think makes this Qatar World Cup different?

Qatar has the money to make it different. You can see everyone is enjoying the atmosphere of the games right now. Football is growing in Qatar as well don't forget that. Many quality stars have played in the Qatar league.

What is your view on FIFA's stance on Qatar's human rights issues? Are they right on that?

Every country have there rules and law and we have to respect them and I believe Fifa knew about it before awarding the world cup to Qatar.

With the hype around European countries, how do you think the Asian and African countries going to do in this World Cup?

Football is challenging. We should never underestimate any country. This world cup is really unpredictable. There are a lot of new players. Football is rotating now. Westerners and trying their best and Africa and Asia and South America have improved a lot as well.

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Story first published: Saturday, November 26, 2022, 14:06 [IST]
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