Gift Orban : Being Poor In Europe Is Better Than Being Poor In Nigeria, Hunger Will Finish You

Olympique Lyonnais forward Gift Orban talks about his experience in Nigeria, his type of person, source of motivation and move to professional football in Europe; reports.

Gift Orban left Nigeria aged 19 to sign for Norwegian outfit Stabaek (after having a successful trial)leaving behind a difficult life that he is not too keen to talk about.

Also read: Popular Super Eagles Forward Returns In April

In 2023, 12% of the world’s population living in extreme poverty are domiciled in Nigeria. Nigeria is West African country booming in both economic and population terms.

Gift Orban reveals his source of motivation.
Gift Orban in Olympique Lyonnais locker room

But the level of hardship in the country is a sad reality for millions of indigenous Nigerians and Africans as a whole, and Gift Orban and his family were no exceptions.

What Gift Orban said about his journey to Europe

Speaking to L’Equipe, the former KAA Gent winger explained the difference between poor people in Europe and those in Africa.

”I can’t explain it because you can’t understand. You were born in Europe, it’s not like being born in Africa. If you’re poor in France, the state can help you, charities can help you and take care of you. In Africa, no one gives you anything and you die of hunger. That’s why we all want to play football.

“Where I grew up, if you’re in a poor family, life is impossible. That’s what gives you determination, you don’t want to relive that. You had to find food every day. Now, I want to succeed in life in order to be able to help. Not only my family, that’s already obviously the case, but I want to help all poor people, orphans, who had the life I had, sometimes even worse. Do you understand the word  Poor?,” Orban was quoted by Getfootballnews France.

Victor Boniface, Francis Uzoho and Jose Peseiro called out by fans
Gift Orban Victor Osimhen, Jordan Torunarigha and Victor Boniface in training.

He continued, “There is poor in Europe and poor in Africa. You can’t compare, it’ll never be the same. You need to have lived it like I have. You get up in the morning and you find nothing to eat, don’t ask me to go into detail.”

Further talking about himself, Orban stated that his goalscoring abilities was his only source of escape from poverty.

According to the Nigerian youngster he has always been passionate about putting the ball in the net:

“When I was a kid, my only concern was getting the ball into the goal, even when it was in my half. I was capable of shooting from distance if I saw the goalkeeper in a poor position. If I was told to make ten passes before scoring, I’d rather score directly. The most important thing is putting the ball in the goal, so I have that in the blood. Goals saved me and changed  my life. I scored goals because I wanted to escape, I managed to leave Africa thanks to that talent,” he continued.

” When I arrived in Norway, it was difficult for me, I even went back to Nigeria for a while, then they gave me a three month contract. That was my chance, the manager let me play and I scored twice in successive games. I really had to organise my game. When I turned professional, I understood there would be highs and lows. We can’t win all the time, it was a difficult adaptation but I had to get on with it.

“Now for example, I find it hard to play as a lone striker because I am used to playing with two, it’s better for me, but I have to get on with it and move forward.”

Gift Orban

The 21-year-old added, “When I arrived at Lyon, I knew I had to be patient, even if I’m not a patient person. I want to play. I know my chance will come and even if I only play 10 or 15 minutes, I will try and best to help the team.”

Also read: Osimhen : Nigerian’s Behaviour Negatively Affecting Napoli’s Dressing Room – Report

Orban was part of the Super Eagles players that was supposed to play in an AFCON qualifying game against Lesotho last year. But was ruled out of the game because of injury.

Gift Orban is yet to get another invitation since then, but with reignited form, the former Stabæk forward can earn a return to the Super Eagles.

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