This is a one on one interview with former Inter Allies midfielder Clifford Aboagye who was the third best player at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He has now joined Granada in Spain. Below is the transcript.
NB: Q is question and CA is Clifford Aboagye.
Q: Tell us when u started playing football?
CA: I started playing at a very young age, at around 6 years when I play in my neighborhood, Teshie, what we call area games.
Q: When did you realize that you have a good football talent?
CA: When I didn’t even have a proper team and was playing these area games, usually they make me the captain and a coach once saw me in a game and took me to Zinaps FC a colt’s team in Teshie camp 2. I joined the colt’s team and played in the under 10 and under 12.
Q: Did you win any awards during your colt’s days?
CA: Yes, I played in the National Milo colt’s championship and won the overall best player at the age of 12 years and Feyenoord Academy used organize some competitions, which I usually win the best player award.
Q: So did winning those awards make you feel back then?
CA: It was a great feeling, especially winning the National U-15 Milo colts championship best player when I was a very tiny 12 years old boy. I had a lot of admirers then it was that through that I got the opportunity to play for Inter Allies Fc.
Q: So from Zinaps FC you joined Inter Allies, tell me about playing there?
CL: It was good but very difficult playing at Inter Allies because I was playing under William Klutse a coach who was a National star and has seen it all in football. He would criticize and take us through several drills to ensure we do the right thing. It was not easy but in the long run I realized all he was doing was for the good of all of us. He has really impacted on my football because he thought me so many things.
Q: Was there a time you gave up on some of the hard drills your coach took you through?
CA: Not really, I was ready to learn and since we all knew the caliber of Coach Willie Klutse we just have to obey instructions. One thing I learnt from him is that training cannot kill you so I have to endure and keep on training hard.
Q: How did playing for Inter Allies shape you?
CA: Playing there has really helped me. I thought I was a very good player when I joined Inter Allies but coach Klutse told me I was playing colt’s football and I need to grow up and he changed a lot of things about me, he made me play more professional.
Q: Apart from William Clutse who else encouraged you at Inter Allies?
CA: My managers Omar and “Roro” also advice me all the time and they have been so good to me. Their encouragement has helped me a lot because the own Inter Allies and they have dealt with a lot of players.
Q: So would you say is you greatest inspirer?
CA: Omar El-Eter is the one, he is my personal manager as well and always on me to deliver, he is like a father, a teacher, a friend and in fact he is everything to me. I am very grateful for all he has done for me and may God bless him.
Q: Which player is your role Model?
CA: Andreas Iniesta of Barcelona FC
Q: Why him? Currently the world best players are L. Messi and C. Ronaldo.
CA:I like him, for me I think he is the World best player, he has everything in football. These two players can score more than him but apart from that I think his vision and technique in football surpasses all of them.
Q: So do you want to be like him or more than him?
CA: My dream is to be a great player like him and if possible play better than him.
Q: How was the 2013 FIFA World cup experience in Turkey?
CA: It’s a great feeling but it was not easy, looking at our group, which was the toughest at the World Cup
Q: Did you set any targets prior to the tournament?
CL: Yes, I was telling myself I wanted to be the world best player and my dream came true because my coach and managers and everybody was encouraging me. I knew what I could do and I knew my talent is one in a million so I always prayed to God to help me to achieve my goal and I am still on it.
Q: What was your greatest moment at the World Cup?
CA: That was when I won the Bronze Ball, winning the 3rd best player at a World Cup doesn’t come easy. It was my best moment.
Q: What other moment in your football career do you also consider as great?
CA: Qualifying Inter Allies from division one to the premier league before the World Cup is another great achievement as a player and I am very proud of that because it inspired me a lot. We had all the support from the management and technical staff and our team was in a fantastic form so I knew we could qualify this year.
Q: What are your plans now?
CA: I am still training with Inter Allies to keep me fit as I look forward to go and play top-flight football in Europe. I want to make it big in Europe and make my Ghanaians proud.
Q: Which team in he World is your dream team?
CA: Barcelona FC in Spain is my dream team and I would love to play there.
Q: Every player likes a particular position or jersey number what is yours?
CA: I love the 10-midfield position and the number 10 jersey. I have played that position since childhood and I am more confortable playing there.
Q: What message do you have for your fans?
CA: First of all I want to thank the Almighty God because without him I cannot do anything, I thank my family members for their support, the management, staff and players of Inter Allies and the Black Satellites team and all those who have supported my directly and indirectly. I will do my best to make my fans proud both at club and National level, may God bless us all.