Abiola Dauda is a Nigerian-born player, who currently plays for Atromitos in the Greek Super League. Dauda, 29, has played in four different European countries, winning two leagues titles in two of them- Sweden and Serbia, with Kalmar FF and Red Star Belgrade respectively.
The 29-year-old was at Vitesse Arnhem in the Dutch Eredivisie before moving to Greece as a free agent in January this year. ACLSports.com caught up with him in a brief chat, when he revealed among other things, his belief that nothing can stop Nigeria from qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
How’s life in Greece since you arrived?
Life here in Greece is great, Athens is a very nice city. My time at Atromitos has been good ever since I arrived and [I] am very happy to be here. The fans have been good with me since I arrived and even the people at the club as well.
When did you join Atromitos and how many games have you played for them so far?
I have played 15 games and seven goals in all competitions last season since I arrived. And so far the season, we have played three games and score one goal. And my preseason was great so I am very positive about the new season.
Any personal targets for you this season?
My target is to help the team finish in top 5 so we can play in Europe and to score double figures of goals than I did last season.
Can Atromitos do better than their last season midtable finish?
Yeah, I am very positive we can because the club has shown their ambition by bringing in a lot of new players and quality ones as well. So I think we can make the top five.
There must be competition for places given the number of players your club signed?
Of course there is [competition], but I welcome competition from other players. I believe in myself and that’s what matters.
You’ve now played in five European countries, which have you enjoyed the most?
Well, I have enjoyed playing in those countries because playing there add[ed] something to my career and experience too.
But where have you enjoyed the most?
Playing for red star Belgrade was the time I enjoyed the most.
[I] won a league title and playing in front of (Delje) the fans with the best atmosphere.
But you also won a league title and cup during your time at Kalmar FF in Sweden.
Yeah, I won a league title and super cup with Kalmar, where I started off with my career and am thankful to them as well.”
So, which would you consider the best league among the countries you’ve played in?
Eredivisie, in terms of the quality of football.
Coming home, Dauda, who was born in Lagos, left the shores of the country in 2006, as an 18-year-old, arriving in Sweden, where he teamed up with his first professional club, Solvesborg, a 2 division club. But despite being in possession of a Swedish passport, he remains in touch with his home country. So, we asked him about the Super Eagles.
Do you follow the national team, the Super Eagles?
Yeah, I do and watched the last game against Cameroon.
You think they can qualify for Russia 2018?
Sure. As its stands now, I don’t see what’s gonna stop them from Russia 2018. It can be tense but still we should make it too the Russia.
What do you think about the coach of the team, Gernot Rohr?
Well, I don’t really know much about him, but he has done a good job so far and I believe he can see the Eagles to the finish line.
At 29, do you still nurse the ambition of representing your country, Nigeria.
Well, I don’t think about it that much like before, but who knows? Anything is possible.
Any favorite Nigerian player?
Kanu has always been my favorite.
It’s no news that Nigerians are in love with the English League, the Premier League. So, we asked him if there’s any other league he follows and he answers: “The Premier League.”
This interviewer was, however, left disappointed when he revealed that his favorite team in the Premier League was Arsenal.”
Do you also hope to one day play in England?
Sure, you never know what the future brings.”
Mr Dauda, thank you so much for making out time from your busy schedule to do this with us.
Thank you too, for your time.
Dauda has played more than 150 games in five different countries, scoring almost a century of goals.