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XmasFestival: Zero to Hero- Adebayo’s rise to prominence at Kinghts

He may be little known but Bravos Knights’ latest star, Abdullahi Adebayo is one youngster with very big dreams.

Born into a polygamous family 20years ago, Adebayo lost his father to the cold hands of death at the tender age of two, but rather than let that setback weigh him down, it became a veritable source of motivation for the budding footballer.

Thesocialiga.com had a chat with the Knights right back, who spoke at length about his family, love for football and heroics at the 2018 Bet9jaSociaLiga playoffs amongst other things.

Before the chat began proper, we asked if we could address him as “Bayo”, and while his reply was affirmative, he preferred ” Adebayo ” and gave an intriguing reason for it.

“Yes u can (address me as Bayo) but I’ll prefer u call it fully because my aim for that name is high,” he said.

SociaLiga: What are your aims for the name, and what does it mean?

Adebayo: “It’s my father’s name, but now my surname. And I didn’t know my father at all, I was a little boy when he died. (So) my aim on the name is to go far beyond my father’s reach”

Having been born into a polygamous family, as his father married two wives, Adebayo is the youngest of five children his father left behind, though his mother birthed just him and his elder brother.

Adebayo: “My mother only gave birth to two, i and my brother. I am the last born but have (a) stepmother.”

For 18 years, his mother was responsible for him and his brother and according to the talented defender, life has been good despite the absence of their father all thanks to his ‘fantastic’ mother.

Adebayo: “Life has been good and perfect so far because God gave me a fantastic mother and she’s worthy to be called a mother.”

“It’s really sad not learning anything from him but
with what i am seeing from my mother, definitely that’s what I’d have learnt from him.”

Adebayo’s love for football has always been with him since he was a boy, but it was not until 2005, when still a student at the
Ikosi Senior High School, did he begin to take it very serious.

He starred for Magshan Sporting fc in Magodo where he was before  Bravos Knights came calling in 2016. So, how has his mother taken his decision to play football?

Adebayo: “100 percent! With prayers.”

Having spent two years at Bravos, the graduate of Publicity from Muyak Publicity in Ikosi, says it’s been an “awesome” journey for him so far at the SociaLiga finalists.

Adebayo: “It has been great and marvellous for me and the team, but i only have a bad memory with the team in (the) playoffs last season.”

Last season, Bravos were knocked out by Raineri FC in the playoffs with Adebayo missing the decisive penalty kick that sent his side packing, and it has haunted him since then.

However, at the Vocational Center in Isheri, Magodo, the young defender made amends as he netted a brace in their 2018 playoffs win over the same team, Raineri, a feat he says has turned him from zero to hero.

SociaLiga: And how will you describe the 2018 season for you on a personal note, and Knights as a team?

Adebayo: “From zero to hero, for me and my team but I own this particularly. I cost my team last year but this year I take them on with the lead and second (goal).”

SociaLiga: Despite being a defender, you scored two goals against the same team you missed a PK against last year, How did that make you feel?

Adebayo: “Yeah, i felt great. Those two goals made it (my) third for Bravos Knight and three against the Raineri Ghost, which I think no other player has done against them and the goals were magnificent.”

Adebayo is new born, following that brilliant performance against Raineri this season, a man full of confidence and ready to take on the world, as he told us.

“I feel great and that has kept me high and hungry for more in training sessions and match played after then. But that doesn’t stop me from my primary assignment.”

With the XmasFestival around the corner, Bravos will be in the final for the first time in the their history, and the attacking fullback says they are prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure they go home with the main prize.

Adebayo: “Everything it’s take we give it, because three things are the hardest of all in football and we are ready to do it- train hard, play good football and win. These are the hardest of all in the football.”

This is not Adebayo’s first time at the XmasFestival, his first left him a bitter taste in his mouth last season, but he’s optimistic that 2018 will bring new tidings.

“I’ve been there before, though it was fun but my bosom friend, who happens to be our captain, had an injury in the third place match. (So) i’m excepting to see something great than that of last year.”.

Come December 16 at the Children’s International School, CIS, Lekki Phase One, keep an eye on Bravos Knights’ number 22, who has a final word for supporters of the club.

“On behalf of all Bravo’s Knight players, i say a very big thank you (for your support) and we promise to do you proud on our forthcoming finals. Bravarian we are.”

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