He’s been rated Nigeria’s most exciting young player. Nigerian top football talent Ahmed Musa, almost 19 years old, is now playing at Dutch football club VVV-Venlo, where he has worked since 2010. In an exclusive interview, Musa talks to Radio Netherlands about his hometown, the Nigerian city of Jos.
by Sophie van Leeuwen and Eliott Sommade
Musa started his career playing for the local club Juth in Jos, in the center of Nigeria. Jos is famous for its violent religious clashes between Christians and Muslims. In the past ten years, thousands of people have been killed.
According to young soccer talent Musa, the clashes are destroying football: “Both football teams of Jos have been demoted to the second division. There were two teams from Jos playing in the first division. But right now the two teams are down.”
Jos on the reserve bench
Because there is a crisis in Jos most of the players don’t want to come and play, says Musa. “People are fighting. Somebody from another place will be very fearful for his own life because of the crisis in Jos. If soccer players don’t like to play for the team, the team doesn’t have enough quality players!”
But in the world of football, says Musa, religion is not, or should not be, an issue. “In football you can say he is Muslim and he is Christian. In football there is no religion. That’s why I love football. You have to be there as a team and work together.”
“I’m from a Muslim family but my mum is a Christian. That’s why for me being Muslim or Christian doesn’t make any difference.”
Heart in Nigeria
Right now, Musa lives in the Netherlands. But he’s also a member of the Nigeria national football team. When he goes back to Nigeria, he’s scared to return home.
“When I go back to Nigeria, I can’t go to Jos. I have to go to another city because I don’t like crisis. It’s too dangerous for me because I am so popular. I can’t stay in that place. It’s dangerous for me. I am a football player and I don’t know who is my enemy!”
“Right now I am planning to take my family out of there. To Kano I think, where I played before I came to VVV Venlo. Kano is just three hours north from Jos, it’s not too far.”
Back in Nigeria, he loves to watch Dutch football, especially Ajax. But his big hero is Christiano Ronaldo. And of course Jay-Jay Okocha.
One day Musa will return to his country : “I would like to go back to my country and play. But not now… When I can take time off, I’ll go back to my country and play football…”