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Olunga: Robin Van Persie is my role model


Michael Olunga has singled out ex-Netherlands forward Robin Van Persie as the footballer he looks up to.

The Harambee Stars forward, currently attached to Qatar’s Al Duhail SC, has, also listed the English Premier League as his favourite competition while retaining his intent to one day compete in it.

Robin Van Persie was my role model,” he told beIN Sports.

“I feel I learnt something from van Persie and I can transmit it to the young future generations that are looking up to me. I also hope that I can continue to give more people hope not only in Kenya but also in Africa both on the pitch and outside the pitch.

Van Persie starred as a lethal forward both for Arsenal and Manchester United in the English Premier League. He won the EPL title with Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson and also enjoyed stints at Fenerbeche in Turkey and Feyenoord in his home country. He was an integral part of the Netherlands team that finished second at the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa.

Incidentally, Van Persie was also left-footed as Olunga is. The Flying Dutchman, as he was cheekily referred to, was described by his former teammate Cesc Fabregas as more lethal in attack than France legend Thierry Henry.

Olunga is, meanwhile, set to feature for his new club in the Fifa Club World Cup competition which begins on Thursday with a game against Al Ahly.

“Playing in Fifa Club World Cup gives hope to the young players in Kenya and across Africa. They can compete at the highest level of football and compete with the best teams in the worked.

“And if I can be able to play then it means that impossible is nothing. If you work hard, be consistent and have patience then you never know what is written for you as a player.

“It is going to be a big moment for me and I hope it can represent the people who are behind me.”

Should Al-Duhail see off Al Ahly, they will face Bayern Munich in the semi-final and the striker has said that would be a big dream for him and his teammates.

“It is every player’s dream to be at the semi-final of Fifa Club World Cup. Beating Al Ahly and facing Bayern Munich is a dream for everyone in our dressing room,” the Harambee Stars forward explained.

“It is going to be a big moment if we can achieve the fete and compete against the best European club of last season.

“We cannot skip the fact that we have to play Al Ahly, and you cannot prepare for something that you do not know it is going to happen. But I can say for sure we are preparing hard for the Al Ahly game and it is going to be a big test for us.

“I know each player is yearning for the next phase. As the coach said, we have to plan for the job that is in front of us and later if we can progress we can see how to approach the [Bayern Munich] game.”

Olunga has so far featured in three games for the Qatari champions and scored a hat-trick against Al Ahli in the Round of 16 of the Emir Cup.