Home-based Super Eagles striker, Chisom Chikatara, who was impressive at the recently concluded 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) speaks exclusively to Completesportsnigeria.com's IZUCHUKWU OKOSI on his experience at the tournament and his objectives in the Super Eagles as the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers beckon.
The striker popularly called the 'Kolanut Boy' also speaks on his purported move to Wydad Casablanca, his family, his league ambition and how Barcelona's Louis Suarez influences him.
Chisom, you had an impressive African Nations Championship on a personal note, but unfortunately, the team was eliminated in the group stage. What crossed your mind when Guinea defeated your team in your last group game?
Nothing really. We wanted to win, but unfortunately, we didn't. It was painful but I return all glory to God.
You were one of the top scorers of the tournament with four goals. Was that a consolation of sorts for you?
No, not all. Finishing as one of the top scorers of the tournament was never a consolation. In fact, it would have been better if I didn't score four goals and we won the title.
You are the subject of transfer interest from Moroccan clubs, especially Wydad Casablanca. Can you please tell your fans where you will be playing next season?
The offers have been coming and it is good to know that my efforts ae are appreciated by clubs who feel I'm good enough to help them achieve their objectives. I'm still an Abia Warriors player for now though.
The home-based Super Eagles team are still being owed bonuses and allowances. We learnt that affected the team's psyche but couldn't get good deals at least to motivate you?
I have no comments to make about this topic. We just hope for the best in our careers.
How do you see your chances in the Super Eagles that will comprise foreign-based players as the 2017 African Nations Cup and 2018 World Cup qualifiers approach?
It will be my pleasure to play with the 'big boys'. (Laughter). It will be an opportunity I intend making the best of. I'm not scared of the challenges.
What's your say on the upcoming two legged 2017 AFCON qualifiers between Nigeria and Egypt?
Egypt will be difficult, surely, and I don't think there's anybody who doesn't realise how tough those games will be next month (March). But we are ready for that. They are apparently the most difficult team in our 2017 AFCON qualifying group. So both legs of the qualifiers will be hard.
Sunday Oliseh mentioned you as one of the players that he considers good enough to play in the 'main' Super Eagles. How does that make you feel?
I'm happy the coach has confidence in my abilities. I give God all the praises for an opportunity to play at the CHAN.
Was that goal you scored against Niger at the CHA your best goal or have you scored better goals than that?
Yes I have scored a better goal than that (laughter). That was in a league match against Rangers International of Enugu last season in Umuahia.
What is your target in the upcoming season?
To create a new goal scoring record in the league, surpassing those of the previous top scorers!
Which Nigerian striker in and outside Nigeria are your favourites?
Many of them. I have been inspired by my friends and team-mates: Mfon Udoh, Peter Onyekachi, Christian Obiozor, Bolaji Sakin, Tunde Adeniji etc have all influenced my game positively.
And in European football, the striker I learn a lot from is Louis Suarez. There are so many world class strikers in Europe and other parts of the world in top clubs, but Suarez is my favourite.
You are called the 'Kolanut Boy'. For those who may not know: How did you get the nickname?
I am called the 'Kolanut Boy' because the sale of kolanuts was my family's business and I used to hawk it around. That was why they gave me the name.
You hawked kolanuts in the streets of Aba. Was there any embarrassing experience you had like a customer insulting or embarrassing you?
No. I didn't experience any such things. I was polite to my customers and they respected me as well.
Tell us about the Chikatara family: Where is Chisom from, tell us about dad and mom, and your brothers & sisters.
My parents gave birth to six children; four boys and two girls. My sisters' names are Eberechi and Chioma while my brothers are Wisdom, Chibuzor and Ugochukwu. I'm from Amuzukwu Ibeku in Umuahia, Abia State. My mum is late now. I only have my dad and he is well.
The whole of Chikatara family are doing great.
Are you married, and how would you spend the Valentine's Day?
I'm engaged for now, wedding shall come in due time. About the Val, we will know later (laughter).
What is your fiancee's name?
My girl's name is Janet. No, she's my wife-to-be. I wanted to say it more appropriately (laughter).
How do you relax when not working?
I play indoor games or read and write
What kind of books do you read: Romance, thrillers, religious, comedy or educational?
I read educational and comic books a lot. They make my day.
Which musician and actor are your best?
I like Phyno and Olamide a lot. Then I also like watching comedy. I particularly enjoy Akpororo and AY.
What's the best film you've watched?
My best film is the seasonal film, 24. Its full of intrigues and action.
And what's your favourite drink and colour?
My favourite colour is white. My best drink is Coca Cola.
It's been fun speaking with you Chisom, good luck.
I'm delighted too speaking with Completesportsnigeria.com. Well done.