Rilwan Salawu

Former Nigeria U20 invitee Rilwan Salawu has revealed exclusively to that the highest point of career remains his invitation to the Nigeria U20s in 2008 by coach Ladan Bosso.

The Belmopan Bandits of Belize midfielder said it will be a greater achievement to play for Eagles as he targets CONCACAF title.

He talked about is career in the past, now and in the future.

SCORENIGERIA: How did your career kick start?

RILWAN SALAWU: I started playing youth soccer in Brooklyn, New York later I went on to play Collegiate soccer. After that, I was called to Nigeria U20 in 2008 by Coach Ladan Bosso and that was the beginning of it.

Where did you start professionally? 

That was Maxbees FC of Ghana in 2010.

How did you feel when you were called up to Flying Eagles?

That still remains one of my greatest accomplishment as a footballer because I wasn’t expecting it. It was God’s plan for me.

What happened that you did not make the championship final cut?

Honestly I got called up in June, I was turning 21 in December and the tournament was in September. That was why I couldn’t make the squad. I was at the training camp throughout.

Where have played club football before now?

I played in Turkey for Kurtalanspor and Bulancakspor. I played for Kjllerup IK in Denmark. I also featured for Philadelphia Fury in the USA.

What are your targets with Belmopan Bandits in Belize?

To help the club win the league so as to qualify again for Concacaf Champions League and put myself in position to move on to next level for different experience.

Do you ever think of doing something apart from Soccer?

I played Basketball in the most competitive high school league in Brooklyn. I was recruited to play in university for basketball, but went back to soccer in the University. I’m also good at writing poetry.

What motivate your decision to play soccer?

Although I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, I was born in Surulere, Lagos so I have always around football playing in the streets. It became realistic when I was picked up to play in the Pepsi league at the national stadium, Surulere and from there my lovely parents supported me uptill now.

Who are your role models?

In football, Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha and Stephen Appiah are my role models, but in other aspects Tupac Shakur and Malcolm X are my models.

Name your favourite club.

Chelsea FC, I love the club.

Do you still dream of playing for Nigeria or USA?

Yes, it’s always been my childhood dream to put on the green and white jersey. I still feel and believe if I get call up for friendly before they depart for Russia, I will shock the world. Being a dual citizen of USA as well, it will be positive if that happens to as well. I am open to Eagles and USA call ups.

Which teams do you see making it to the semi-finals at Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup?

I pick Nigeria, France, Belgium and Germany for the last four in Russia.


By Olusola Alao


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