Spain-based Super Eagles Star Reflects on a Difficult Year, Vows to Come Back Stronger

Spain-based Super Eagles Star Reflects on a Difficult Year, Vows to Come Back Stronger
Credit: Iconsport

Umar Sadiq had been on an upward trajectory for the last few seasons. The Super Eagles international began to make waves with Segunda Division side, Almeria, where he put the eyes of Nigerian football supporters firmly on himself and his performances.

With 38 goals in two full seasons at Almeria, he played a key role in helping them make it to the Spanish top flight, he represented the Super Eagles at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations and Real Sociedad splashed the cash to sign the 26-year-old for €20 million. Sadiq had only made a handful of appearances for La Real before he suffered a season ending ACL injury, causing his career progress to reach a temporary speed bump. 

Sadiq reflects on difficult spell on the sidelines

In an interview with OmaSports, Sadiq spoke about dealing with the mental side of his injuries and his road to recovery.

“It’s been a difficult season for me,” says Sadiq, speaking about his injury layoff “But finally, I’m back training with the team, and even that feels like a reward. I may not play any games this season, but I’m thankful for this opportunity.”

Speaking on his road to recovery, Sadiq revealed the difficulties involved in handling the monotonous nature of rehabilitation and thanks the club as well as the staff for their unwavering support.

“It has not been easy for me because I used to come to the training ground before everyone, and I have to leave before everyone. Because you know that’s my situation and at the beginning it was hard, and after some time, I got used to it even though sometimes I get bored of doing the same thing. But that’s the process.”

“If you’re hungry for more, you have to do the right thing to come back, and that’s what I’ve been doing even though it has not been easy, but with my teammates, with the coaches, the staff that we have here, they helped me a lot, and this is also another opportunity for me to say thanks to them.”

He also spoke of the effect that his family, particularly his daughter, had on him and how she was one of his biggest motivators while he was hurt.

“You see my daughter; she doesn’t even see the injury? Once I’m home, all she wants is to play. Her enthusiasm motivates me to get better and spend more time with her,” he said. “It highlights the importance of family, and their support has been invaluable throughout this journey.” 

What next for Sadiq after recovery from injury?

Now that he is back in training, he has set his sights on helping his team in the UEFA Champions League next season as well as securing Champions League football for the season beyond that. He revealed his excitement at playing in Europe’s elite competition as well as his aim of repaying the support that has been shown to him by the club during his injury.

“It’s a dream for every footballer,” he said, “I’ll use this time to train and prepare myself to be fully fit. I can’t wait for that opportunity. I want to give my all. I want to continue where I left off and give my best to Real Sociedad. The club has been incredibly supportive, and I want to repay their faith. Our goal is to qualify for the Champions League again.”

This article was most recently revised and updated 12 months ago

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