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Name Odion Ighalo
Gender Male
Ethnic Nigerian
Job Nigerian Footballer
Desc xxxx

Affiliation

Org xxxx National Team
Club as Player Manchester United [Loan]
  Shanghai Shenhua
  xxxx

Relationshio

Agent Atta Aneke
  Patrick Bastianelli

2020 02 02 Retrieve

[Odion Ighalo has expressed his delight after sealing a switch to Manchester United on loan from Shanghai Shenhua] It’s a dream come true because since I was a kid I followed and dreamt of Manchester United. But it is a reality now. I cannot say much more now until I get started. It’s been crazy. Obviously, I am happy to be in Manchester first of all. This is a great opportunity for me and I am grateful to God, and to my agent, and the coach who has given me this opportunity to be here. I am happy to be here and to work out with the team and finish very well this season. The plan is to just chill today because I travelled a very long way from Shanghai to Manchester. Today is to just rest and tomorrow we start to work

2020 02 05 Retrieve

[Odion Ighalo has revealed that he took a pay-cut to join Manchester United on loan from Shanghai Shenhua on deadline day] Yeah, it was very dramatic. My agent called me the day before and said Man Utd. I would love to go. A few other clubs had shown interest, I said please, just pick United, if it’s going to be possible. At 11pm in Shanghai, my agent called me [to say] that United want to do the deal, so I woke up that night and started looking for a translator to go to the directors’ room and hit his door and all that. I said: ‘My agent wants to speak to you, United are coming for me, you have to make this happen

So they started talking and discussing. I didn’t sleep throughout that night, because it was going to end at 7am, Shanghai time, and the transfer [window] is going to close there. So, from 11pm, there was paperwork, negotiating and all that, for the loan deal and all that, so we are talking and other teams are calling them, wanting me, but I told my agent that this is what I want. I want to come here. He said you’re going to get a pay-cut to go to United. I said: ‘I don’t care. Make this deal happen. I want to go to United. I don’t care how much is the pay-cut, I know that, make it happen’.

So the director and everybody didn’t know what to say anymore, because I had already made up my mind, so my agent started putting it in order, and, at 5am, we finished. My agent said he’d forwarded all the papers to United, they will confirm for me if everything is okay. I think, around 5-6am, he said everything is okay, it’s done. I was excited. I called my mum and she was happy and crying. This is your dream and all that and I’m happy for you. It was dramatic, I didn’t sleep through, I was very happy that finally, we got the deal done

I’m very happy. First, I want to say thank God for making this happen and it’s just like a dream come true for me, because I know many people used to say when they join a team, they say that they dream of playing for that team. Mine was not the case. I supported the team when I was young. People that know me, even back in Nigeria, and even when I was playing at Watford, my team-mates knew that I loved Man Utd, I support them. When I played against Man Utd that emotion is there, because it is my dream. It is a nice reality, so I’m very happy and I’m looking forward to starting

2020 02 05b Retrieve

[Odion Ighalo says Marcus Rashford might be the best player in Europe right now] These players are great players. Greenwood is a very good player; young, very good left foot, I’ve watched some of his game. Martial is very skilful, he can do so much magic with the ball and Rashford I think is, for me, one of the best, if not the best player in Europe right now. He’s doing well, scoring goals; he’s fast, he has good technique. Unfortunately, he is injured now and hopefully, I am looking forward to playing with him because he is a good player. So, for me, it is just a plus to the team, to work hard with these guys and make sure we end the season very well

[When asked what qualities he can bring to the team after being officially unveiled as a United player on Wednesday] They have a striker that stays mostly in the middle, because Martial likes to come from the side, even Rashford and all that, so you need someone in the middle that can keep the ball, hold the ball, because I’ve watched so many United games. So they need a physicality there up front to keep the ball, to give and to make some movement, which I believe, if everything goes well, I can add to the team

I watch United and some other teams, and I have that feeling of let me go there again and see how it’s going to be, because it’s the best league in the world. Every player would like to play in the Premier League. I’ve done it before and I was looking forward to doing it again. Thank God, Manchester United gave me the opportunity to be able to do it now so I’m looking forward to it

2020 02 08 Retrieve

[Odion Ighalo will not travel to Spain for Manchester United’s warm-weather training camp] Odion will stay in Manchester, because he arrived from China in the last 14 days. Because of the situation in China, we’re not sure if he’d be allowed back into England if he leaves the country again, so he’s staying here working with a personal coach, individual programme and his family then can settle in England as well. That’s a plus. Of course he might have liked to have come with the players and got to know them, but the risk [of potential border restrictions tightening]… we don’t want to take that

Of course, we come back and we kick on. We want to get results. Towards the end now, before this break, we played okay and didn’t concede too many goals. But we didn’t create chances and missed that little bit of spark, I felt. Maybe because of the mental tiredness. Physically, they did really well in every aspects of the games but mentally, now, we kick on

2020 02 15 Retrieve

[Odion Ighalo has vowed to dedicate every goal he scores for Manchester United to his late sister Mary] My sister was a strong United fan. All of us grew up watching Manchester United, we all supported them. Mary’s husband followed Chelsea, while their children were Manchester City and Liverpool fans, but she stayed loyal to United. She always prayed I would sign for United. Even when she came to watch me in the Premier League playing for Watford she hoped I would join United

The painful part for me is that I now have signed for United, but she is not here to see it. However, I know she is up there watching me. That is why I am going to play with her name on my boots, so she is always with me at Old Trafford or in any game for Manchester United. Every goal I score from now until I finish my career will be dedicated to God and to her.

I have written her name on my special white T-shirt and put her name on my boots. I want to show the world she is always with me. It means she can feel me playing at Old Trafford, feel that dream we all prayed for, even though she is not here to see it. But she will be on my feet, assisting me on the pitch

[The former Watford forward feared his move to Old Trafford could have been scuppered by the crisis] I was a bit scared. My agent, Atta Aneke, called me from Norway and said United wanted me, but were looking at another striker because I was in China and there was the coronavirus. I wanted it to happen, to fulfil a lifetime dream, so joining United was more important to me than money

[Ighalo concluded by thanking United fans for their support] I want to thank the fans for all the messages of support since the day I arrived in Manchester. This is the biggest club in the world. I know it’s a new team and a big challenge, but I am going to give my best in every game to make sure we accomplish what we want. God bless all the United fans

2020 02 21 Retrieve

[Odion Igahlo hoping to earn extended Man Utd stay] Of course [I would be willing to extend my stay], should I get the opportunity

[Some suggest Red Devils could look to work with a front two at some stage] That is the decision of the coach. My job is just to work hard every day in training and, when called upon to help the team, I do so

I have played in the Premier League before, I know what is required. I know you have to be very strong and physical, get to hold some balls up for your team to push forwards, so I am working towards that. I am getting better and better. We have good players there. Unfortunately, Rashford is injured, he is a good striker, sometimes he played from the side, so we will have to cope with that. I am happy whenever I am called upon to do anything, I am ready to go

2020 02 27 Retrieve

[Ighalo delighted after opening his Manchester United account] It was a great moment, I have been waiting for this since making my debut. I have it now and it starts my goal career here at the team I have supported since I was a little boy. It is a dream come true and I thank God for that

I promise myself that every goal I score I will dedicate to her [his late sister]. So she is up there watching me and doing well for MUFC

I know some of the guys from before and they are good lads. In the dressing room we have fun together and it’s much easier to gel with the team

The confidence was high, we spoke about that before the game that it’s played at home and the fans are behind us. We had to go all out from the first minute and push to go to the next round and we did. The first goal opened up everything and the red card made it difficult for them, with our attacking and playing at home too. From the start, we worked hard until the last minute

2020 02 28 Retrieve

[Ighalo promises to help Man Utd to brighter future] It feels great, at Old Trafford, hearing the fans singing my name. I’m very grateful for this moment. It’s a moment I will cherish for the rest of my life

The fans see me as one of their own because I came to this team because I want to play and because I supported them since I was young, and I want to do my best to help the team to move forward. They appreciate that and I appreciate them. From the first day I set foot in Manchester, they have been behind me. I promise them I’m going to give my best: win, lose … I don’t care about the circumstances. I’ll keep giving my best

There is transition in life in everything you’re doing. It’s difficult sometimes when the team is losing games; as a fan, you get angry. Now, in the club, I have to give my best to make sure we are winning and getting results. Some games, it’s going to be difficult because other teams are spending more money in the Premier League and in Europe, so it will be more difficult, but this team has young players and, working this way, I think we have a better future

I watched him when I was young. I watched quite a lot of them: Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Ole, Teddy Sheringham. Playing for him now is great for me. I’m very happy. I’m just one of the team. We have to work together. I’m here to contribute. I’m getting better. The league is faster, sharper, I need more strength. I’m getting better every day but I’m not 100 per cent fit

I’m happy because I know a lot of supporters on social media were waiting for this moment, for me to get my first goal. I’ve not seen my phone yet but I know messages have been coming in, so I will thank everyone. Now, the work starts again. I have to keep pushing

[Ighalo celebrated his goal by paying tribute to his sister] I lost my sister in December. She’s a Man Utd fan. I prayed for this moment but unfortunately she’s not here to see me doing that. I promised I’d dedicate it to her if I scored and I’m happy I did that. Wherever she is, she’s happy

2020 03 01 Retrieve

[Ighalo: I’ll give my blood for Man Utd] Of course. This is what I am working for. This is what I dream of and what I dreamt of when I was a kid. Now it is in my hands, so I have to fight for it. I will give my blood to get it. I am still working hard in every training session and doing some extra to make sure I get up to the level. When I’m called upon, I will give my best

It’s been great here. The lads are all great guys. It’s a happy dressing room. The coach and everyone around the club make me feel at home. I’m really enjoying my time here. We have quality players in the team. Martial is on fire, scoring goals. Bruno [Fernandes] is doing well, [Daniel] James too, everybody from the goalkeeper to the top is working really hard. So, I think this is very good for the team. We need to keep the momentum going and keep winning games and fighting in every match, to make sure we get our objectives at the end of the season

It was 2-2 and I played my first game in the Premier League – and scored a goal! I was happy. If I have the opportunity to go back again there, it will be very good. Every game, from now on, is going to be tough for United because it’s the second half of the season. Some teams are fighting to stay in the league, some are fighting to go to the Champions League and some into Europe. Every game is going to be tough from now on. But this team is a big team. We have what it takes to win games, to win games home and away

2020 03 05 Retrieve

[Odion Ighalo admits Wayne Rooney is his idol] Wayne Rooney is always an idol, like many players at United. He’s a good guy. He is a fighter on the pitch, he fights until the end, from the start until the finish. He’s somebody I’ve seen that never gives up in the game, and he’s a good goalscorer. A little chance, a little space, he’s going to score. He can shoot from outside, he can score in the box, he can score from anywhere. He’s a great player. Good techniques, he has a good shot, good runs and, when Derby County have Wayne Rooney in their team, it gives them more confidence because he has done a lot in football and in England

I watched Man Utd a lot, their rivalry with Arsenal for the FA Cup. So it’s a great thing watching it and now playing in the FA Cup, which I did with Watford but now, hopefully, I want to try to go far and win it, if possible for me, to crown my success here with the team

2020 03 05b Retrieve

[Ighalo confident after Man Utd double in FA Cup win] I am happy. I want to congratulate the team for a hard fought game. As long as my team-mates believe in me, the boss believes in me and the fans believe in me, I just have to keep going. I don’t care what anyone says.

I am happy to be around this game team, great lads and great manager, I am happy and we are working hard. We know we need to win the game to go through to do important things this season and end the season well. The start was not the best we can do but after 20-25 minutes we got into the game. I used my strength and I am happy the ball went in. For the second, they blocked it then there is nothing I can do apart from shoot. I had another shot but did not connect well but the most important thing is that we won. We want to keep the momentum going and make sure we do great this season

2020 03 06 Retrieve

[Ighalo himself is determined to continue delivering for the Red Devils with the club undefeated in every match he’s been involved in to date] I am happy to be around this game team, great lads and great manager, I am happy and we are working hard. We know we need to win the game to go through to do important things this season and end the season well. The start was not the best we can do but after 20-25 minutes we got into the game. I used my strength and I am happy the ball went in. For the second, they blocked it then there is nothing I can do apart from shoot. I had another shot but did not connect well but the most important thing is that we won. We want to keep the momentum going and make sure we do great this season.

2020 03 08 Retrieve

[Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo says moving to Old Trafford really was a dream come true for him] I know many footballers say that, when they sign for a team, this is my dream team. Respect to that but my own case was different

Anyone who knows me back from when I was young knows me and my siblings supported Man Utd, we would pay to go and watch Man Utd play. In Nigeria, you have to have sports channels to watch that but not everyone can afford it. My parents couldn’t afford that so you have to pay a viewing centre to watch that. We would pay to watch that

I grew up in Ajegunle, which is like a ghetto and it was very difficult there. When it would get to the weekend, everybody was excited because they wanted to watch Man Utd play

You start saving the money they would give you to go to school. You would eat at home and they would give you some pocket money to go to school and maybe eat lunch there. But you would be saving it bit by bit and when you get to the weekend, everybody is ready

Back then, they also had an association of Man United fans so there would be a meeting once a week to talk about Man Untd, like a little fan forum. When I remember all that now, I laugh and say: ‘Wow, from Ajegunle to the Theatre of Dreams.’ It’s a great moment for me and I’m enjoying every bit of it. It is the happiest moment of my life, playing for my dream team, the team I supported when I was young

2020 03 16 Retrieve

[Ighalo opens up on fulfilling boyhood dream at Old Trafford] When you say those kinds of things (about playing for United when he was a child), people say ‘are you crazy?’ because back then you don’t even know what the future holds. First you just want to go outside the country to start playing – even for a small team, not even to talk of going to United. But my support for the team was great. I tried to see every game of United every weekend if possible. I still remember those memories. I never imagined it was going to turn out this way. Even when I played in the Premier League for Watford, I never thought this was going to happen

I watched Andy Cole growing up. Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke, they were two strikers at United who used to score goals. They were very strong and scored a lot of goals

2020 03 20 Retrieve

[Ighalo describes euphoria of playing for Man Utd four years after first Old Trafford outing with Watford] When did I first set my eyes on it? It was in 2013 when I came to see the stadium, to visit it and go around, taking pictures outside the stadium. The first time I played there was for Watford in 2016. Manchester United is a big club. When I saw that, I was amazed. I was outside the stadium and I took pictures. Then I played there with Watford, against United, and it made me even more happy. I came out of the stadium and stood looking at it. This is the stadium you have been watching back home when you were young and now you’re playing here for Watford against Man Utd. It feels good. And even now, playing for United? It’s making even greater moments for me

[When asked how Nigerian fans tune in to watch the Red Devils on a weekly basis] It’s good – you have to go to an event centre and pay to watch the games. Any time United were playing, I’d go with my siblings. You’d have to pay to watch the games and now people are watching me and United. It is a big fan-base and it is growing even much bigger. Everybody is sending me messages saying they can’t wait to see me and watch the United games. I am very happy about that.

2020 03 21 Retrieve

[Ighalo refuses to address Man Utd future amid ‘global challenge’ posed by coronavirus] Talking about other things now will not only be selfish but terribly insensitive. I don’t even think about it. The challenge before us now is not a football one, but a global one. You can’t put football before health challenges. What matters right now is to keep safe and pray for those battling with the virus to recover fully. This is another reminder for us to share love in this world. Continue to show kindness to one another because a problem facing one is a problem to all

We are all working individually away from the training ground and staying fit at home. Of course I miss football, like other players and fans. But lives matter. Staying safe and alive is our biggest game in the world now - and we all have a role to play in it. Football has to take a back seat all over the planet at the moment and that is very understandable. Coronavirus is affecting all countries, across all continents. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this pandemic and to the families who have lost loved ones. But I know we will beat coronavirus and I urge people to remain positive

2020 03 24 Retrieve

[Ighalo’s Man Utd loan deal to end in May with Nigerian open to permanent switch] Talking about other things now will not only be selfish but terribly insensitive. I don’t even think about it. The challenge before us now is not a football one, but a global one

2020 04 06 Retrieve

[Ighalo drops Man Utd future hint as loan star looks to prove himself as a beast] Seeing the club from the outside you don’t know how big it is. But when you are inside you know how big the club is.

I am inspired by the way the club is structured, I am inspired by the direction of the club, I am inspired by the development of the young players and how they are coming through from the grassroots to the first team.

I am inspired by a lot of things at United, I am really inspired and I am looking forward to spending more time with the team

[On how he is perceived, Ighalo added] Many people would say he is a gentle guy but inside he is a beast. I am a fighter, I never give up, I go for what I believe I can achieve and I give my best, 100 per cent, no matter the outcome of the game, win or lose, I always give 100 per cent from the beginning

2020 04 10 Retrieve

[Odion Ighalo has revealed that he has not yet received an offer from Manchester United to extend his stay at the club beyond the 2019-20 season] There is no offer on the table yet. Because the season is still on and I’m yet to finish my loan deal. I don’t just take decisions alone in my life. I have a principle and I have a guideline for everything I do. I always pray to God to direct me

I have seen so many tweets about this. I have seen so many people going crazy, [saying] ‘go back to China’, some say stay with Man United

Have you seen me say a word? I don’t have anything to say. When the season’s finished and I get two offers from the two teams, then I will sit and think about it, pray about it and whatever God says I should do, I will go with that

I don’t just sit down and take decisions, and I don’t get carried away with whatever people say. I came to Manchester United to play for a pay cut because I wanted to. So anything could happen, but I want the season to finish and my loan to finish. Then I will see everything I have

You don’t just rush and do things: ‘I’m going here, I’m going here’. I have to sit down and finish the season well, sit down with my agent, see what’s on the ground: A, B, C, D, is on the ground. Okay we have to pick

2020 04 11 Retrieve

[Odion Ighalo believes a midfield partnership between Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes could restore Manchester United to their former glories] He is working hard to get back to fitness and imagine when we have Pogba and Bruno in the midfield, then you will see a different team – [Marcus] Rashford coming back also. Manchester United is going to be great again, winning games week in, week out. He’s a great player and it’s going to be a privilege to play with him

Bruno is a fantastic player. I played with him in 2013-14 at Udinese. We’ve not seen the best of him yet in the Premier League. Once Bruno Fernandes settles down in England you will see what that guy can do. He has vision, he wants the ball always. He can shoot, he can score goals, he is very intelligent. Before the ball comes, he is a step ahead to know what he wants to do. In times to come you are going to see what he can do in the Premier League, even better than what he is doing now

[In terms of his own future, Ighalo feels now is not the time to worry about a permanent United deal] You know I have a loan deal until the end of the season. Now it is for us to finish the season well, for me to do well and score goals. But even me as a person cannot start talking about a contract when you don’t know when you’re going to resume. I’ve been around the club for a few months and everything is working perfectly well for me and the team is going fantastically. We’ll see how it goes

[Even if his United career turns out to be brief, Ighalo will have the memory of a thunderous and technically brilliant Europa League strike against LASK to look back on and cherish in the colours of a club he has supported since childhood] Yeah, for now I would say it is the best goal in my career. After that goal, I did not know how I scored that goal. My team-mates were showing me a video and going ‘wow, wow, wow’ and I was asking myself, ‘How did you do that?’

2020 04 13 Retrieve

[Odion Ighalo says Wan-Bissaka is like rubber, the way he bends!] The guy is one of the best right-backs. His waist is like rubber, the way he bends and steals the ball. I think this guy is going to get injured and then next second he’s going again. He’s very difficult to get past. He’s a very, very good player. His work-rate is amazing

[Pressed on whether he has tangled with Wan-Bissaka in training] I’m a striker, so I want to stay in the middle

2020 04 19 Retrieve

[Ighalo tips Bruno Fernandes for greatness at Man Utd] He is intelligent, he has foresight, he has vision. He sees what he wants to do with the ball before it comes to him. You can see the understanding between him and Martial, you can see the understanding between me and him, so he’s a very good player. And he’s not even settled down yet! He comes from a very different place to the Premier League. When that guy has settled down, he’s going to take the Premier League by storm

Anthony, since I came, he’s been scoring goals and doing so well, fighting a lot. He is a great player, he has great technique. He can do anything with the ball and he’s been doing fantastically well. I just hope he keeps going and scoring more goals and we end the season very well. Watching it from outside it’s different. You only watch games every weekend and see how skilful he is. But I train with this guy every day, you understand? Every blessed day I train with him, and it’s incredible what he does in training, do you understand? He does it so easy, you know? Sometimes in games it’s difficult to do it, sometimes you face a tougher opponent but this is someone who every day you see in training and say wow, he’s a good player

2020 05 02 Retrieve

[Ighalo tips Greenwood for big future at Man Utd] He’s very young and exciting. Very good player, left and right, he can shoot and score goals. He’s a player for the future for Man Utd. He’s doing well now but in two or three years he is going to be doing very, very well.

[Ighalo was also quizzed about Paul Pogba] He’s a nice guy. A good player. He laughs with everybody. He’s a very good guy. Hopefully he will be back soon from his injury to hit the ground running

2020 05 05 Retrieve

[Odion Ighalo believes working with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United will add even more goals to his game] When I moved to United, I learned a few things from him. During games, there was even a game I scored in and he said ‘You should have scored more if you do this or do that’. I thought about it and I know if I would have done what Ole said, I would have scored more. He says: ‘You’re a striker, take the chance’. So I’ve learnt a lot from him, in terms of positioning and how to do one or two things in a game. As a striker, it’s good when a striker is coaching you. And, as a striker, you benefit even more than the defenders. He is someone who has scored goals for a long time and has done a lot for United, so it’s good to learn from him

[Ighalo added on Solskjaer, having previously spent time in Norwegian football with Lyn] He’s a big player [in Norway]. Playing for United is amazing - for me, it’s the biggest team in the world. In your country, they are going to value it, like the way I am in Nigeria. In Norway, everyone rates him so highly because he did a lot for United, and he’s Norwegian. He was always on TV when I was there.

[on Solskjaer] He’s a very calm guy; he’s a good guy. Outside of football, he’s a good guy. When everybody is laughing in training, he joins in and he talks to us, but, when it’s the game, you see a serious face. We have to do this, we have to do that - then it’s business time

2020 05 08 Retrieve

[Odion Ighalo has said he hopes to extend his loan with Manchester United as it nears its expiration date of May 31] I would like to finish the season if it’s possible. I was in good form, good shape, scoring goals and now we’ve stopped now for over a month. I’ve given it my best and hopefully, we’ll come back to play. The team had a good momentum before the pandemic started. At the moment I’m on loan, and this will cut short my time at the club. The club, myself, every footballer is going through a lot because we can’t do what we love and what we know how to do best, so we’re just thinking about that for now and to finish the season before we start thinking about the contract. I just want everyone to be safe and see what the future holds

2020 06 02 Retrieve

[Odion Ighalo is determined to help Manchester United push higher up the Premier League table after expressing his delight at extending his loan deal] I’m really happy. It’s a dream for me to be here. I’m buzzing and ready to go. The last few days have been difficult as there have been different talks about it but now I’m really happy so I need to concentrate fully. I’m here until the end of January, so it’s good for me. I decided I want to stay and I’m happy. Since the first day I arrived, I made it clear that I wanted whatever it takes to continue that work. It was very difficult, there were some talks, but I’m happy they finally agreed and got everything done. Everything is official now. I’m sending thanks to the Shanghai president and director for the support because they know this is what I want. So I’m thanking them and I’m happy that this has happened. They wish me all the best too. Like I’ve said, since I was young, I’ve been supporting this club and playing for it is a dream. Now I’ve extended my loan, it makes it even more clear and I’m committed as I know, in my head, I’m here until January ending. I just want to work hard and enjoy it, support the team and do whatever I can to make us go higher and higher

It’s different from where I’m coming from and different to where I was before. It’s something I’ve never seen before and it makes me wonder if I’m dreaming or it’s reality.

2020 06 04 Retrieve

[Odion Ighalo claims to see shades of Robin van Persie in Manchester United youngster Mason Greenwood] I will start with Greenwood. He’s a very good player. I think I used to see with my eyes he’s looking like Robin van Persie. He can shoot with both feet, he’s a very intelligent player, young and is not afraid. Anto [Martial] is a very skilful, good striker who scores goals. Marcus [Rashford] always wants the ball. He can run behind defenders. He can come and get the ball to feet and shoot from any angle. These guys are very good, very young guys and I’m grateful to be playing with this set of strikers.

I think it’s more beneficial for us strikers because we have a former striker as coach. I know that. Even in some games we play, he calls you to talk to you. Like I remember at the Derby game, I scored two goals and he called me to say: ‘You’re the striker. You’re supposed to score three goals in this game! It’s important. I needed to shoot. I had Juan Mata who called me and I was rolling the ball back. He said: ‘No, as a striker, in that place, you should shoot. Always try to shoot to the goal. It doesn’t matter if the keeper touches it, aim for your target and shoot. So I benefit a lot from him - the way he talks in training and the way he wants me to move and to keep the ball and all that. It’s very good.

2020 06 06 Retrieve

[On-loan Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo says that the Old Trafford club are yet to see the best of him] When I signed, a lot of people doubted my ability. I never doubted myself and I knew what I could add to the team and I think I can still do more. People have not seen my best because I came in and my sharpness and fitness wasn’t there, but I’m getting much better and I hope to finish the season really well. For now, I just want to continue living my dream

[He admits, however, that he was surprised when the Red Devils came calling] I thought it was a joke. I was playing in Shanghai. That was against me. Would a club as a big as United be looking in China for a striker? That was against me. My age. That was against me. There was a pandemic in China. That was against me. I said no this is a joke. Later when it got serious, I thought: only when I fly to Manchester will I believe it

[Ighalo has yet to have the opportunity to play alongside Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba, both of whom were injured] I’m very excited. Seeing them from outside is different to training with them. Pogba is back, he’s doing very well, he’s strong, he’s fit. Marcus is exceptional, a very talented player. I can’t wait to play with these guys

2020 06 06b Retrieve

[Odion Ighalo on his teammate] Everybody is looking good. Running, working hard and playing football. Little two-a-sides and doing some ball work. Everyone is getting better and better. Everyone is back, even Paul is back training normally and Rashy is back training as normal. Everyone is training normally and all that, so the squad is full and everyone is ready, I think.

2020 06 06c Retrieve

[On-loan Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo has vowed to walk off the pitch if he is racially abused again and a referee takes no action against the culprit] If it happens to me I would report it to the referee and see what they do, but if they don’t take action about it then I’m going to walk off because it should not be done to any player or anyone in the world. In one game in China I got called all sorts of names and after the game, I didn’t shake his hand. I walked straight into the dressing room, I was angry, I reported it to the FA. I didn’t press forward with it, I just let it go because I’m just this kind of guy. I don’t like to drag issues out. But I don’t think it should be condoned in any country

Nobody should condone racism. We are all human. Despite the colour of our skin, we are all the same, we live in the same world, the same life. I don’t condone racism, but at the same time, I don’t condone riots. It didn’t start today, it’s not going to end today. It’s going to take time. We are hoping this situation can change the narrative and make it more limited. It’s going to reduce it to a minimum. We are fighting now so that for the next generation it will be cut off, finally. We have to start from the younger generation, educate them, let them see that all humans are the same. We should fight for humanity not colours

2020 06 30 Retrieve

[Ighalo wants to keep making Man Utd history after matching 95-year record] I’m very happy because it’s a great achievement for me. I think my name is being in the book in United’s history and I’m very happy for that. Especially as, in the game on Saturday, we won and got to the semi-final. That was the most important thing as it was a difficult game, so scoring and winning the game makes it even greater for me. I’m happy with this achievement, it’s a bit of history made and I hope to keep adding more to it

[The challenge now, with silverware and a top-four finish on the line, is to maintain those standards through to the end of the season] It’s tough but this is what it is. This is the job. We don’t have any other jobs so we are happy to do it. We have to keep doing it. It’s a tough one after 120 minutes two days ago. We’ve just finished training and are getting ready to fly down to Brighton. It’s a tough game on Tuesday evening but we don’t have any excuses. We’re only going there to win. The manager will probably rotate the team and bring in fresh legs so that we can keep going. It’s one of the advantages of having a big squad, having players ready to come in to change the game and come in to play in any position, so it’s really good for us