|Org||xxxx National Team|
|Club as Player||Manchester United|
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 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 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