The Arsenal Beach soccer team were winners in the club category of the recently held Copa Lagos Beach Soccer tournament.

However, the reigning English champions will always remember an Ibadan boy, Yakub Olalekan that showed them ‘pepper’ in what was their maiden visit to Africa and Nigeria by extension.

Olalekan was a pain in the ass of the Gunners and he masterminded the only defeat they suffered at the Copa Lagos tournament.

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Scoring two goals in the 3-2 win, the Ibadan boy was expectedly given the Man-of-the-Match Award expressly.

“I was initially only used to football on the pitch and had no interest in playing soccer on the beach at all until like three years ago.” Olalekan told Bounce Sports.

Olalekan Yakub

It is no coincidence that Olalekan is a man for the big stage as he recalls his maiden outing on the sands was against the Barcelona Beach soccer team.

“The maiden appearance was against Barcelona. People did not get what they expected (thumping), they were leading 5-0 and people were thinking we will be massacred. Glory be to God It ended 6-5 and since then we have been trying our best. I must confess football on the pitch is less difficult compared to on the sands.” Olalekan posited.

Seen as one of the shining lights from the Ibadan center of the Pepsi Academy, Olalekan has absolutely believe in God that he would hit it big in the round leather game.

Speaking on how he and his team rallied to beat the dreaded Arsenal team, Olalekan said: “After losing our first match against Gidi Sharks, we felt bad that we did a meeting a between ourselves that we must bounce back; once bitten twice shy”

It was with that determination we came out and we were able to achieve our aim”

Olalekan who is also getting extra skills as a tailor says football has helped shaped his life a great deal.

“What football has helped changed in my life is numerous; I am a tailor apprentice; I go to training in the morning and resume at work afterwards.” The aspiring football star stated.

Olalekan Yakub

On what the stand of his folks were as he journeyed into playing football

He said: “My parents initially saw football as a waste of time but I usually tell them that If God answers my prayer as far as football is concerned, they will also benefit from it.

“Even though I haven’t hit it big, my parents are already happy; especially my father who is very happy each time he sees or hear his name on TV Radio and the papers, he already agrees with me that the name Olalekan is going places.

He added: “Anywhere I go now, I get my parent’s blessing as they are keen to see the name Olalekan rise more and more.

With his exploit, Olalekan says many children in his neighborhood are now into football.

Still working hard at what he is doing, Olalekan concludes that his dream remains to play for a big club abroad and he is confident that in no distant time, it will be a reality.  

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