Nanor – I want to emulate the footsteps of Lionel Messi

14th September, 2010

Ahead of his debut match for the senior team against Anointed FC, Benjamin Tetteh Nanor spoke to General Manager Dominic Baltisser and Projects Abroad volunteer Michael Golden about how he is finding life in the senior squad at Cantonments FC, and his hopes for the future.

DB: How does it feel to be a senior player?

I see it as a chance. Most of the players who have had successful careers abroad all made their senior debut at a young age. I want to emulate the footsteps of Lionel Messi and Cesc Fabregas who made their debuts for Barcelona and Arsenal at the age of 16. Today is my chance to take my first steps in the senior team.

MG: How long have you been with Cantonments FC?

I first joined the club when it was founded in the year 2000, and I have been with the club ever since.

DB: How did the seniors welcome you into the team? Was it very hard competition, and did they tackle you extra hard in training?

Firstly, they saw it as; "Why should a junior player join them in the seniors?" But later they came to their own mind that it is part of football and they have to take it in good faith. They already knew me when I was playing in the juniors and they see me as a good player, so they think I will have the things to help the team win more matches, so, they take it in good faith.

MG: How is team morale at the moment in the senior team?

At the moment it is very high because we see this match as a winning match for us. Our main objective is to qualify for the second division this season, and I would be very proud to be part of the team which promotes the club to the next level of the competition.

DB: How are you combining school and football at the moment?

It is very difficult because training in the morning, and taking you tiredness to school and trying to concentrate in class is very difficult. But we still need education in our lives because without it we are useless on the football field. We need to know about Maths and English to be able to express ourselves. And other things are important as well, like French. Maybe one day you get a contract in France, it is important to be able to communicate at least 1 or 2 sentences when you get there. So, combining school with football I think is a great strength of Cantonments, and I pray that it continues because it is helping us a lot to express ourselves.

MG: Is it your dream to become a professional footballer?

This is every player’s dream, to be mentioned among the top players in the world, and I know in time God will send me there. I know I have the talent, so if my chance comes and God takes me there I know I can make it as a professional.

DB: How many goals are you going to score in the 2nd round of the league?

Uncountable goals! I pray to God that I can emulate what I have been doing in training this year. I know it won’t be easy but by the help of God – who has been overseeing me since my childhood – I know I can make it in the seniors and score many goals.

In his promise to score "uncountable" goals, Nanor has certainly got off to a good start. In the game against Anointed FC immediately following this interview, he scored a hat-trick in a man of the match performance. We wish him all the best of luck as he continues his journey into senior football!