Living his dream: Olunga collides with Messi in La Liga


Girona's Kenyan forward Michael Olunga reacts during the Spanish league football match Girona FC vs ...
Girona's Kenyan forward Michael Olunga reacts during the Spanish league football match Girona FC vs Sevilla FC at at the Municipal de Montilivi stadium in Girona on September 17, 2017. / AFP PHOTO

Kenyan striker Michael Olunga made his long awaited first start in a Spanish La Liga match on Saturday as his club Girona battled the mighty Barcelona with Lionel Messi also on parade.

Though Olunga was on the losing side as Barcelóna ran out with a 3-0 win, the appearance partly fulfils the dream of the 23-year old striker who just two years ago was playing semi- professional football on the sub-standard Kenyan stadia.

Fast forward, “the Engineer” as he is fondly known is rubbing shoulders with the best football talents on parade.

The former Djurgadens IF striker, who is on loan from Chinese Super League side, Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng was deeply involved in the Saturday game catching Barcelona’s Mascherano in the ankle with the studs but escaped reprimand from the match referee.

Friendly

Barcelona's defender from Argentina Javier Mascherano (L) vies with Girona's defender Jonas Ramalho (C) and Girona's Kenyan forward Michael Olunga during the Spanish league football match Girona FC vs FC Barcelona at the Montilivi stadium in Girona on September 23, 2017. / AFP PHOTO
Barcelona’s defender from Argentina Javier Mascherano (L) vies with Girona’s defender Jonas Ramalho (C) and Girona’s Kenyan forward Michael Olunga during the Spanish league football match Girona FC vs FC Barcelona at the Montilivi stadium in Girona on September 23, 2017. / AFP PHOTO

Since docking in the sunny Spain, Olunga has so far scored two goals for his club which came in a friendly match and he will be looking forward to opening his La Liga account.

By featuring in La Liga, the world’s best league, the lanky Lucky Summer bred Olunga is simply living his dream and proving to youngsters in Kenya that with discipline and hard work there can be no limit to how far they can go.

Towering display

The lanky striker made a leap to Europe when Swedish side Djurgaden came calling with a sweetened  four-year deal in February 2016 after he dazzled the KPL scene in 2015 with towering displays which culminated in him bagging the Most Valuable League Player award as Gor Mahia carted the league trophy unbeaten.

Suitors

In Sweden he had a slow start to life but when he found his scoring boots there was no stopping him as he bagged 12 league goals which attracted the Chinese suitors.

Report by Erastus Muturi

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