Kenyan striker Michael Olunga speaks of his joy at making La Liga, Girona history with Spanish hat-trick
Posted: 18 January 2018 Time: 15:06
Kenyan striker Michael Olunga made history last weekend as he became the first Kenyan to score the in LaLiga when he bagged a hat-trick in Girona’s 6-0 win over Las Palmas.
The 23-year-old forward, who replaced Christian Stuani in the 46th minute, scored in the 58th, 69th and 79th minutes to also become the first Girona player to score a hat-trick in Spanish top-flight history.
La Liga sat down with him and he bared his mind on his historic achievement.
Q: You made history as the first Kenyan to score in the LaLiga and also the first Girona player to score a hat-trick in LaLiga history, how do you feel?
Olunga: First of all, I’d like to thank God for enabling me to achieve this feat, and I’m really grateful for such an achievement. More so, it’s just a matter of hard work and determination and believing in your dreams, I also want to thank my team-mates for helping me to achieve this and the coaches, Girona fraternity, I just want to continue working hard and I’m sure we will be celebrating more of this.
Q: You are on loan from the Chinese Super League, how would you describe LaLiga?
Olunga: Of course I like to play in the LaLiga, it’s the best league in the world. Here you learn from great players, you are playing [against] great players like Messi, Ronaldo, big teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid, it’s a good step for any player and it’s a dream come true for me to play in such a league and I just want to thank each and every one that has made this possible.
Q: How has your experience in the City of Girona been?
Olunga: I like Girona, the city is really beautiful, it’s a quiet city, a small city, the people are friendly, the culture is okay, it’s been a really good experience for me and I have really enjoyed it so much. The weather is good, the people are friendly it really makes me feel at home.
Q: How is your relationship with your team mates, especially the other Africans at the club?
Olunga: I like the African boys because most of them speak English, especially Larry Kayode, he is my good friend. Also, Bono and Farid (Boulaya), they have been my good friends, my relationship with them is really good because we try to motivate each other, for players coming from Africa it’s not easy to make your way to the top level, you just have to work really hard and they have been really supportive, we support each other, we have a really tight bond among the African players.
Q: It’s a World Cup year, how would you rate the chances of the five African teams participating at the World Cup in Russia?
Olunga: The World Cup is a great stage for each and every team to prove their level in terms of football, I believe in the African boys, we have learnt from past experiences and we are really going to rally behind the countries representing us, we just hope that it can much more better for our African boys this year. I believe we have a chance to reach the latter stages of the competition, the semi-finals or the quarter-finals. Let’s just give them the support they need and they are going to represent us well.
Q: LaLiga has a partnership with the Kenyan Premier League and just three years ago, you were playing in that league for Gor Mahia. Do you think there are players in the KPL who can follow in your footsteps and play in LaLiga soon?
Olunga: Yes! Kenya is a country that is growing in terms of football, I believe there is a lot of potential and young talent in Kenya, it’s just a matter of hard work and determination. For us players (African players) in LaLiga, we really have to try to give them a reason to show more games in African Countries. There are a lot of young talents in Africa, in Kenya and they need to be tapped. I believe there is a lot of potential in Kenya, I played in Gor Mahia three years ago and now I’m in LaLiga, we have so many other Olungas in Kenya, it’s just a matter of hard work and believing in yourself and I’m we will export more talent to the LaLiga.
Q: Finally, a message for your fans and fans of LaLiga all over Africa
Olunga: I want to thank everyone who has supported me through this journey, the Kenyan fraternity, the African fraternity and my fans from all over the world, I just want to say thank you and continue watching Girona in the LaLiga, I’m just going to continue working hard and striving to make you happy. Thanks once again, I really appreciate it.