FTC: Monster, Rock, and Tank – this is Anderson Esiti
Anderson Esiti, Ferencváros' midfielder is a real fighter. As a child, he kicked the ball on the streets in his hometown until sunset and was much more muscular than his peers.
|Anderson Esiti (Photo: Hédi Tumbász)|
Because of your insane body physique, your nicknames include Monster, Rock, and Tank. Which one do you like the most?
I don't have a favorite one – Anderson Esiti, the 27-year-old three-time Nigerian national team midfielder who came to Ferencváros from Greek club PAOK in the winter, responded to Nemzeti Sport. – It turned out that wherever I got to, they always came up with an apt nickname for me. At the beginning of my career, I was called Black Diamond in Portugal, then Tank, was Rock in Belgium, and when I got to Greece, I was called Monster. Oh, and back then, as a kid in Nigeria, my nickname was Machine.
Were you ferociously strong as a child too?
I didn't look like I do now, but I was bigger than my peers. In the gym, however, I do not use the 100-kg weights but mainly do coordination exercises. It's my genetics.
You were born in Warri. What was life like in the port city?
My parents worked hard so that we could eat three times a day. My siblings and I weren't born with a silver spoon in our mouths; Mom and Dad had to work a lot to make sure we didn't miss out on food. For the boys, football was the day-to-day after-school activity, and I was able to kick the ball on the street until it got dark.
How did you end up in Portugal at the age of 18?
Later, my father took me to the tournaments in the area, and he saw that I was enthusiastic. At one of these cups, a manager noticed me, and I was on a tryout with Leixões a few weeks later. After six months, I found myself in the senior squad. In my first season, I was on the pitch almost all the time in the second division, and then topflight Estoril Praia signed me.
After Portugal, you moved to Belgium and then played in Turkey and Greece. Where did you feel the most content?
Professionally, I have definitely made the most progress in Belgium. I played football in the Belgian league for three years, where the game was the fastest. We always had to fight on the pitch, I really liked the league there. Living in Greece was the best: the weather is pleasant, the food is delicious, and I say this as a homebody who doesn't like going out anywhere. In recent years I would not have had the opportunity anyways as my younger son will be two years old, and the older one is turning four, I spend most of my time with them.
Did they come to Budapest with you?
They are staying in Greece for the time being and we will see how my future develops at the end of the season. I'm on loan to Ferencváros now, but I feel very good here, so I wouldn't mind if I could stay, and my family would move with me.
Is it true that you've scored only one goal, as Göztepe's player in Turkey, in your career so far?
I'm not ashamed. Scoring goals has never been my priority. The fact that I only have one goal doesn't bother me. Of my previous teams, perhaps only PAOK's professional staff encouraged me to help the team with the attacks if I could. The other clubs asked me to stay behind and defend. Fortunately, at Ferencváros, Stanislav Cherchesov does not hold me back either because if I have the opportunity, I can go forward. I wouldn't mind if I could score my second goal soon...
Ferencváros' squad also includes your compatriot, Fortune Bassey. Is your relationship the best with him in the locker room?
I didn't know him before, but before I signed for Hungary, I checked out who my future teammates will be. I saw that there are a lot of African footballers in the squad, and we understand each other well. But I get along well with anyone, that's just how I am.
You play at the home of the Puskás Akadémia on Sunday. Do you expect a tough match?
It won't be easy; our opponent ranks second for a reason. I expect a tough match. We need to get a result that will bring us closer to the league title. All I care about right now is the gold medal!
Translated by Vanda Orosz