Lyon star Gift Orban narrates fight against poverty in Africa

Lyon star Gift Orban narrates fight against poverty in Africa

Lyon forward Gift Orban is gradually making a name for himself in the French Ligue 1 after completing a reported €13 million (about 22 billion naira) move from Gent in January.

Orban’s rise to stardom did not come on a platter of gold as he fought his way through challenges like hunger in Nigeria to achieve his football dream.

The 21-year-old made his way to Europe after he was scouted by agents from Norwegian club Stabaek in November 2021 and he made his professional debut at club before leaving for Gent in 2023.

During his brief stint in Belgium, Orban set a record for the fastest hat-trick in UEFA club competitions within 3 minutes and 25 seconds in March 2023 and he went on to score 20 goals in all competitions in 2022-23 season.

Although he is yet to break his Ligue 1 duck after seven appearances, the Nigeria forward scored his first goal for Les Gones in a French Cup win over Lille on February 2.

When asked about his struggles with poverty in Nigeria, Orban told L’Equipe; “I can’t explain it because you can’t understand. You were born in Europe, it’s not like being born in Africa. If you’re poor in France, the state can help you, charities can help you and take care of you.

“In Africa, no one gives you anything and you die of hunger. That’s why we all want to play football.

“There is poor in Europe and poor in Africa. You can’t compare, it’ll never be the same. You need to have lived it like I have. You get up in the morning and you find nothing to eat, don’t ask me to go into detail.

“Where I grew up, if you’re in a poor family, life is impossible. That’s what gives you determination, you don’t want to relive that. You had to find food every day. Now, I want to succeed in life in order to be able to help.”

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