By China Acheru
If you had called Brown Ideye, the forgotten man of Nigerian and maybe World football, you may not have been wrong because he was.
From a promising career at Nigeria’s Ocean Boys in 2007 to being part of Nigeria’s U20 team to the World Cup in 2007.
The same year (2007) he played at the FIFA U20 World Cup, he had moved to Neuchatel Xamax in Switzerland where played fifty-six games and scored twenty-three times in a two and half year period.
He then moved on to France with Sochaux in the winter of 2009/ 10 season and in one and half seasons he managed twenty goals from fifty-eight matches and was a late inclusion to the 2010 World Cup team after John Mikel Obi copped an injury.
Ideye actually got to wear the number 10 shirt though he didn’t get to play a game.
But things came tumbling down
Brown Ideye’s move to West Bromwich Albion in England came at a time he had won the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria in 2013, then played in the FIFA Confederations Cup before missing out of the World party in 2014.
A sorry time at West Bromwich Albion saw him move to Greece with Olympiakos where he won the League title, a career first for him and then he moved on to China with Tianjin Teda.
At Teda, he didn’t get much playing time and was loaned to Malaga and then he spent a full season out of football before the move to Aris Thessaloniki came in the summer of 2019 where he has already played two games in the Europe League Qualifiers.
“It really feels amazing because no one will like to stay out for that long. Coming back and being active once again is really good and for me, it is one of those things I have been dreaming of. Aris gave me a chance to come back and continue my career,” Ideye told NigerianFootballer.com.
“For sure I missed playing football. No player wants to stay away for that long especially when you know you are fit and not injured. Certainly, I’m happy to be back,” He said.
A return to Greece with Aris
After the six months loan deal at Malaga in January to June of 2018, Ideye returned to Teda where he was still out of favour and just continued to bid his time, staying away for one full season before the Aris deal was brought to him.
“I knew about the team. I knew some players in the team already. I got a call from the president himself, via the agent that contacted me who said the president wanted to speak to me. He told me what they needed from me and I told him what I needed.
“He said he would speak to the coach and get back to me which he did. The coach agreed that I should come despite the fact that I had not played for one year but would use the pre-season games to put me in shape,” Brown told NigerianFootballer.com how he signed with Aris.
Aris is not the biggest club that Ideye has played with, but the Lagos, Nigeria born striker does not mind.
“When I studied the team from the games they played last season I saw that I could fit in and enjoy playing here.
“Yes they do not have big names like some teams in Greece, but they have fighting spirit and togetherness and this is the kind of place I want to be in. So I agreed to be offered the deal that they proposed. I knew I wanted to get my career back on track so Aris would be a good place to showcase my game.
“I have been in Greece before so it would be a good place to come back, get my career back on track and see how it goes. These things come gradually so I just have to focus on doing my job and get ready for the season which has begun with the Europa.”
Two games, scorecard?
Aris was drawn against Cypriot side, AEL Limassol in the Europa League Qualifiers and Ideye featured in both games, 0-0 at home and a 1-0 win on the road, providing the assist for the early penalty goal scored.
His goals records show he has averaged a goal every three games in his club career and Aris, according to Ideye may not be different.
“It has been just two competitive games and all I can say is that I have to keep working hard. The goals will come by God’s grace. I just have to keep working hard and listen to instructions from the coach and do what he wants me to do on the pitch.
“This is why I am still starting for the team. I am not thinking of goals right now because they will come. So what is the point of putting pressure on myself by setting targets?
“I have scored in every club I played for so Aris will not be different. The fans know me and what I can do. Remember I was away for one full year without football. It affected me but I believe I will pick up and come back to myself soon,” Brown enthused.
Like Brown always says, “I am a fan of football, I live for football and I love playing football.”
Aris Thessaloniki is no Dinamo Kyiv nor are they West Bromwich Albion, but they will be a good way to relaunch after the nightmare that was Tianjin Teda.