Bartholomew Ogbeche has been one of the best players in the country ever since he joined the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) back in the 2018-19 season. In his four years in the league, he has played for four teams and has scored a record-breaking 49 goals, which makes him the top goal scorer in Hero ISL history!
Progressing up the ranks in the Paris Saint-Germain FC youth system and then going on to play in numerous leagues across the globe, Ogbeche has a wealth of experience and knowledge of his own ability that has helped him perform at the very best level.
From hiring personal physios to training during the off-season, this goal-scoring prowess does not come easy and the Nigerian is the perfect role model for young players in the Hero ISL. “It’s a way of life for me, right from when I was 13 or 14 years old to now, it became a culture. Once the season finishes, I just keep going”, said Ogbeche in an exclusive interview on the Let’s Football Live show.
Speaking about the greatest moments in his career, he recalled his debut at the age of 17 for Paris Saint-Germain FC and becoming their youngest ever goalscorer and also, representing Nigeria at the World Cup.
Ogbeche is loved and adored by all the fans of the teams he has represented. In particular, the Yellow Army. Although he spent only one season with Kerala Blasters FC, the veteran striker became their all-time top goalscorer with 16 goals to his name and fondly remembers his time with KBFC,
“Being part of that team and having to look around the yellow army was a really unique feeling. We can stay here for hours, and I can go and tell you fantastic things about them”, said the 37-year-old.
After a successful season with the Tuskers, the Nigerian moved to Mumbai City FC in the 2020-21 Hero ISL season. Even though he did not enjoy much game time at MCFC, Ogbeche’s steely determination enabled him to score multiple crucial goals for them and helped the Islanders win their first Hero ISL title.
But the lack of minutes, made him trade West India for South and he joined Hyderabad FC ahead of the 2021-22 Hero ISL campaign. And he has continued to excel with his new teammates.
Ogbeche can already see the potential of HFC in the Indian footballing landscape and said, “I think it’s a club that has all the potential to be able to go toe to toe with any football club in this country. And I can tell you, from what I’ve seen for the short term, I’ve been here, down the right path to really being successful”.
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But, his legend was close to not being written. “At first, I declined. I said, no, I wasn’t going to go there.”, said the striker in relation to his move to the Hero ISL back in 2018.
Thankfully, he decided to join NorthEast United FC and the rest, as they say, is history.
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