|Fortune Bassey: When I was sent on the pitch, I was only thinking about getting myself in a position to score if I had the chance. I dreamed of scoring one goal, and I scored two! (Photos by Attila Török)|
– You came on as a substitute and doubled against Tobol, and then came the typical somersault celebration. How did it feel?
– It was unforgettable! – said Fortune Bassey, the Nigerian striker of Ferencváros, who came on as a substitute and scored in the 74th and 91st minutes to give the Green and White a superior victory. He celebrated his goals in the way Zoltán Gera had done before. – After my first goal in Hungary, against Gyirmót, I forgot to do it, but this time I didn't...
– Isn't somersault dangerous?
– Not at all. I started in Africa, who knows how many times I've done it. At first, I didn't know how to celebrate my goals, but as I've always been athletic, I had to do something acrobatic to express my joy. After my recent goals, I was in a euphoric mood.
|Fortune Bassey forgot to celebrate his first goal in Hungary with a somersault, but he made it up on Wednesday|
– But do you remember your goals?
– I was in the right place at the right time for the first one. I can't recall exactly how it happened, but I remember that the ball went to Kristoffer Zachariassen and I was focusing on to not be in an offside in front of the goal and letting him find me for the pass. After the pass, I just had to put my foot in the path of the ball.
– And the second one?
– I found the goal post at the end of a well-formed action. Henry Wingo forced Aissa Laidouni down the right, he was inside the penalty area, and again I just had to make sure the ball got to me in the middle. I used my body to keep the defender out and the pass came.
– How did you feel at the moment of the goals?
– It's hard to put into words. Suffice to say, I scored my first Champions League goal on Wednesday night. And immediately my second one... When I was sent onto the pitch, I was just thinking about getting myself in a position to score if I had the chance. I dreamed of scoring one goal, and I scored two!
|The Nigerian striker positioned himself well for both goals and calmly took advantage of his opportunities against Tobol, giving Ferencváros the upper hand|
– This week's and last week's performance in Kazakhstan cannot be compared to each other. The team played much more convincing football now. What worked better this time?
– We really struggled a bit in Kazakhstan. The weather and the time difference were also in the home team's favor and the pitch was not perfect either. We were aware that there would be a big crowd in the stadium for our first home game, and we wanted not only to win but also to play good football. We also have to realize that the new players arriving in the summer will need some time to fully settle in, but it's good that we've already had several outstanding individual performances. One thing is for sure: there are some great players in the squad, and now, it's really hella difficult to get into the starting line-up.
|Ferencváros players were happy to celebrate their advancement: the next match is against Slovan!|
– How many congratulatory messages did you receive after the final whistle?
– I wouldn't be able to count them. I couldn't sleep, so I had time to respond to them. A lot of people wrote from home, from Nigeria, they saw that I had scored my first goals in the Champions League. My sister and my girlfriend also called me from Africa.
– So you live alone in Budapest for the time being?
– My girlfriend and I have been together for four years, and she'll be joining me soon. We met at home. I spoke to my parents the day after the match. My father works hard, my mother is a teacher at the local school, my younger sister is at university, and the older one works as a hairdresser back home.
– Did your father play football?
– He loves football and likes watching it on TV. He cheers for my teams, but he has never played football. I was fascinated by football as a child. Ninety percent of children in Africa want to be footballers, we don't have a lot of recreational opportunities - after school, we go to the football pitch.
– How do you feel in the Hungarian capital?
– I've been here for six months now, but honestly, I haven't seen much of the city. I'm the type of person who goes home after training, rests a lot, and eats healthily so I'm fit again for the next training session. If I go out, I go for a walk along the Danube, otherwise, I'm mostly at home in my apartment.
– Next up for Ferencváros is Slovan Bratislava. Have you heard about the mutual history of the two clubs?
– My teammates have already told me about it. I also feel a bit like we're preparing for a derby. I expect a tough match, it would be good if we could get the advantage in the first game. I expect a full house at the Groupama Aréna, the atmosphere will be great, we have to win at home. I believe in the team, we can do it!
QUALIFYING ROUND 1, REMATCH
FERENCVÁROS–TOBOL (Kazakhstan) 5–1 (3–1)
Budapest, Groupama Arena, 17 347 spectators. R: Jakubik (Poland)
FTC: Dibusz – Wingo, S. Mmaee, Kovacevic (Knoester, 82.), Civic - Laidouni, Zachariassen (Mercier, 83.), Esiti (Loncar, 75.) - Nguen (Auzqui, 68.), F. Boli (Bassey, 68.), A. Traoré. Head coach: Stanislav Cherchesov
TOBOL: Mokin - Kairov, Malij, Tomasevic, Amanovic - Tagibergen, Jovancic, Zharinbetov (Muzhikov, 68.) - Tosic (Zhaksilikov, 78.), Sergeyev (Déblé, 75.), Brígido (Vukadinovic, 75.). Head coach: Milan Milanovic
Goal scorers: A. Traoré (4., 17.), Laidouni (21.), Bassey (74., 90+1), and Sergeyev (23.)
Sent off: Muzhikov (82.)
Advanced: Ferencváros with an overall score of 5–1
QUALIFYING ROUND 2
Wednesday, July 20
8pm: FERENCVÁROS-Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia)
Wednesday, July 27
8.30pm: Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia)-FERENCVÁROS