CHENNAI: For someone hailing from a poverty stricken region of Nigeria, football isn’t an easy career option. For Badmus Baba Tunde, who plays for Chennai United FC in the CFA First Division, it was no different. “When you are a kid, people want you to go to school. But as a human being, you choose what you like. I chose football.” In an experimental phase, the striker is keen to help youngsters. He doesn’t regret playing in the lower division and believes everything happens for a reason. “Football is about ups and downs. Today you are in the First Division. Tomorrow it may be somewhere else. The main thing is to keep going,” said the former Salgaocar player. “I love to help kids. Teach them a thing or two.”
Baba’s ticket to India came all of a sudden. It was in 2005 and one of his seniors who played for Dempo recommended him for trials. Baba did not let it slip. He thanks his father for making a career in India. “He played football. I watched and learned from him. The best feeling is when he saw one or two matches when I played in the I-League.” The 30-year-old grew up watching the likes of CR7 and Messi and is a huge fan of the Portuguese. “Every game, he wants to win and that’s what I admire about him.” Senior Division: AGORC 3 (A Raegan x2; G Praveendran) bt MSU 1 (R Laldanmawa); First Division: Chennai United FC 6 (Wahengbam Angousana Luwang x2; Baba Tunde x2, Kaviarasan, A Dave) bt Madona Matrix FC 1 (John Mark).