Nigerian forward Odion Ighalo has dreams of a famous FIFA Club World Cup title win with Al Hilal next month.
That will be his second appearance at the tournament and Ighalo is hoping Al Hilal can build on last year’s Semi-final finish to go all the way in Morocco.
” It was exciting that they [Al Hilal] were playing in the Club World Cup and part of the reason I joined them, because I wanted to experience that,” Ighalo told FIFA.Com .
“I was happy to join them. Straight after I joined them, we played in the tournament. It was great. I enjoyed every bit of it. I was happy, even though it was very tough playing against big teams like Chelsea. It was a great experience for me and the team.”
Ighalo scored on his first appearance as Al Hilal thrashed Al Jazira to set up a Semi-final vs then European Champions Chelsea.
The forward was in action as Al Hilal bowed to a 1-0 loss to Chelsea in the semi-finals an encounter Ighalo would praise his team for a good fight from start to finish.
“That campaign was good, ” Ighalo continued.
” The way we played against Chelsea, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but we gave it everything we had that day. We fought from the first minute to the last. Unfortunately we lost, but I think we can be really satisfied with what we did in that game. We were really happy.”
“This is a very ambitious club. They don’t understand losing. Since I joined, every tournament we go out there to win. The league, the Champions League, the King’s Cup, the Club World Cup.
” Every game we play is like a final. When you put on the shirt of Al Hilal, you always have to win. We want to go for every trophy. It’s exactly the same for this Club World Cup. ”
Ahead of the FIFA World Cup, Ighalo is believes everything is possible with reference to Morroco’s stunning semi-final run at the 2022 FIFA World Cup as an example.
“Everything is possible in football. Nowadays you can’t predict what’s going to happen. If you work hard and fight hard on the field of play you can do anything, ”
” Look at Morocco at the World Cup, for instance. Nobody gave them a chance. They got to the semi-final and they almost got to the final. ”
” I believe Al Hilal can fight and get to the final and win it, because in football it’s possible to do anything when you work hard and believe in yourself.” Ighalo said.
A goal laden Saudi Arabian adventure has produced 46 goals already. Ighalo scored 22 goals for Al Shabab and has gone on to bag 26 more in 35 appearances for Al Hilal a feat the former Watford FC and Manchester United man is happy about.
” I’m happy. Strikers enjoy goals. Sometimes the goals don’t come, but I work hard and give my best to contribute. It’s a team effort. My target is to help the team win, to help the team keep progressing.
” Sometimes I score goals, sometimes I don’t, but I’m happy as long as we’re winning. As a striker though, you want to score goals to boost your confidence. I try to get a goal in every game I play. If not, I try to provide an assist. But ultimately, as long as my team wins, I’m happy,” Ighalo concluded.
To win the FIFA Club World Cup title, Ighalo and Al Hilal will face competition from favourites UEFA representatives Real Madrid and South America’s Flamengo.
The FIFA Club World Cup will take place in Morocco between February 1 to 11, 2023.