The reigning champion of the African Freestyle Football Championships, Titi Kone, on Thursday expressed upbeat of retaining his crown, saying that no Nigerian could dethrone him.
NAN reports that the 3rd edition of 2019 African Freestyle Football Championships will be held Lagos, on Sept. 14 and Sept. 15 at the Balmoral Convention Centre, Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos.
The reigning African Champion, Kone, however, said that he was fulfilled as a freestyle footballer, adding that he had got more experience since his last competition in Nigeria.
“My winning of the championships last year was not a fluke because I really worked for it. Last year, I defeated someone from another country but not a Nigerian.
“For this year’s championships, I know many will like to challenge me, but can they outplay me? I don’t think so because I have got more knowledge of the game now.
“I have been able to attend many international championships outside Africa though the playing style is more popular in Africa because we have more people doing it on full time basis.
“For me, I don’t know who the challenger may be, but no Nigerian can defeat me, I want to retain my prize money, last year, it was 3,000 dollars and a car, this year will be better,’’ he said.
The reigning Nigerian Champion, Blessed Ezeakabudu, told NAN that playing freestyle football had impacted on him, adding that he will be more ready for the next challenge.
“Playing freestyle football is something that has really impacted on my life because I have been able to travel to many countries to showcase my skills.
“I am really living my dreams as a freestyle footballer and I will continue to try more maybe I can fulfill my aspirations of becoming the African champion.
“The freestyle football is a tough challenge because unlike the normal football where you play as a team, this is an individual show and you must be able to entertain and impress the audience.
“To become a champion, one must have practiced and be creative enough, it is a mixture of talents and creativity in freestyle football,’’ he said.
In a related development, Valentine Ozigbo, the Chairman of Feet `N Tricks, the organisers of the competition, said that he expected a Nigerian to win the contest this time around.
“This year, I will like a Nigerian to win the championships because they have yet to win it and it will please me if they can win it.
“I also want to have more women participating in the championships, some ladies have showed exceptional skills using high heel shoes we thought it’s for walking to display amazing skills,’’ he said.