Rotherham winger Chiedozie Ogbene wants to take his direct style on to the international stage with Republic of Ireland

Rotherham winger Chiedozie Ogbene wants to take his direct style of action on to the international stage.

By Jonathan Veal
Monday, 31st May 2021, 8:34 am
Updated Monday, 31st May 2021, 8:35 am

The Millers man has joined up with the Republic of Ireland squad in Spain after his maiden call-up for friendlies against Andorra and Hungary over the next week.

The 24-year-old, who spent most of last season sidelined with a serious knee injury, idolised Cristiano Ronaldo growing up and has based his game on the Portuguese great.

Rotherham fans have seen that direct and physical approach and now he wants to show it at the highest level.

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BAMichael Sollbauer of Barnsley battles for possession with Chiedozie Ogbene of Rotherham United. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

He said: “Being a winger and watching Ronaldo during the 2008 time at Manchester United, how direct he was and his dribbling abilities, I tried to imitate [and model] myself on Cristiano Ronaldo. He was my idol, really.

“My managers always told me that I had the pace and if I could work on my decision-making and dribbling and get my crossing right, I could have a very good career, so obviously he was one of the players I looked up to. I really enjoyed watched him and he was exciting.

“That’s what I try to base my game around, being very direct and creating problems and creating chances for my team-mates.”

Ogbene move to Ireland from Nigeria when he was seven and wants to be a role model for other people in his position.

He said: “International football is something I’ve dreamed about and to be here with the Republic of Ireland is truly a blessing.

“It’s been a tough season, so to be here, especially with the players at the manager’s disposal, it’s an honour for me and my family and I’m going to relish the occasion.

“I’m sure there are many players who grew up in Ireland and were born somewhere else and are obviously having trouble with their decision. I want to create a pathway for them to show that if you live there, you get these opportunities.”