Bartholomew Ogbeche on LFL show: 'Almost decided against joining Hero ISL in 2018'
Bartholomew Ogbeche has been one of the best players in the country ever since he joined the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) back in the 2018-19 season. In his four years in the league, he has played for four teams and has scored a record-breaking 49 goals, which makes him the top goal scorer in Hero ISL history!
However, the Nigerian striker was on the brink of rejecting an opportunity to ply his trade in this part of the world. The first offer from NorthEast United FC back in 2018 did not evoke much interest, as he turned down the contract initially. However, it was after a few testimonials from a close friend, who was part of the Hero ISL, that the forward reconsidered his decision and down the years, he feels it was a shrewd one.
“At first, I declined. I said, no, I wasn't going to go there.”, said the striker in relation to his move to the Hero ISL back in 2018. Couple of years ago I heard about the league that it lasts a couple of months to three and I wasn’t ready to be a part of that. I had a really good friend who played in the league, and I heard fantastic things about the ISL,” said Ogbeche in an exclusive interview on the Let’s Football Live show.
“I was convinced that I was making the right decision, listening to my heart for my career and myself. It turned out to be a shrewd decision,” added the all-time top goalscorer in the Hero ISL.
Thankfully, he decided to join NorthEast United FC and the rest, as they say, is history. The striker went on to score 12 goals that season and guide the Highlanders to their first ever top-four finish.
Ogbeche is loved and adored by all the fans of the teams he has represented. In particular, the Yellow Army. Although he spent only one season with Kerala Blasters FC, the veteran striker became their all-time top goalscorer with 16 goals to his name and fondly remembers his time with KBFC,
“Being part of that team and having to look around the yellow army was a really unique feeling. We can stay here for hours, and I can go and tell you fantastic things about them”, said the 37-year-old.
After a successful season with the Tuskers, the Nigerian moved to Mumbai City FC in the 2020-21 Hero ISL season. Even though he did not enjoy much game time at MCFC, Ogbeche’s steely determination enabled him to score multiple crucial goals for them and helped the Islanders win their first Hero ISL title.
But the lack of minutes made him trade with West India for South and he joined Hyderabad FC ahead of the 2021-22 Hero ISL campaign. And he has continued to excel with his new teammates.
Ogbeche can already see the potential of HFC in the Indian footballing landscape and said, “I think it's a club that has all the potential to be able to go toe to toe with any football club in this country. And I can tell you, from what I've seen for the short term, I've been here, down the right path to really being successful”.