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Chiedozie Ogbene's Cheeky France Comments Show Why He Has Become Ireland Favourite

Chiedozie Ogbene's Cheeky France Comments Show Why He Has Become Ireland Favourite
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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Despite having only 14 international caps to his name, it is fair to say that Chiedozie Ogbene is one of the most popular members of the Ireland squad among supporters. During any game at the Aviva, his name usually receives a particularly large cheer from the fans when it is read out on the tannoy.

It's not difficult to see why.

Firstly, his playing style is one that is always likely to make him a popular figure. The 25-year old possesses incredible pace and is brave in possession, regularly taking on and beating opposition defenders. His goalscoring record isn't bad either, netting four times for Ireland despite playing out wide and many of his appearances coming as a substitute.

When it comes to his personality away from the pitch, you can understand why people are drawn to Chiedozie Ogbene.

He balances being a very down to earth character with determination and a steadfast personal confidence, an equilibrium that is often difficult to strike.

That very much came across during his media duties ahead of the game against France on Monday evening. When asked if he hoped to score his fifth international goal in the game, he gave a typical Ogbene answer.

I hope so. I hope not just five, maybe six!

But the main focus on Monday is to win, prepare to win. That’s the way we are training, that’s the mentality we have. We know what kind of quality they possess, but the agenda is to win the game.

24 March 2023; Chiedozie Ogbene during a Republic of Ireland press conference at FAI Headquarters in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Ogbene's journey to this point in his career has not been a straightforward one. Having started his career in the League of Ireland with Cork City and Limerick, he would get a move to Brentford as a 20-year old back in 2018.

However, he found opportunities severely limited at the London club, eventually joining Exeter City on loan and then Rotherham United on a permanent deal. Just as he looked to be finding his feet in English football, in 2020 he suffered a serious knee injury that would keep him out for five months.

After returning to action in February 2021 and making his Ireland debut a few months later, he has never really looked back. He helped Rotherham to promotion to the Championship last season, and having impressed in the division during this campaign, he looks set for a move this summer after his contract expires.


His self-confidence has played a huge part in that run. Despite the odds being stacked against Ireland on Monday night, he maintains the belief that they can get a result against France. That includes backing himself in a foot race with a particular French star.

You have to be confident. I see the way we train, the way we prepare, we have to be confident. If you are not confident there is no point in showing up.

As I said, we are preparing to win the game, we are not going out there to try and stay in the game or draw the game, we are preparing to win.

When you have that mentality, you know how football can be, it’s unpredictable, you never know what can happen...

I’m a big fan of Kylian Mbappe, so I’d give it to him. But on Monday we’ll just have to wait and see.

I don't know, you watch people on TV and he looks lightning quick. I have slightly different attributes to him, he is quite explosive off the mark and I am more of a powerful runner. I am not quite sure.

22 March 2023; Chiedozie Ogbene of Republic of Ireland celebrates after scoring his side's third goal during the international friendly match against Latvia at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

While it remains to be seen if Ogbene will start the game, you can be certain that he will feature at some point.


Playing against the World Cup finalists a matter of months after being a League One player will cap off a remarkable stretch in his career. In saying that, he has set his sights even higher.

Honestly it is unbelievable. Football is unpredictable, you have to take every day as it comes. When I come out here I try my best, and I live in the moment.

Last year we were in League One, I am very ambitious. You just have to live in the moment and enjoy it as it comes, as it comes very quick. By the time you're realising it, you'll be retiring anytime soon.

It has been an unbelievable journey and I hope I can continue on this platform and push for higher heights.

A fantastic mentality to have.

Considering the way he has improved over the last couple of years, you certainly wouldn't bet against Chiedozie Ogbene pushing on even further in the seasons ahead.

SEE ALSO: Ever Growing Bond Between Dara O'Shea & Jayson Molumby Can Be Key For Ireland

dara o'shea jayson molumby ireland feature


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