Afeez Aremu, Kaiserslautern’s new signing, opens up about his experiences, challenges, and dreams in a candid interview with JOHNNY EDWARD.
**Opting for Bundesliga 2:**
Despite offers from top-tier European teams, Aremu chose to stay in Germany due to his settled life there with his family. His dream has always been to play for Europe’s elite teams and compete in prestigious tournaments like the UEFA Champions League and Europa League. However, without concrete offers from these teams, he decided to join Kaiserslautern, hoping to make a significant impact and help the team gain promotion.
**Contributions to Kaiserslautern:**
Aremu aims to contribute to Kaiserslautern’s success this season, with hopes of winning titles or achieving promotion. He acknowledges the significance of representing a renowned club like Kaiserslautern in German football.
**Finding Love and Support:**
Aremu’s wife, whom he met at a supermarket in Lagos, caught his attention with her attitude. She has been supportive of his career. She is the sister of Kenneth Omeruo’s wife, and their connection blossomed from friendship to a lasting relationship.
**Challenges in Bundesliga 2:**
While at St. Pauli, Aremu faced the difficulty of not helping the team secure promotion to the top division despite his best efforts. He acknowledges that Bundesliga 2 is a tough league with high-quality teams. However, he remains focused on achieving success with his current team.
**Facing Racial Abuse:**
Currently, Aremu has not encountered racial abuse in Germany. He emphasizes that he avoids places where he feels unwelcome and prefers indoor activities such as watching YouTube and Netflix or taking leisurely walks.
**Five Years in Europe:**
Aremu reflects on his five-year journey in Europe, from his challenging arrival in Norway as a teenager to the moments of triumph and adaptation in Germany. He played a crucial role in helping IK Start gain promotion to the Norwegian Eliteserien.
**Conquering Snow in Norway:**
Aremu vividly remembers his first encounter with snow in Norway. He describes how he quickly learned to cope with the harsh weather conditions by seeking advice from experienced colleagues. One valuable tip was to wear larger football boots that provided space around the toes and to use “Aboniki” balm to stay warm during matches.
**Settling into European Life:**
Settling into life in Europe was initially rough for Aremu, especially regarding food. He had to travel for hours to find Nigerian ingredients for his favorite dishes. Learning to cook became essential for his survival, and he now enjoys preparing Nigerian soups to accompany his amala.
**Best and Worst Career Moments:**
Aremu’s best career moment was the excitement of signing for a European team and helping IK Start secure promotion to the Norwegian Eliteserien. On the flip side, his worst moment came when the Super Eagles B team lost 4-1 to Ghana in the final of the WAFU Cup tournament. Despite the disappointment, this setback eventually led him to IK Start.
Afeez Aremu’s journey is a testament to determination, adaptation, and a passion for football that has taken him from Nigeria to Europe and through the ups and downs of his career.