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Meet The 22-Year Old Footballer Who Has Played In Five Countries

Meet The 22-Year Old Footballer Who Has Played In Five Countries

East London to Greece, then onto Slovenia and Argentina before making the switch to Norway in January. David Olaoye is still only 22 years of age but has covered his fair share of miles, climates and cultures within the game.

Olaoye, formerly of Barking and Newham, is in uncharted territory - having already clocked 18,000 miles his career. After joining Greek outfit AO Tympakioe in 2016, he's spent plenty of time away from parents Ola and Albert.

But as his twin brother Daniel has done in making the move to Germany with VfR Mannheim, he made the sacrifice in order to further his career.

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Feliz Navidad :evergreen_tree::snowflake: #TWINZZ

A post shared by David Olaoye (@david10olaoye) on

"At a young age it is a lot of countries but it's different types of experiences, different way to play football, different people and different environments - that's more what I was looking at really and how I would develop my career," Olaoye told SPORTbible.

"When I first moved to Greece I learned a lot on and off the pitch. Being away from my family, I'm quite used to it now and as long as I'm in good contact with my family, friends and everything's okay, I'm happy."

English players going abroad is becoming increasingly popular nowadays, with the likes of Jadon Sancho, Reiss Nelson, Emile Smith-Rowe and Marcus McGuane all high-profile examples.

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Image: PA
Image: PA

"To young people who get this opportunity, I say go and take a risk," Olaoye stressed.

"You never know what will happen. Sometimes you have to take risks in football if you want to make history - some people are dying for these opportunities. If the opportunity is presented to you and you have to leave your family, do it."

Olaoye joined Slovenian outfit NK Bravo in January 2017 but he spent large parts of his six-month stint on the sidelines after damaging his ligaments in the first week.

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He then made history by becoming the first English player to play in Argentina when he put pen to paper on a deal with El Porvenir, who play in the fourth division.

Image: David Olaoye
Image: David Olaoye

Spending 18 months and being the only first-team player to live in the clubhouse, it's an experience he looks back on most fondly.

"Being the first English player to play professionally in Argentine football is amazing. It was the best experience of my career so far. The language barrier was difficult at first but I can fluently speak Spanish now so I'm happy with that.

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"With the passion, the football, the set up, the way I was treated and welcomed, it was really different to any other country I've ever played in. I enjoyed every single minute there and it was like a family.

"Of course there were ups and downs, I didn't play as much as I wanted but it was a truly amazing appearance."

The next chapter of his unique journey saw him swap the scorching sun for the sub-zero temperatures of Norway, with Olaoye signing for Nybergsund in the fourth tier.

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Trabajando...:soccer: #working

A post shared by David Olaoye (@david10olaoye) on

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So far he has two goals and one assist in five friendlies ahead of the domestic season getting back under way and has ambitions of playing in the top-flight in two years' time.

"When I left Argentina in December to try and get a move to Europe, I was thinking it would be very difficult. I spoke to my friends and family and told them that if I go to a Scandinavian club I could actually get a full season instead of trying to get in the manager's plans and playing that half-season.

"So I contacted a Norwegian agent that I knew and he got me the trial here. I did well in the first week and they wanted to sign me.

"My goal is to work up the level in Norwegian football and eventually play in the highest league in the next two years. I will work towards that and I know I have the ability, I'm mentally prepared and I'm willing to learn.

"I know it will happen but for now I'm just focusing on where I am, work hard this season and you never know what will happen from there."

Topics: Football News, Football, Non-League, England, Jadon Sancho, Argentina, Norway

Josh Lawless

Josh is a sports journalist who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.