Mbwana Ally Samatta has revealed his English Premier League role models a month after joining Aston Villa from Belgium’s KRC Genk.
The Taifa Stars skipper who admits it’s tougher playing in Europe than in Africa also revealed the premier league club he fancied during early days.
“It was always my dream to play in the Premier League,” he said in an interview with The Guardian. “In Tanzania it is our favourite competition,” he added before revealing his favourite club and players he looked up to.
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I liked Manchester United because of David Beckham. Then came Cristiano Ronaldo but I switched sometimes to Thierry Henry because I liked how he played. And Didier Drogba, that was the guy I looked at most. I wanted to play like him and I tried to adapt and copy his running and stuff.Mbwana Samatta in an interview with The Guardian
The former Simba and TP Mazembe striker also revealed how tough it was for him to adjust to the Belgian league.
“When I was in Belgium, I realised that in Africa it was a little bit easy to play,” he stated. “It’s not aggressive. In Belgium it’s aggressive,” he went on.
The defenders they come at your legs kicking, pushing. In Africa, even if I was not 100%, I could just play. But [in Belgium] if you are not 100%, you are dead. You can’t do anything. I just said to myself: ‘I have to improve a lot. I want really to show it, I don’t want to fail here.Samatta
And if you thought it was hard playing in Belgium, the former African of the Year based in Africa says it’s even tougher in England.
“Since I joined the team in training I had a feeling like: ‘If I had to be 100% in Belgium, here I have to be 200%.’ It’s not easy! In training they were running over me every time. I couldn’t get it. I was thinking: ‘Wow, this is tough. But I will make it.’
Samatta has so far scored twice for the Villa Park side including their only goal in the 2-1 defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.