When FC Nordsjælland beat SønderjyskE on Sunday and qualified for the championship game, Ibrahim Sadiq also rounded another big corner in his career.
The 20-year-old Ghanaian offensive midfielder played his match number 50 and thus celebrated it with a place in the top-6.
”We are going back to the first round of the 2018/2019 season. It is the 15th of July 2018. We play at home against Esbjerg, and a small 20 minutes of the showdown are missing. Andreas Skov Olsen comes off and a young Ibrahim Sadiq comes in for his first Superliga appearance,” the club recalls.
Since then, Ibrahim Sadiq has entered the field for 49 first-team matches. Most recently on Sunday, where the Danish giants took a victory against SønderjyskE and qualified for the fifth championship game out of five possible. It was, therefore, a surprised and happy anniversary, as the youngster talks about the 50 matches and his first period at the club:
‘’It’s a dream come true! As a young boy from Africa, you always dream of playing professional football. That is why I am incredibly proud to have played 50 matches at such a young age, but it must also be a springboard in terms of achieving even more.
Although Ibra is now a 50-match jubilee at the age of just 20, his first period at the club has not only been a dance on roses, but it has made him the young man he is today, the protagonist himself believes.
‘’The journey has been tough. As a young player, I joined a team where several of my competitors and teammates were both older and more experienced than me. I had to learn from them and be patient, but it has helped me to be who I am today,” said Ibrahim.
‘’Especially mentally, I have improved enormously. On Right to Dream and in my first period here I was a temperamental guy with the emotions outside of the clothes, but my time in the club has helped me control my emotions when things are not going my way.
‘’When I was young, I more often did stupid things when there were challenges on the field. Now I am much more calm and focused. If something happens, I just keep my nose in the track, smile at it and move on.
‘’FC Nordsjælland is the ideal development and training place for young players. They can help all young people, whether they come from Europe or not. I’m proof of that. FCN has helped me a lot in maturing and making me who I am today. It’s about hard work, passion and what drives you.
‘’I have learned that here, and I would like to pass it on to the younger players. They need to know that their time is probably coming. Everyone in the club helps to achieve each other’s dreams. That’s what we can do, says Ibra.
𝗜𝗕𝗥𝗔𝗛𝗜𝗠 𝗦𝗔𝗗𝗜𝗤 – 𝟱𝟬 𝗞𝗔𝗠𝗣𝗘
"Særligt mentalt har jeg forbedret mig enormt meget. Min tid i klubben har hjulpet mig med at kontrollere mine følelser."
→ Congratulations @ibrahimsadiq37 – a lot more to come! 🌟
— FC Nordsjælland 🐯 (@FCNordsjaelland) March 24, 2021
There have been several small bumps along the way, including injuries that have meant that number 37 shirted Ibrahim Sadiq has not always had an easy time playing for fixed playing time. However, that has changed this spring season, where Ibra has got minutes in his legs in all matches and has started in the last four rounds, where it has also turned into several decisive situations.
‘’The course of injuries is part of every player’s career. You have your downturns along the way, so it all depends on how strong you are mentally. I had an injury that kept me out for five months. And when I came back, I better understood how my body works.
‘’Now I play a lot, and that’s because I have learned a lot from myself, my body, and what my coaches and teammates have told me. Playing time comes through hard work, and then I seized the opportunity. I give everything I can to help the team.
‘’When you are constantly inside and out of the team, you do not get the same experience and lose your rhythm and concentration. So I can really feel that I am developing more at the moment. I start inside and it gives me more experience and strength.
And it is funny enough also primarily recent events that are mentioned when you ask the jubilee which experiences he values most in his time in the club:
‘’People may not believe me when I say that our latest match against AC Horsens is something I will never forget. I scored my first goal at home after more than two years and I have always dreamed of that. So that was a great moment.
‘’And then of course also our match on Sunday, where we qualified for the championship game. It was the first time I started inside a match where we secured the top-6. And maybe I should also mention my goals away against FC Copenhagen. It is special to score in the Park.
‘’Despite fixed playing time, a championship game in store, both goals and assists on the account, Ibra is hungry for more both on his own and the team’s behalf.
‘’Regardless of the outcome, I always focus on one thing after a match: What now? Who are the next ones we are going to meet? And that is whether we have won, lost or drawn. My mentality is always to look ahead and chase.
‘’We play for the team and our fans, so I always put my teammates ahead of myself. Now we have reached one of our common goals, which was top-6, and now it’s about going for more. We need to aim higher.
‘’And I also aim for personal development. There is always room for improvement. And the more I improve and shine through, it will also shine on the team and my teammates, concludes our sharp attacking player.