Former Celtic wonderkid Rabiu Ibrahim, dubbed 'next Jay Jay Okocha', talks Slovakian redemption

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The Nigerian has been in great form for AS Trencin recently.

When Celtic snapped up Rabiu Ibrahim in 2012 they had got their hands on a talented young player who had been compared to Nigerian legend Jay-Jay Okocha.

His performances for the Nigerian youth teams had earned him that mantle, and a place in the Sporting Lisbon academy - so there was little wonder the attacking midfielder was an exciting signing when Celtic picked him up.

However, his time with Celtic was far from impressive. He made just one appearance for the club in his year with The Bhoys, coming on as a late substitute against St Johnstone in May 2012.

He went on to play for Kilmarnock but the Nigerian, who also had a spell with PSV Eindhoven in Holland, was only there for a year before being released once again.

Now he is on his way back. Ibrahim joined Slovakian side AS Trencin last year. He has since gone on to become a regular at the club and scored four goals last season. Trencin also completed their first ever Slovakian league and cup double, so he is certainly turning things around.

He has now spoken to Goal about his change in fortunes, after being called up to the most recent Nigeria senior squad for a game with Chad this month. He stated:

“I had a great time last season where we won the League and Cup in Slovakia. I did very well and I’m happy about it. I have overcome the injuries, I’m very fit now and there are no problems.

“I feel very happy to be invited and if given the opportunity I would give my best and work hard for the team to help it win more trophies.

“I felt so happy [being compared to Okocha] and at the same time it was quite heavy for me because Okocha was a huge player and one of the best in the world.

“I always looked at him as my legend but at the same time the task was big because he was a great player. “

“I take everything as part of life but I’m happy I’m back and better now.”

Interestingly Trencin enter the Champions League qualifying at the same time as Celtic, and are on the opposite side of the draw.

He might just get a chance to show Celtic what he has become next month.

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