April 18, 2021

Uganda’s Okello: Why Paradou AC is my European career gateway

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The forward has given reasons why he chose the Algerian side after he had attracted interest from other clubs while with Kasasiro Boys

Uganda international Allan Okello has explained why he joined Paradou AC of Algeria from Kampala Capital City Authority FC.

After a stellar stint with KCCA and the national side, Okello finally signed for the Algerian side despite having numerous offers from a number of other clubs.

The winger feels his Paradou AC move will be a career gateway to Europe where he has dreams of playing professional football in future.

Youcef Atal and Hicham Boudaoui, now at Nice, and Ramy Bensebaini at Borussia Monchengladbach, already secured European moves after winning the Caf Africa Cup of Nations in 2019 and all came through the Paradou ranks.

“Like all African players, my dream is to have a career in Europe. I could have chosen another destination, but Paradou AC sell more players to clubs on the Old Continent than any other side in Algeria,” Okello told Fifa.com.

“It’s a great springboard to make a name for yourself abroad. Just in the last two years, the club has sold three players to European sides, and so I’m working hard to be among the next ones to go there.

“The Algerian championship is really very professional, unlike what I’ve experienced before. It allows you to evolve very quickly and can open doors to European football.”  

The winger also explained the difficulties that were presented by the language barrier as he speaks English while playing in a mainly Arabic-speaking nation.

“When I arrived in Algeria, it was difficult for me, as I had to adapt to the style of play and overcome the language barrier,” he added.

“Now things are starting to improve. I’ve learned a few words and studied the language to let me communicate with my team-mates.

“Initially, I couldn’t express myself and didn’t understand anything. Now, I’m in the ideal situation – I’m an integral part of the team, I feel good on the pitch and I can build my self-confidence.”

The Uganda international also spoke about his role models and who he thinks is the best player.

“Originally it was [Andres] Iniesta but now I really like [Lionel] Messi. However, in my opinion, the best player today is Kevin de Bruyne,” he concluded.

In 2019, the forward was voted the Player of the Year after a good performance with KCCA that included the successful Cecafa Club Championship in Rwanda.

He joined the Kasasiro Boys’ academy at the age of 15, made his debut almost a year later and he was part of the 2016/17 Caf Confederation Cup campaign. 

Okello scored 39 goals for the 13-time Premier League winners from 112 games and that earned him offers from mainly Algeria, Egypt and Morocco.