Werder Bremen striker Ousman Manneh said he completed a ‘dream come true’ after scoring his first Bundesliga goal two years after arriving in Germany as a refugee from the Gambia, 90min reports.
The 19-year-old became a hero for his club after he scored the winner in the 2-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.
Manneh’s route to the elite levels of professional football has been hugely different from the vast majority of his colleagues. At the age of 17, Manneh left his family behind in the Gambia in order to pursue a dream career as a professional footballer.
After initially impressing during a trial with Blumenthaler in the German fifth tier, Manneh signed for Bremen in March 2015.
Hard work and perseverance earned him recognition and place in the senior squad and on Saturday, making his fourth appearance, found the back of the net to experience happiness beyond his wildest imagination.
“I can’t believe this,” he said.
“Is this real or am I dreaming? This is the greatest moment of my life.”
“It’s hard to describe my feelings,” he added.
“I’ve been so proud to be the first Gambian to play four Bundesliga games, and now I’m proud to be the first one to score.
“First off I have to thank the fans. I’m standing here and I don’t even know what’s happened. I don’t know if I really did score a goal or if that was just a dream. It’s an indescribable feeling, especially to score the winner against a team as good as Bayer Leverkusen. I just can’t believe it.”
There may be a lot of deplorable things in football. People say the sport is rotten to the core. It may well be, but the existence of stories like this will always instill hope and warm the heart.