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Editorials, Sports

Dutch Born Endurance Alade Talks Afrobeat and Super Eagles Chances

Dutch-raised Nigerian footballer Endurance Alade talks about his love for Afrobeat, his burning desire to represent the Super Eagles, and his journey to professional football.

  • Toyosi Afolayan
  • 31st March 2024

Endurance Alade’s story embodies the beautiful blend of cultures that shapes modern football. Growing up in a Nigerian household in the Netherlands, Alade straddled two worlds, his English stronger than his Dutch at first. Yet, football became the common language. 


Inspired by his father’s semi-professional stint in the Dutch leagues, Alade’s passion for the game ignited. While his father initially envisioned a different career path, his support proved pivotal in allowing Alade to pursue his dream.



“I grew up in a Nigerian home where my English was better than Dutch! But as I immersed myself in football and life in the Netherlands, I learned to balance both cultures.


“My father’s semi-pro football stint in the Netherlands ignited my passion for the game. Though he initially wanted me to pursue other careers, his eventual support paved my path in football.”


A defining moment for Alade’s connection to his Nigerian heritage came in 2013, when he witnessed the Super Eagles’ triumph at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). The victory sparked a deeper connection, a fire that burned with the desire to represent his ancestral nation on the international stage. 



“Watching Nigeria’s AFCON victory in 2013 sparked my deeper connection to Nigerian football. It was a defining moment that fueled my desire to represent my country on the international stage.”


This burning ambition of the 19-year-old mirrors that of other Dutch-Nigerian footballers like William Troost-Ekong and Tyrone Ebuehi, who have represented the Super Eagles’ history.



Alade acknowledges his inspiration from footballing greats. Cristiano Ronaldo‘s relentless work ethic and dedication resonate deeply, urging him to give his all on the pitch. However, his ultimate Nigerian idol remains the legendary Jay-Jay Okocha, whose sheer brilliance on the field continues to inspire awe.


“Cristiano Ronaldo’s mentality and discipline inspire me to give 200% in every match,” says Alade. 

“But Jay-Jay Okocha remains my ultimate Nigerian football idol for his sheer brilliance on the field.”


The Vlissingen-born defender’s journey through Dutch clubs; starting late at MSV’71, and progressing through Excelsior Rotterdam and Excelsior Maassluis, has been one of steady development. 



At VV Spijkenisse, Alade’s focus remains laser-sharp, reaching a professional level. He’s already had trials and received interest, but Alade prioritizes honing his skills and seizing opportunities that arise. His unwavering belief in hard work and faith fuels his determination.


“Starting late at MSV’71, then progressing through Excelsior Rotterdam and Excelsior Maassluis, shaped my football journey,” Alade reflects. “Now, at VV Spijkenisse, I’m determined to reach the professional level.”


“I’ve had trials and received interest from clubs,” he continues, “but my focus remains on honing my skills and seizing opportunities as they come. With hard work and faith, I believe my dreams will come true.”


The dream, however, remains draped in the green and white of the Nigerian national team. The memory of watching the AFCON final with his family still ignites a passion within him. He yearns to wear the Super Eagles jersey with pride, just like his idols.



“Representing the Nigeria national team is the ultimate dream for me,” Alade declares. “Watching the AFCON final with my family fueled my passion for Nigerian football, and I’m determined to wear the Super Eagles jersey with pride.”


Alade’s story isn’t one of solitary pursuits. The support and camaraderie of friends who share similar dreams prove invaluable. Players like Jordan Zirkzee, Ayodele Thomas, and Jaynilson Geoffery, who have already leaped into professional football, motivate him. Their success is a constant reminder that dedication and hard work can pave the way for anything.



“Having friends like Jordan Zirkzee and Ayodele Thomas, who have also turned pro, motivates me to push harder in my own journey,” Alade says. “Their success inspires me to believe that anything is possible with dedication and hard work.”


Beyond football, music plays a significant role in Alade’s life. Afrobeat forms the soundtrack to his journey, with artists like Asake and Omah Lay keeping him motivated on and off the field. The driving rhythms and infectious energy of these songs mirror the ambition that propels Alade forward.



“Music is a big part of my life, and Afrobeat resonates with me the most,” Alade reveals. “Artists like Asake and Omah Lay are at the top of my playlist. Their songs like ‘No Competition’ and ‘Holy Ghost’ keep me motivated on and off the field.”

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