After playing for over a decade in Portugal, Aruna Quadri attracted interest from several top teams in Germany but the Nigerian decided to settle for TTC RhönSprudel Fulda-Maberzell. The Oyo State-born athlete who has continued to put Nigeria on the world map with his exemplary performance on and off the table and being the only African ranked among the top 20 players in the world, Quadri will begin a new life in his quest to flourish his career. Considered as a dependable leader by his new club, he has been tasked by the management of TTC to lead the club to the play-offs in the 2020/2021 season of the Table Tennis Bundesliga (TTBL), Kunle Adewale writes
After 10 years playing in Portugal, a country he described as his second home, African number one table tennis player, Aruna Quadri, has decided to ply his trade with TTC RhönSprudel Fulda-Maberzell in Germany and will be making his debut tomorrow.
“After playing in Portugal for about 10 years and won virtually everything and for years I was the number one player in Portugal.
“I won several titles in Portugal and outside of it. In the last two years, I played in the Champions League and got to the semifinals. It was a very good experience but moving to Germany would be a new challenge.
“I therefore felt it was time to change the level of the league that I would be playing since the Olympic Games is not too far away, it is very important to get well prepared. More importantly, I moved to Germany to improve the standard of my game which would enhance my performance at the Olympics,” Quadri said.
He further said, “When I got the invitation to play in the German League I was so excited because it’s like a dream come true. I have been expecting the move for years and finally, I’m totally fulfilled that I’ll be playing in one of the best leagues in Europe.
“I will be the only African that will be playing in the Budesliga this season. Individually I really want to support the team; I want to give everything for the team. I am also praying for good luck because it’s very important in one’s career. Though I have been working very hard but I also need luck to match my effort. Hopefully, I‘m going to be making my debut in the Bundesliga on Sunday and am really looking forward to the match and giving everything and see how it goes.”
Meanwhile, the organisers of the elite table tennis league in Germany, Table Tennis Bundesliga (TTBL) have said that the arrival of Quadri would ignite the interest in the European League.
The Nigerian will be making his debut tomorrow for his club – TTC RhönSprudel Fulda-Maberzell away to TSV Bad Königshofen and there have been excitement in Germany over Quadri’s arrival.
According to the spokesperson of TTBL, Patrick Wichmann, Quadri’s transfer has attracted the attention of table tennis fans in Germany. “We are very happy to have Quadri in the TTBL. As a league, we have felt the national interest that the transfer has attracted, but of course also the international media response. Quadri is a worldwide table tennis brand.
Therefore, we are very happy to have him in the TTBL and are looking forward to his debut on Sunday. In TTC RhönSprudel Fulda-Maberzell he had to replace Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar, who played two seasons with the team. Now it will be exciting to see how fast Quadri gets used to the level in the strongest league in Europe,” Wichmann said.
Also in the preview of the league kick off this weekend, TTBL described Quadri as an exciting player that Germans are looking forward to watching him play against the best in the league.
“The fact that the TTBL is considered the strongest league in Europe is due to the numerous top stars who appear at the tables year after year. The fans can look forward to one or the other new face in the new season. One of the most exciting transfers was made by the TTC RhönSprudel Fulda-Maberzell, which ranks 20th in the world with Quadri Aruna. The Nigerian will appear for the first time in the TTBL and should compensate for the departure of Pucar,” the statement said.
On his first thoughts when the TTC approached him, Quadri said he was very excited because a lot of good players played in Fulda. “It was a very nice moment for me to know that I’ll be playing in a team that has already had the best players. I will give my 100 per cent to the club. I want to help the team and support them as much as possible.”
Asked of his goals with Fulda-Maberzell, he said, he wants to win even if it is difficult sometimes, he believes that it is always possible to win. He promised to work very hard and wait to see where it leads him.
“I have played in France before and it was very demanding, in Germany I think it will be a little more difficult. But I am ready for this task and will work very hard,” he noted.
The Nigeria No. 1 table tennis player is conscious of his status as a role model to upcoming sportsmen and women and would therefore not want to live a life that would portend a negative influence on them.
“I am conscious of the kind of impact I can have on the lives of a lot of people across the world. So for me, I ensure I remain positive and a good ambassador of my country wherever I found myself. Even off the table, I relate with some of them and share my life experience with them because I did not get to where I am today by just dreaming about it but by the Grace of God. I worked hard to get here. You must also believe in yourself and these are some of the qualities I am hoping that people can pick from me,” he noted.