Richard Odada's journey from Serbia to Kenya's Harambee Stars reflects his love for his homeland and football aspirations.
Kenya international Richard Odada has revealed two Harambee Stars legends he looked up to during the formative years of his career.
The 23-year-old midfielder, who initially represented Serbia's U21 team, made the transition to Kenya's national team, and he could not be prouder of his decision.
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FOOTBALL Harambee Stars midfielder Richard Odada expresses gratitude to community for unwavering support
Harambee Stars midfielder Richard Odada has expressed deep gratitude to his community, acknowledging their crucial role in his successful journey.
Odada's journey through the world of football has been nothing short of captivating.
The youngster started his footballing career in Rongai, Kenya, at the tender age of nine, and his passion for the sport only grew from there.
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His journey took him across continents, from Serbia to America and eventually Denmark, as he honed his skills and developed into a talented midfielder.
"I started football when I was nine years old, and I continued playing until I was 16. Then I ventured to Serbia, where I stayed for five years before joining the Philadelphia Union in the United States," Odada shared on Jalang'o TV.
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One intriguing aspect of Odada's journey is his dual citizenship. Being a Serbian citizen, he had the opportunity to represent Serbia at the U21 level.
However, his heart was always set on wearing the Harambee Stars jersey and representing Kenya on the international stage.
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"When I was young, I used to watch the likes of Oliech and Wanyama, observing how they played and how they motivated upcoming players," he disclosed.
Despite the initial allure of playing for Serbia's youth teams, Odada's passion for his home country ultimately prevailed.
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"When I got the call-up for Serbia U21, I thought it was okay to play for them and everything, but there's always a special feeling when you play for your homeland," he expressed.
The dream of representing the Kenyan national team had always burned bright within him, and when the opportunity came knocking, Odada knew he could not pass it up.
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"Every Kenyan who is playing abroad dreams of playing for the national team, and I am proud to have realized that dream," he affirmed.
On the field, Odada is a physically imposing presence who primarily operates as a shuttler in midfield, with the versatility to sit in front of the defense when needed.
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His international debut for the Harambee Stars came on September 2, 2021, in a World Cup qualifier match against Uganda.
Since then, he has gone on to earn 13 appearances for the national team and made a significant impact.
One of the standout moments of Odada's international career came on November 15, 2021, when he scored his first goal for the Harambee Stars in a thrilling 2-1 victory over Rwanda.