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Interviews

MOUNIÉ: I'M VERY PROUD TO REPRESENT BENIN

10 October 2018

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Steve Mounié on achieving success for his country to bring an improvement to the game for the people of Benin

- Town striker discusses how his international experiences compare to life in West Yorkshire
- Steve Mounié comments on his desire to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations
- Benin international speaks about drawing inspiration from other footballing nations in Africa

Steve Mounié will be the first to admit that the facilities in his home nation are a world away from what he experiences at Huddersfield Town, but that only motivates him and the team to succeed as a way of bringing change for the Beninese population.

The 24-year-old has received call-ups to represent Benin on seven occasions and despite the challenges that playing in Africa can bring, he feels just as proud every time he steps onto the field for his country.

“I’m very proud to play for them, even if sometimes there are some difficulties, in regard of what can be in Africa and the situations there.

“I really love to play for them because when you play for a nation, there is nothing comparable.”

When asked about the facilities back home the striker admitted they are no match to those he is accustomed to at Town, but for Mounié and his teammates the lack of a training ground or equipment is a key inspiration to achieve success on the pitch.

“There is no training ground; we train at the Stadium of the game, but we play for the nation, we play for the heart, we play for the people of Benin, so we do our job.”

With upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Algeria, both home and away, the Benin international highlighted that it is pivotal the West African nation achieves a big sporting result before any changes can begin to take place in the country.

He also looks at other African nations such as Ivory Coast and Cameroon as examples of what his home country hopes to achieve in years to come in terms of building a sustainable future on the success of the national team.

“In Ivory Coast and Cameroon, things did not change in one or two years, it took a lot of time for things to be changed.

“We have to qualify for the African Cup (Africa Cup of Nations) and have a sporting result before even asking for big changes.”

Despite being the only Premier League player currently representing Benin, the striker is quick to acknowledge the quality that his teammates possess and that it is the conditions of playing in Africa that he has to adapt to rather than the style of football.

“We’ve got a really good team, a young team, but a very good team. It’s more a kind of French football or African football but you cannot compare it to English football.

“In England when you play it is 15 degrees outside and you can run everywhere, but in Africa when you play, you play in 40 degrees heat, so to compare I need to see some English teams to play in Africa one time.”

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