EXCLUSIVE: Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu spoke to GAFF TV
Udinese midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu told GAFF TV in an exclusive interview that he hopes for Champions League or Europa League football, but insists it is not the target as the club looks to secure its Serie A status, plus the Ghanaian admitted having a strong passion for the Premier League.
The 23-year-old, known as ‘Badu’ played regularly for Udinese last season in a side which finished thirteenth, slightly below where they would have expected to finish that season. Though, the Zebrette star said that playing in the Champions League or Europa League would be a privilege.
“Last year was a very difficult year for us and at least we were able to maintain our operation in the league. This year the league will be very, very difficult as well.
“We’re just hoping that we can be in the Champions or the Europa League.” He told GAFF TV in London. But the versatile midfielder admitted that achieving 40 points is still the target.
“We want to remain in the league, in Italy when you get 40 points, then [one] hundred percent you’re in the league, but sure, we want to just maintain ourselves in the league.
“After the 40 points, then we’ll see what will happen, but [one] hundred percent if you go to Europa or maybe Champions League, it’ll be a privilege.”
Badu operates as a defensive midfieler primarily, but can also play on the wing, and has done at times for Udinese this season. He started his career at Berekum Arsenal in Ghana in 2007, he was with the club until 2009 whilst having loan spells at Asante Kotoko and Recreativo in between, before joining Udinese on a permanent deal in 2010.
The 47-times capped Ghana international has played 77 games in the Serie A and scored all of his five league goals for the club last year.
After impressing so far this season in Italy, Badu has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs including Hull City and West Bromwich Albion.
The Hull Daily Mail says Ghanaian sources suggest that the two clubs are interested in his signature, but could be put off by the fact that Badu is highly likely to be selected by his country to play in the African Cup of Nations which starts in January next year.
Badu, though, shrugged off a move to England, despite saying that anything can happen in football and that the Premier League is the best league in the world.
“That [the Premier League] is the best league in the world; everyone knows, the fans are wonderful, the stadiums are fantastic, atmosphere is fantastic, it is every player’s dream to play in England so why not when the chance comes? But right now I have the contract with Udinese.”
When asked about the link between Watford and Udinese, Badu refused to answer if he would be interested in the move or not.
“Who knows? Football is up and down, right now, I have said I am very happy at Udinese but that’s football, if any challenges come I have to go for it but right now I am not ready to leave Udinese.”
He went on to say how he wishes to score more goals for his club, but also took the time to reminisce over his goal for Ghana that was nominated for the FIFA Puskas award, an award nominated for the ‘most beautiful’ goal scored that year in any competition.
The goal was during the 2012 African Cup of Nations in which Badu almost put a hole in the net. It was in a group match against Guinea, the Black Stars took a short corner, which was then rolled out to Badu, and 25-yards from goal, he flicked the ball up with his left foot before emphatically volleying the ball across the goalkeeper and into the top left, leaving the Guinea ‘keeper helpless.
Badu was also part of the Ghana side that won the FIFA U-20 World Cup, they beat Brazil 4-3 on penalties with Badu scoring the winning penalty.
Udinese currently sit eighth in Serie A as they will surely push for European qualification.