Simon Barjie, Versatile Gambian Defender
Friday, March 14, 2008
Date of Birth: 06/09/1978
Place of Birth: Milan - Italy
Height: 1.79 [m]
Weight: 74 [Kg]
Club: AC MONZA Italian Seria C1 League.
Previous clubs: Solbiatese, Como and Pro Sesto
Gambia-Italian born International, Simon Barjie is one of Gambia’s most outstanding defenders and won a call to the national side on several occasions in the countries international CAF/FIFA campaigns.
In all the clubs with which he has played, he has made several appearances and his consistency and versatility caught the eyes of his country of origin The Gambia when he was invited to play in the national side in 2003.
He has always showcased very impressive performances during those appearances for his country of origin.
Born in Milan –Italy in 06/09/1978, The Gambian defender has always proved to be a no nonsense defender.
Below is an in depth interview with The Gambia-Italian born International soccer star.
What do you think are Gambia’s chances of qualifying to the 2010 CAF and FIFA world Cup?
As I said some time has passed since I last heard from someone of the GFA or any other teammate of mine so I do not know the plans and goals of the federation. As far as what my experience has been with the national team I think Gambia can be capable of anything. There is a lot of enthusiasm from the supporters. The players have qualities and want to stand out, with a little bit of more organization and professionalism good results can come out, but what is most important of all is to have Enthusiasm, it is a power that can make you reach any goal in your life.
What are your hobbies?
Now that I’m attending university (I started 2 years ago-Science of Movement-) I have less time for my hobbies but I make sure to find it. I like reading a lot (author is Coelho), see movies at the cinema and dvd’s at home. I love music (reggae-Bob Marley- r&b-Akon, Timberland, Alicia Keys etc.)
Which team do you ever dream of playing for?
As I was born in Milan and also being a great supporter of the team, I will say AC Milan. I also had the opportunity to play for them in the junior teams at the age of 11years old but only for 6 months.
A word of advice to rising young Gambian football players?
To always believe in their dreams because they sometimes become true if you put passion and hard work, thinking only on the game and not at what goes on around football
What are your likes?
In people I look out for Honesty, Consistency and Respect
And your Dislikes?
I cannot stand Falsity, Arrogance and Bad Manners
How would you describe the support received from fans in The Gambia?
Striking! I was really impressed by their passion and love for the team. Their genuine support for the game is something which is rare to see in football right now where only business seems to prevail
What is your marital status?
I have a girlfriend and we are thinking about living together and if God will bless us also have some babies soon since my father and mother are impatient to have some grandchildren
How is life at club football?
Playing in a professional team along with passion for the game you also have great responsibilities and sacrifices to make in order to gain results on the pitch. A lot of people count on your good performance and continuity of results
How do you enjoy playing the role of a defender?
I am a left-back that also likes to push himself forward to place good crosses for the strikers. The role of the defender requires a lot of concentration and determination nothing can be taken with superficiality.
What is your favourite music?
Reggae music! It cools me down when I need to relax and also lights me up when I need to be charged
What does football mean to you?
Joy! Sometimes when I feel down or I have some problems it is when I start training on the pitch that I forget about everything else. I always thank God to have blessed me by giving me the opportunity to practice a sport which I truly love.
Which football club did you support as a child?
As I said before, A.C. Milan. It was seeing the three Dutch stars Gullit, Van Basten and Rijkaard that I decided to support their team.
What is your happiest football memory?
I hope it is yet to come, anyway I would say now my first match with the Gambian National Team against Liberia-home match-it was my coming back to Gambia after more than 10years. It gave me also the opportunity to see again my Father, cousins and friends because before then we just heard from each other by phone or through letters
Did you ever have a role model?
My parents, because with their sacrifices they have given me the opportunity to become who ever I want in life
What has been your biggest disappointment?
I try to live my life fully in order to avoid having any regrets.
If you had not become a professional player what would you have become?
I really do not know, I speak 4 languages (English, Italian, French and Spanish-so and so-) I played a part as an actor (staring) on TV. I mean with the help of God I think anything as long as I put my mind and soul into.
What is your favourite book?
‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho
What is your favourite food?
Pizza, ’Gnocchi with tomato sauce’-a typical Italian dish made with potatoes- but I surely do not forget Domodà-help me with the spelling-I love it (my mother still remembers how to cook it) and also Benachìn
What are your views on the future of football in The Gambia?
People here in Italy often ask me this question and I always try to promote Gambia. The real fortune is that in Gambia we can still do football in a ‘genuine’ way I mean it is not yet ‘sick’ of only business. I heard that the FIFA has allocated some founds to build a sort of ‘football campus, I do not know what has come out of that project but in my opinion a proper plan has to be made, School+ Football, in order to rise up men first of all who have knowledge of them selves and afterwards football players.
Source: The Point