'La Liga made my market value drop' - Harambee Stars' Olunga

Girona FC striker Michael Olunga

Harambee Stars striker Michael Olunga has claimed his value dropped while he was playing for Girona in the Spanish top-flight, La Liga.

The Al-Duhail SC striker joined Girona in 2017 on loan from Chinese Guizhou Zhicheng and has explained how a lack of regular minutes on the pitch saw his market value and demand decline.

"My value dropped in La Liga because I was not playing. Remember, I left China because I wasn't playing, and in La Liga, I only played 14 games - three of which I started - out of a possible 38. When one is not playing, his value goes down because no one will scout you," Olunga told Jalang'o TV.

"Remember when I left China, I was signed for 1.5 million Euros, which means the value dropped from 400 million Swedish Krona - sign-on fee in the Djurgardens IF move to Guizhou Zhicheng - because of a lack of playtime. When I left Kashiwa Reysol, I was sold for six million Euros, up from 1.5 million Euros, due to the impact of playing more minutes, which increased the value automatically."

The former Tusker striker, however, revealed how he appreciated playing in the Spanish top-flight, especially his encounters with Barcelona and Real Madrid.

"My first game was against Sevilla and I played only 10 minutes and the next game we played against Barcelona. It was a whole new life experience; on the pitch, I was standing with Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Luis Suarez. I felt honoured to share the same pitch with those players. We were outplayed, the Barcelona touches were amazing and we lost the game, but I felt honoured nonetheless. It was a lifetime experience.  

"We also played against Real Madrid and we defeated them 2-1 at our home and they were very angry because they lost to a team that had just been promoted. Cristiano Ronaldo scored in the second round and I can say I joined in the celebration of his goals deep inside me. We lost 6-3 to them, but it was a game that had an impact on me."

The former Thika United star also reminisced about his hat-trick for Girona against Las Palmas - the club's first-ever hat-trick in La Liga: "I was not in the starting line-up, but deep down, I was ready and I felt it was my moment to grab the opportunity. When my colleague was injured in the first half, I was thrown into action and eventually grabbed a hat-trick and two assists.

"I was surprised not only by the number of goals but by how easy it was to score them."

Despite claiming to have struggled in La Liga, Olunga stated that if an opportunity to play in the league presented itself, he would take it.

"When I was in Spain, I saw football from a different perspective. As long as one plays, one should not stop dreaming. One's destiny can be delayed but it cannot be denied."

After making his name in Japan in 2020, Olunga was signed by Qatar's Al-Duhail.