Victor Moses has had a fantastic year for club and country and now he is hoping to cap it off by winning the BBC African Footballer of the Year award.
Our Nigerian star’s nomination for the prestigious award, which is voted for exclusively by fans, was confirmed last night. You can help Victor win by voting for him here.
To mark the nomination, the official Chelsea website sat down with the 26-year-old at Cobham to discuss a memorable 12 months on an individual and collective level…
Firstly Victor, congratulations on your nomination!
Thank you. I am very proud and delighted. It’s been a great year for me so far. We won the league, we got to the FA Cup final. I really enjoyed the season last year and I’m very happy with how it went. I want to continue in that way.
Why do you think you were nominated?
(Moses laughs) I must have done well! I have worked so hard to be among the nominees and I guess they saw that. I played a vital part in our league win, and I am pleased with the way things have been going recently.
What were your highlights of last season?
Individually it was scoring the winning goal against Spurs in a derby game, but overall it was winning the league. Lifting the trophy was one of the happiest days of my life, I was buzzing.
And you came into the team at the start of our incredible 13-game winning streak…
Yeah, getting into the team was great for me. I had been on loan three times and I came back stronger which is what I wanted to do. We have a manager here who gives everyone an opportunity to go out and express themselves, and that’s what he did with me. He believes in me and he gives me a lot of confidence to go out and enjoy my football.
It is even more impressive that you have been nominated after playing in a new position…
Yeah that does make me quite proud. When I first started playing in that position not everyone knew I had the ability to play there, but the manager talked to me, advised me and encouraged me to do the best I can in that position. I took it in my stride.
I had to change my natural game a lot! I am used to it now, but I had to adapt defensively and offensively. I knew I was good going forward but I really worked hard on the defensive side of things, because when you play in a position like that you have to be aware defensively.
I think I have improved a lot, and the manager has helped me do with that.
And you’ve enjoyed success with Nigeria, too. Tell us about your past year with the Super Eagles…
It’s been great. A couple of years ago I didn’t play enough games for Nigeria because of injury, but this year has been an amazing year. In the first game in the World Cup qualifiers against Algeria I scored twice which was very good, and helped us get the three points.
I’ve been playing further forward for Nigeria, in my natural position. I like to take the ball and attack defenders, but defensively I help out my full-back, too.
It’s been a wonderful year, and now we have qualified for the World Cup. We have made the whole nation proud of us and that’s what we wanted to do. We’ve got an exciting team with some good young players. Come Russia, we will be ready to go.
Finally Victor, what would it mean to win the award?
It would be great to win an award and be the best in Africa. It would mean a lot to me. It is something I would keep for the rest of my life, and it would be like a dream come true. We will see the outcome!