The Chronicle Gambia

Omar Gaye – From an Italian Zebra to a Gambian Scorpion

Twenty-three-year-old young Gambian football player Omar Gaye is making headlines in Viareggio, an Italian city also known as a seaside resort and home to the famous carnival of Viareggio. In this city in northern Tuscany, football fans are happy that a young Gambian they groomed as a professional football player is called for the first time in his country’s national squad, the “Scorpions” of The Gambia.

Omar Gaye is the tenth football player to have played for Viareggio and succeeded in wearing the jersey of a national team, which is enough to make headlines in the local newspaper “iltirreno.”

The story of Omar Gaye began two years when Omar Gaye arrived in the summer of 2018 from The Gambia as a migrant and played in the Serie D championship with Viareggio. Earlier, Omar developed his first steps in Italian football with Juve Stabia and Messina.

In Viareggio, football fans told the local newspaper “iltirreno” that Omar Gaye is undoubtedly among the best that represented the “Zebras” (the affectionate name of the Viareggio team).

The young “Scorpion” is remembered for his devastating accelerations on the left lane and the power he sends in the net when he concludes with his left foot. Precisely the kind of goal he scored (three goals in twenty-eight appearances) with a masterful performance from the edge of the area in the derby with Massese.

Omar  Gaye welcomed his first call to The Gambia national team with great enthusiasm and declaration of love for his homeland on his Facebook page. The post earned many “Likes” essentially from viareggini sportsmen.

Unique moment! Proud moment! Being called by my country is a huge honor for me. Thank you for your trust and your beliefs in me. I’m going to take care of this moment for the rest of my life. You can rest assured that I’ll do anything to serve my nation with honor and to the best of my ability to the last breath,” Omar posted on Facebook.

Omar will join the team for the retreat in Turkey with coach Tom Saintfiet in early June when The Gambia will play three friendly matches with Niger, Togo, and Kosovo in preparation for the African Cup of Nations, probably to be played in January 2022. The Gambian “Scorpions” will participate for the first time in the continental tournament.

Among Omar’s companions in Italy, there are well-known players such as Colley (Sampdoria), Manneh (Catania), Jallow (Vicenza) in addition to the most famous of all, Musa Barrow, the bologna striker who is of Omar’s age and his partner as a child in a football teammate in The Gambia. The duo has always remained in contact.

Omar has left Viareggio to continue his career out of Italy with the first experience in Finland with Kejaani before arriving in the Divizia Nationata Moldova (the equivalent of Italia Serie A) where in the last season he played for Mislami di Ohrei (twenty-seven appearances and a goal). His team won third place in the final standings with a qualification to the newly formed Moldovan Conference League 2021/2022.

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