It has been 11 years since Bony Wilfried (33) left Sparta and went to the Netherlands to pursue his football dream. He was on fire at Arnhem, as he was later at Swansea, which earned him a £30m move to Manchester City. However, his fairy-tale journey stalled there. He is currently unemployed, but still has a taste for football.
How often do you actually remember Sparta?
“Still, I’ll never forget that engagement. It was my first club in Europe, it all started there. I remember, for example, the first training session with the A-team, where Tomáš Řepka fouled me. But I didn’t give in, I also kicked him and most of the boys I gasped at that. I was a fighter, I didn’t want to let anyone like me. Repka was probably amazed at the time, we became friends and we still call each other today.”
“Of course, we talk at least once a month. We both would like Sparta to do better. But I understand that football is uncompromising and it is not easy to succeed in it. It is a big business, you cannot keep good players for long and then it is more difficult to have long-term success. Anyway, I still follow Sparta, thanks to Instagram I keep an overview. My dream is to play in the red jersey one more time at the end of my career. I really wish that from the bottom of my heart.”
How was life in the Czech Republic for you?
“Great! I lived in a small room in Strahov, there was a bed, a closet and a shower a few meters away, but I didn’t mind. I wanted to make it in football, that was the only thing I was interested in. I knew I couldn’t fail. before Sparta I failed the exam in Liverpool and the idea of returning to Africa for the second time failed… It just wasn’t possible. I knew I was playing for everything and I didn’t care at all whether I had a nice room or not. But of course I enjoyed myself and the beauty of Prague, yes again.”
“I went to the city. I knew that I needed to get the team and the fans on my side and that the key could be for me to learn the language. The club offered me a teacher, but that’s not my style. I preferred to go to the city, to Václavák or to Angel, he sat in pubs or danced at discos. And he had fun with the locals. I was never ashamed, I had no inhibitions about speaking Czech, even if I sometimes said terrible nonsense. People probably laughed at me, but I didn’t mind. Thanks to that they were taking me.”
You can find the entire interview with Bony Wilfried on Livesport Zpravy.