Blackburn Rovers striker Rudy Gestede puts international dream on hold

Rudy Gestede

Rudy Gestede

First published in Sport Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Blackburn Rovers reporter

BLACKBURN Rovers striker Rudy Gestede has put his international dream on hold in order to be fit and firing for the start of pre-season.

Fans’ favourite Gestede was supposed to be in action for Benin today in their African Cup of Nations qualifier away to Sao Tome and Principe.

But, instead of travelling to the island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, the 25-year-old has remained at home to rest the groin injury that troubled him toward the end of the campaign.

The problem did not prevent Gestede from firing in nine goals in his final nine starts of the season.

But the France-born frontman, who was named the Championship’s player of the month for April, is not prepared to take any risks.

That said the former France U19s international still intends to help Benin, who he qualifies for through his grandmother, to their first African Cup of Nations since 2010.

“When I was younger I played with France but the French team is a high level and the players play for the biggest teams in the world,” said Gestede, who has scored two goals in four games for the West African nation since switching allegiances last year.

“But now I’ve got my side and the choice was easy to do. They called me up four or five years ago but I was younger and I was waiting for France to maybe give me a go.

“But now I’m older and I know where I want to go. I have a dream but I want to be realistic as well.

“Benin is a good team in Africa, we are improving, with young players, and we are trying to qualify for the African Cup of Nations in January.”

For Benin, whose squad also features former Accrington Stanley midfielder Rommy Boco, to make next year’s finals in Morocco they will have to negotiate two rounds of qualifying and then a further group stage.

Gestede knows it will be a tall order.

But on the domestic front he is confident that Rovers can be genuine promotion contenders in 2014-15.

“We are going to challenge next year,” said Gestede.

“We’ve got a strong team, a strong bench, and young players who are coming good – everything is there.

“With a few more players, or even if we keep the same team, we will be strong.”

Rovers boss Gary Bowyer, meanwhile, is in India for a meeting with the club’s owners Venky’s.

Bowyer will discover his budget for next season at the Pune talks.

Comments (8)

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10:46am Sat 17 May 14

Incest Each Sunday says...

Good lad, wrap yourself up in cotton wool over the summer, ready to bang in a perfect hat-trick on the opening day.
Good lad, wrap yourself up in cotton wool over the summer, ready to bang in a perfect hat-trick on the opening day. Incest Each Sunday
  • Score: 33

12:02pm Sat 17 May 14

cboyer says...

rudy is going to be a rovers legend
rudy is going to be a rovers legend cboyer
  • Score: 30

2:14pm Sat 17 May 14

mammamiauk says...

Can't wait for the new season although I am still waiting to renew my season ticket!!
Can't wait for the new season although I am still waiting to renew my season ticket!! mammamiauk
  • Score: 9

2:16pm Sat 17 May 14

owd nick says...

Good, a player with his head screwed on the right way, have a good break, get fit and start next season as he finished this one.

Can't wait.
Good, a player with his head screwed on the right way, have a good break, get fit and start next season as he finished this one. Can't wait. owd nick
  • Score: 10

3:44pm Sat 17 May 14

MattNewcastle says...

Rudy has become the face of our club along with Cairney both combined demonstrating the qualities we all wish to see

"Arte Labore"

However I dont think we will get automatic promotion or playoffs if we dont sign a crestive midfueld player to covet an Evans Cairney midfield partnership.

I also did not see a massive impact to our matches from players from the bench

a great deal of the time Team GB didnt actually use the full allocation available to help affect the course of matches
Rudy has become the face of our club along with Cairney both combined demonstrating the qualities we all wish to see "Arte Labore" However I dont think we will get automatic promotion or playoffs if we dont sign a crestive midfueld player to covet an Evans Cairney midfield partnership. I also did not see a massive impact to our matches from players from the bench a great deal of the time Team GB didnt actually use the full allocation available to help affect the course of matches MattNewcastle
  • Score: -2

3:52pm Sat 17 May 14

MattNewcastle says...

In addition a good seasin from Rudy will see many more suitors than for JR.
In addition a good seasin from Rudy will see many more suitors than for JR. MattNewcastle
  • Score: -3

8:34pm Sat 17 May 14

Fartonadingleshead says...

What ? No comment from the twit?
What ? No comment from the twit? Fartonadingleshead
  • Score: 4

7:23pm Sun 18 May 14

roverstid says...

Fartonadingleshead wrote:
What ? No comment from the twit?
Why invite it?
[quote][p][bold]Fartonadingleshead[/bold] wrote: What ? No comment from the twit?[/p][/quote]Why invite it? roverstid
  • Score: 3

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