He has not made an international debut with Rwanda’s senior national team, but Marine striker Arthur Gitego can’t wait to get the chance and break every record that is there to deal with in the future. Youngster Gitego is gradually chasing his dreams. The budding striker has been enjoying a meteoric rise as he has been in superb form, having established himself as the main player of the Rubavu-based club. The football prodigy has five league goals to his name so far this season and he is only looking hungrier to find the back of the net as the second round of Rwanda Premier League edges closer. Just like many other youngsters, football has been part of Gitego’s life. He recalls that he hails from an underprivileged family but football has kept him going. “Since I was a kid, my life has been about football and it is my passion.” The 20-year-old told Times Sport in an interview “I always dreamt of being a professional footballer and the coaches I met and my fellow teammates even at a young age saw something great in me. They could tell me that I would become a great striker in future,” he recalls. Gitego’s journey to becoming a key player for Marine did not come at ease at all. Only hard work made the difference. Growing up, the young player played for Centre de Formation, an amateur club in Gatenga, Kicukiro District. He had not played for any topflight league team until former Rayon Sports coach Kayiranga offered him an opportunity to play for the club’s senior team. However, he struggled to adapt at the club and was sold to second division side Heroes after playing just two league games for the Blues. Heroes later sold him to Kiyovu but he couldn’t get the chance to play and he was loaned to second tier side Gicumbi FC where he was hoping to get time to play. He played the first round of last season for the Northern Province-based club but, because of injuries, he came back to Kiyovu. He left the club at the end of the 2021/22 season and joined Marine after both parties agreed to terminate his contract. His current team Marines FC has been struggling during the first round of the league, sitting 15th on the league table with seven points but Arthur Gitego has been fantastic at club and national team level. The football prodigy emphasized that he is on a mission and his aim is to bring Marines FC to where they belong before the season ends. “The second round will be different all together. My objective is to put the club where it belongs because we are working hard as a team to bring back smiles on the faces of our fans and supporters,” an ambitious Gitego vowed. “We are going to give the club all that we have in our quest to survive and remain in the Premier League,” he added. With five goals so far, Gitego is eager to continue from where he left off in the second round as he hopes to save Marine FC from relegation. “The first round was good for me. I scored five goals and provided three assists. I want to keep that spirit of working hard and to maintain my form. My personal target is to be the top scorer this season,” he said. Just like any other young footballer, Gitego has two players he draws inspiration from as they shape up his career in diverse ways. The striker revealed that he looks up to Amavubi striker Ernest Sugira, who currently plies his trade in Syria, as well as five-time “Ballon d’Or” winner Cristiano Ronaldo. “Sugira is my adviser and my friend. That’s why I wear a No 16 shirt in the national team which is the number he also wears while on national team duty. Globally, my idol is Cristiano Ronaldo because he inspires me a lot. He is a great finisher, he never gives up and I have the same traits,” revealed Gitego. Outside of football, he likes playing basketball and he is a big fan of music. When you chat with Gitego, you realize that he has a big dream to play professional football abroad, while he also wants to feature for the Amavubi senior team. “My aim in football is to play professionally abroad. I want to also break every record in the Rwanda national team,” he said. “I was privileged to play in the U23 AFC qualifiers. Many clubs in Europe and Asia became interested in me, it’s only a matter of time to reach my target,” he concluded. Gitego was named in the Times Sport best ten young Rwandan players to look out for in 2023.