Ba living the dream with Toon
Newcastle striker Demba Ba has admitted becoming one of the Premier League's top strikers is a dream come true
Last Updated: 20/01/12 4:00pm
Newcastle striker Demba Ba has admitted becoming one of the Premier League's top strikers is a dream come true.
Despite scoring seven goals in 12 games for West Ham last season, it was not enough to keep the Hammers in the Premier League.
The 26-year-old then joined Newcastle in the summer and has continued his fine scoring form.
From 19 games for the Magpies, Ba has scored 15 Premier League goals, with only Arsenal's Robin van Persie (18) having scored more.
It is all a far cry from his youth, when Ba had a series of unsuccessful trials before playing in France, Belgium and Germany, earning a move to the Premier League only last January.
"I'm aware of the journey I have made," said Ba, who is currently at the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal.
"I have now got the chance to express myself, to do what I have always wanted to do in my life, and I make the most of it every day.
"I'm not really surprised. I know I am capable of playing well, as I have managed to do in the first half of the season.
"It's more than a surprise - it's a feeling of pride to be so high in the scoring charts alongside quality forwards like Wayne Rooney, Sergio Aguero and Robin van Persie."
He is now set battle it out with Mamadou Niang, Moussa Sow and new Newcastle team-mate Papiss Demba Cisse for a place in Senegal's frontline, but Ba insists it is merely a friendly rivalry.
"Everyone wants a starting role but, honestly, if that chance falls to another player, we will be happy for him and give him our full support," Ba added.
"We have been preparing for this competition for two years. We are a group of friends and most of us have known each other for a very long time.
"The good mood in our team will help us go far.
"Personally, I just want to carry on in this vein and win titles. That, after all, is the ultimate goal when you play football."
Senegal have been installed as third favourites behind Ivory Coast and Ghana, and begin their campaign against Zambia on Saturday.