Over two weeks after the Super Eagles of Nigeria crashed out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, defender Leon Balogun recalls his “invaluable experience” with the team while their campaign lasted.
The Nigerian men could not go past the group stages after securing just one win out of their three matches, and Balogun says he is still haunted by the team’s early ouster from the Russia showpiece.
The Eagles kicked off their campaign on a disappointing note as they fell 2-0 to Croatia, but revived their hopes of advancing with a 2-0 win over Iceland in their second game. They needed a point against Argentina in their final match, but were stunned by a late winner from Marcos Rojo.
“It’s been 2 weeks since this exciting journey has ended for my team and me. Reminiscing it’s still painful, I won’t lie. But life goes on and it gives you so many reasons to smile,” Balogun, who featured in all three games in Russia, wrote on his Instagram page.
“Meanwhile I turned 30 (thx for all the messages 🙏🏽), am about to start a new chapter in Brighton and there will be a new world champion soon making their nation proud.
“I will be forever grateful for this invaluable experience with the Super Eagles. So this is to say thank you to my team, the complete staff, to everyone who was part of this great journey and supported us. To Russia and its people for their great hospitality.
” And last but not least, THANK YOU Nigeria for the endless support. It’s been a great honour representing you and we hope we could make you proud. We will continue to strive for greatness in the future so one day we can hopefully bring a trophy back home 🙏🏽💚🇳🇬 #.”
In May, Balogun completed a move to English Premier League club, Brighton and Hove Albion on a two-year contract.
He was snapped up by the Seagulls on a free transfer from Bundesliga side Mainz.
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