Troost-Ekong says switching from Netherlands to play for Nigeria ‘best decision ever’


Super Eagles and Udinese of Italy defender, Williams Troost-Ekong has described his decision to play for Nigeria as the best ever he has made.

The 25-year-old, who was born in the Netherlands to a Dutch mother and Nigerian father, represented the European nation at youth level before switching allegiance to Nigeria.

Troost-Ekong represented Nigeria at the Olympics in 2016 and won a bronze medal. He also played at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

“I think the decision to play for Nigeria has to be the best ever for me,” Troost-Ekong told BBC Sport.

“We have some amazing and talented players in Nigeria and to get a chance to play for a great country like ours is an honour and immense privilege.

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“You cannot force anyone to choose Nigeria, you must love the country and be committed to it or you don’t bother.

“Personally, I will be grateful for the opportunity and everything Nigeria has given to my career.

“I’ve fulfilled some dreams by playing at the Olympic Games and on the biggest stage [World Cup] in Russia, now I look forward to living another dream by playing at the Africa Cup of Nations.

“I couldn’t see too far ahead but I couldn’t have imagined all of that is happening in my career now at a young age.

“But here I am and it’s thanks to hard work, the coaches, our fans and my teammates who have all been supportive.”

Ekong, who has played for Tottenham, Groningen and Gent, made his debut for the Eagles in a match against Chad in June 2015, and has since been capped 30 times, scoring once.

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Ben Ugbana

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