By Bamidele Boluwaji:
Hull City defender Ola Aina has explained why he opted to play for the Super Eagles and admitted that he will be very delighted if coach Gernot Rohr includes him in Nigeria’s squad to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
“A World Cup at 21, that would be a big achievement,” Aina told Hull Daily Mail.
The Chelsea star, who is on loan at Hull City, has just four games remaining of his season-long loan with the Championship club.
“To be in the squad would be a blessing. I’ve just got to work hard here to secure a place and leave a good impression every time. It would be an honour.
“I get the same pride representing Nigeria, probably a little bit more, just because it’s closer to my origins. It’s deeper if you know what I mean,” Aina added.
“I was honoured to play for England (at age-grade level) but as of now I’m super honoured to play for Nigeria. It’s a big nation and a privilege to play for them.”
Aina who was part of the Super Eagles that faced Poland and Serbia in friendly games in Wroclaw and London in March, said he decided to honour Nigeria based on the country’s constant calls.
“I wasn’t getting selected as much and Nigeria have always been knocking on the door from an early age. That’s my ethnic origin and at the time I just thought I need to play for Nigeria. England wasn’t there so I just had to pick Nigeria. And it felt right, you know?” he explained.
“I think it’s the right decision for me. I enjoy it every time I go away. It’s a good bunch of lads and coaching staff. It’s always a good experience for me.”
Aina could be in the squad that will face England at Wembley on June 2 in Nigeria’s last World Cup build-up game and the youngster is already looking forward to that opportunity.
“It’s come across my mind obviously,” he said.
“It would be weird, a funny feeling. I’ve got some friends in that England squad, so it would be a good day. Exciting. When the time comes, I’ll be looking forward to it.”