Nigeria defender Tyronne Ebuehi says he is happy with his improved fitness after making his second pre-season friendly match appearance for his Portuguese club, Benfica, in a 1-0 win against Italian giants, AC Milan on Sunday night at the Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, reports Completesports.com.
Ebuehi took the place of Alex Grimaldo in the 73rd minute of the highly entertaining encounter. Benfica’s solitary match winner was scored by Adel Taarabt in the 70th minute.
“It was a good preseason game , everyone has to be fit for the new season, and this is a big tournament where great teams are present,” Ebuehi told Benfica website after the match.
“I played a little, but I think well, it was 20 minutes, and for me it’s step by step. I was injured a year [ago] and I have to stay calm. I am happy to be back, I already missed playing football and I am happy to be back in the team.”
On his readiness to play 90 minutes after that long injury-induced layoff, Ebuehi says he is close to doing just that but certainly not in a hurry.
“I feel like I’m close, but I can’t rush things , and the important thing is to stay calm, because it was a very serious injury. Of course, I want to play [in the Super Cup]. I know I can play, but as I said, I have to stay calm and you’ll soon see. I know everything will go well and everything will be as before.
“The fans are fantastic and they motivate the whole team, me too. Benfica is a great club, I was expecting, but it’s fantastic!,” Ebuehi concluded.
The former ADO Den Haag of the Netherlands defender earlier featured in the 3-0 friendly win against Mexican side, Guadalajara. He came in as a 79th minute substitute for Nuno Tavares in the game.
Benfica have now rounded off their pre-season games for the 2019/2020 campaign and will now shift attention to Sunday’s Portuguese Super Cup clash against Sporting Lisbon which will hold at the Estádio Do Algarve.
Ebuehi ruptured his cruciate ligament in training last summer few weeks after his well celebrated move from ADO Den Haag and spent the entire season on the sidelines.
The 23-year-old was part of Nigeria’s squad to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
He missed out on a place in the squad that came third at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations due to the injury.
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