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Why I chose Nigeria over Germany – Super Eagles goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye

Super Eagles goalkeeper Maduka Okoye has explained why he ditched the chance to play international football with Germany to pitch his tent with Nigeria.

Okoye, though of Nigerian descent, was eligible to play for Germany. But he had not been to Nigeria for fourteen years prior to his invitation to the Super Eagles for last November’s Africa Cup of Nations (2021) qualifying matches against Benin and Lesotho.

Gernot Rohr afforded Okoye the opportunity to make his international debut when he played the last 27 minutes of Nigeria’s 1-1 draw with Brazil in Singapore on October 13, 2019, a memory he had to even tattoo on his hand because of his love for his country.

He told Eagles Tracker: “Simply the love for Nigeria and the way I grew up, it was an easy decision.

“It’s always being a dream to play for Nigeria, the chance came and I took it directly. There was no second I wanted to waste.”

He also said he wants to follow in the footsteps of former Super Eagles goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama while praising German-born player Leon Balogun for taking him under his wings when he earned his maiden call-up for a friendly against Ukraine last September.

“I admire Vincent Enyeama, he’s a legend. What he has done for this country, he’s an idol. I am looking up to him and I want to do things that he he has done for Nigeria, that’s why I’m looking up to him.

“Leon Balogun because he is also half-German and he’s like a big brother, he told me everything and he introduced me to everyone very well.

“Now we are a big family, every player is like a brother to me. I am learning everyday from every player when I’m with the Eagles. It’s a blessing to be part of this team,” said Okoye.

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Written by Vivian Ifezue

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