Wigan Athletic of England defender, Leon Aderemi Balogun has cast his mind back to his maiden World Cup outing with Nigeria’s Super Eagles and declared that he will forever remember how he battled Barcelona of Spain superstar, Lionel Messi in the last group match,megasportsarena.com reports.
Although Nigeria eventually lost that game 2-1 against Argentina, making it the fourth straight defeat the Eagles would suffer against the same opponent in consecutive editions of the Mundial, Balogun recalled how much delight he got from playing the match at Russia 2018.
That was a point he was still the preferred central defence partner with Udinese of Italy stopper, William Troost-Ekong, together with whom he enjoys the tag ‘Oyibo Wall,’ and the Germany-born defender, who only last week moved officially to Wigan from Brighton & Hove Albion,
He actually got the move to Brighton from SV Mainz of Germany after excelling at Russia 2018, but injuries and age appeared to catch up with him, such that the 31-year-old lad, who has also played for Werder Bremen, Fortuna Dusseldorf and Darmstadt of Germany, failed to seal a spot in The Seagulls’ main team and then moved over to Wigan on loan in January.
Having now turned that loan deal into a full contract with The Latics, Balogun will aim to get regular playing time with the club that previously had Julius Efosa Aghahowa and Victor Moses on their cards, while also praying that would help him regain his status in the Eagles.
Regaining his status in the Eagles could see Balogun go on to star for Nigeria aged 32 at the next World Cup in Qatar two years from now, and he would be banking on memories of his spirited efforts against Messi et al in the Eagles’ last group match at Russia 2018 to help him scale all odds that might come against him and other players in the squad.
Balogun posted; “On this day in 2018 – representing Naija in front of my parents in a sold out stadium during the World Cup 2018 against Argentina Flag of NigeriaEagleGreen heart the bro @Ndidi25 aka Double Engine & my humbled self taking on a certain Lionel Messi – rumour has it he’s a baller 🤷🏽♂️Face savouring food #ProudestMoment.”