Udinese of Italy defender, William Troost-Ekong is taking delight in his man of the match award from Wednesday’s Africa Cup of Nations third place match against Tunisia, and says it makes him proud of playing for Nigeria, much more than it has ever been, megasportsarena.com reports.
The Holland-born stopper admitted he felt really bad with the own goal that came off his body in the semi-finals loss to Algeria, but recalled how he had scored a last minute winner against South Africa in the quarter-final, and affirmed that he is proud of donning the green-and-white.
Born September 1, 1993 into a mixed Dutch and Nigerian family made him eligible for both Netherlands and Nigeria in international football, but Troost-Ekong opted to represent his father’s country,
The former youth team player at Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur of England, who went onto star for Groningen and Dodrecht of Holland, Haugesund of Norway, KAA Gent of Belgium and Bursaspor of Turkey, says he remains grateful that he took the decision to switch allegiance from Hollnad and play for Nigeria.
That decision has seen him pick an Olympic Games bronze medal, which he achieved with the under-23 team at Rio 2016, and he added another bronze from the Cup of Nations to his closet on Wednesday, with World Cup matches at Russia 2018 also under his boots, plus a couple of games leading the team as stand-in captain.
All these achievements have left Troost-Ekong standing tall, such that he has put behind him the disappointment of Sunday’s loss to Algeria and his own goal that orchestrated the slump, preferring instead to count his blessings since getting his Eagles’ debut on June 13, 2015 in a Cup of Nations qualifier against Chad.
Troost-Ekong enthused: “My choice to play for Nigeria wasn’t hard. At that time, I didn’t have the chance to play for the Dutch national team.
“I know I won’t make any of my family proud playing for Netherlands, so I chose to be a part of the Nigerian National team.
“I think I made the right decision cause I played the Olympic Games, the World Cup, and AFCON. I had some great moments playing for Nigeria.”