'My parents are proud Nigerians' - Premier League's fastest player reveals he considered playing for Super EaglesPublished: December 09, 2023
The Premier League's fastest player, Chiedozie Ogbene has admitted that he considered playing international football for the Super Eagles before he became cap-tied to the Republic of Ireland.
The Luton Town striker is currently the number one speedstar in this season's Premier League, clocking 36.93kph against Fulham in September to rank first ahead of Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Pedro Neto and Liverpool midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai.
Ogbene was born in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos to Nigerian parents, making him eligible to represent the Super Eagles before pledging his international future to the Boys in Green.
In June 2021, when he made his debut for the Republic of Ireland, the 26-year-old became the first-ever player born in Africa to represent the Boys in Green, and has gone on to make a further eighteen appearances for the European nation.
Chiedozie's dad, Emmanuel Ogbene relocated to Ireland with his family in 2005 when the Luton Town striker was aged eight.
The former Rotherham United and Brentford attacker revealed that it was difficult for him to shut the doors on the Nigerian national team due to his Nigerian heritage.
"Nigeria was if, buts and maybes. It was difficult because my parents are proud Nigerians and I wanted to make them proud but they are as proud of me playing for Ireland," Ogbene said to the Mirror.
"I went through the system in Ireland, it is my adopted home, and the opportunity was massive.
"If you want me, I want to be with you. If you give me an opportunity I will never say no. I was also given the opportunity to come to the Premier League and I didn’t want to turn it down."
Apart from Ogbene, the Football Association of Ireland have also locked up the future of Gvain Bazunu (Southampton), Andrew Omobamidele (Nottingham Forest), Michael Obafemi (Burnley), Festy Ebosele (Udinese) and Adam Idah (Norwich City) who had been eligible to represent the Super Eagles through their fathers.
Photo Credit: lutontown.co.uk
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