Atalanta forward Ademola Lookman has revealed that it was his decision, and not that of his parents, to switch his international allegiance from England to Nigeria.
Born in London, England, to parents of Nigerian descent, Lookman was eligible to represent the two football-loving countries.
The Charlton Athletic product even played for the European giants at the youth level, the highlight of which was winning the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2017.
Lookman, however, decided to play internationally for the three-time African champions. And in 2022, the winger made his Super Eagles debut on 25 March 2022, in a scoreless draw with Ghana during a World Cup qualifier.
And Lookman, who has been exceptional for Atalanta, confesses that it was a well-thought-out decision influenced by his desire to build an international career. The 26-year-old insists wearing the famous green-white kit is the best step he has taken in his career.
What has Lookman said?
“It was nothing to do with my parents because they wouldn’t really tell me to go here or there,” Lookman told The Times.
“I wanted to build a career internationally. The decision was something that I thought about for a long time before making.”
To play for Nigeria is an honour first of all and the best decision I ever made. I’m happy I made it.”
With the Super Eagles, Ademola gets the chance to play with some of the most talented strikers in the game, including Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho, and Nottingham Forest’s Taiwo Awoniyi. In midfield for the Nigerian national team are Leicester’s Wilfred Ndidi and Everton’s Alex Iwobi while former Chelsea man Ola Aina adds quality in defence.
According to the team’s Portuguese coach, Jose Peseiro, the Super Eagles will target qualifying for and winning the next edition of the Africa Cup of Nations.