Nigeria goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye has stated that his decision to play for the Super Eagles instead of the German national team came down to following his heart and feeling loved.
The shot-stopper was invited by Gernot Rohr for the friendly against Ukraine on September 10, 2019 as part of a long-term solution to Nigeria’s goalkeeper problems. He made his debut on October 13, 2019 coming on as a substitute in the Super Eagles’ 1-1 draw with Brazil.
“My advice is follow your heart,” Okoye said on the Nigeria Super Eagles YouTube Channel when asked what to consider when pledging international allegiance.
“You have to feel where the love is.
“I felt the love in Nigeria and I feel like a Naija boy that’s why I chose Nigeria over Germany.”
Okoye also believes that with the likes of Victor Osimhen, Joe Aribo, Samuel Chukwueze, Samuel Kalu and other young players, the future of the Nigerian national team is bright.
“There is so much talent in this squad, and I think in the next few years when we get a bit more experience, we can be a great squad and get a good place in the World Cup and Afcon 2021.”
Francis Uzoho’s long-term injury means Okoye will have competition from the likes of Daniel Akpeyi – who is doing exceptionally well for Kaizer Chiefs in the South African Premier Soccer League – and Ikechukwu Ezenwa for a starting berth.
“It’s not going to be easy. I have to do it step by step, for now, I take everything, the experience, the training,” he said.
“We are like brothers, we are pushing each other, maybe it will take time, but I will try to get better day by day with the help of the other guys.”
Okoye currently plies his trade in the German Regionalliga West with Fortuna Dusseldorf II, featuring 11 times this season.