I’m right to choose Nigeria over England, says Arsenal’s Iwobi

I’m right to choose Nigeria over England, says Arsenal’s Iwobi
February 24
18:24 2015

Arsenal U-21 team captain, Alex Iwobi, says he made the right decision opting to play for Nigeria ahead of England.

Iwobi (pictured with his father) has represented England at U-16, 17 and 18 level but the 18-year-old midfielder had been due to play in Nigeria’s U-23 team in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Gabon in an All-Africa Games qualifier but had to watch from the stands as the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) are yet to get clearance from FIFA for his switch of national allegiance.

“I understand I have to wait,” Iwobi told BBC Sport.

“I grew up watching Nigerian football and read all about my uncle’s (Jay-Jay Okocha) remarkable career and the success story of (Nwankwo) Kanu with Nigeria and Arsenal.

“It’s my second time with the U-23s and I think I have made the right decision coming here.”

And his father, Chuka Iwobi, backs his decision to represent the country.

“Alex is very, very keen and the entire family is enthusiastic for him to represent Nigeria. He was born here in Nigeria but we took him as a four-month old baby to England and he has been there ever since,” he told

“He turned out for England at U-16, U-17 and U-18 levels in a number of friendlies and invitational tournaments, but we are all eager for him to play for Nigeria at senior level.

“We are all excited at the imminence of Alex wearing the green-white-green. Anything that we need to do, any letter or papers that we need to give to the Nigeria Football Federation, we are ready to do that.

“I can’t believe the publicity that he has amassed over the past weeks. You open the papers and they are talking about Alex, and also on the radio. It is amazing.”

Chuka Iwobi, who is from Onitsha in Anambra State, confirmed that his son’s mother is English but added that there’s no iota of doubt on where his heart lies.

“Even if he is not able to play for the U-23 National Team, we are looking forward to him playing for the Super Eagles. It will be the fulfilment of a dream.”

Iwobi could eventually realise this dream as he’s fast adjusting to the difference between European and African football after only a week’s training with the Dream Team.

“First thing is the weather, the football is also different, it’s more physical and you have to think quicker on the ball,” he said.

“Coming from England, these are important lessons that will impact my career and make me a better player. The ambition is to break into the Arsenal first team plans and fulfil my ambition of playing at the top level on a regular basis.

“The main thing for me is to keep working hard as I still have a long way to get to the top.”


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