Super Eagles’ defender, Kenneth Omeruo, said he’s benefiting from the experiences of club and national team coaches who were seasoned defenders during their playing days.
In a chat with FIFA.com, the defender born in October 17, 1993, the month and year Nelson Mandela and Frederik Willem de Klerk won the Nobel Peace Prize, thanked Aitor Karanka and Stephen Keshi for improving his game.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Middlesbrough,” Omeruo said.
“I knew that if I had the chance to play I would keep the position. I would like to thank the club, the manager especially for believing in me and playing me. I’m happy that I didn’t disappoint him. I knew I had to play games to be fit for the World Cup and also to make the squad. It’s been a really good season for me.”
The manager he speaks of is Karanka, who graced the Santiago Bernabeu during his playing days, winning three UEFA Champions Leagues during his time as a Real Madrid defender.
“It’s easy to play under a manager that has played in the centre of defence,” he said.
“I’m lucky to have the same in the national team (with Stephen Keshi). You get advice from them on how you should play.”
Omeruo played for the Nigerian Under-20 team that reached the quarter-finals at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia.
He made his Super Eagles debut on January 9, 2013 in a goalless draw against Cape Verde. He then went on to play in all of Nigeria’s matches at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations as the Super Eagles went on to win the competition for the third time.
Omeruo is in Keshi’s 30-man provisional list for 2014 World Cup preparation.