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Troost-Ekong pitches Osimhen future Super Eagles’ captain

Troost-Ekong pitches Osimhen future Super Eagles’ captain

Netherlands-born Nigeria national football team, the Super Eagles’ captain, William Troost-Ekong has hinted his confidence in the capacity of his teammate and top striker, Victor Osimhen to succeed him as captain. The 30-year-old Troost-Ekong has held his spot as a national team lead since making his debut in June 2015 in an Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Chad. He represented the European nation at U19 and U20 levels before switching nationality to play for Nigeria—making 71 appearances for the Super Eagles, while starring in multiple tournaments, including the 2016 Olympics in Rio, two AFCONs and one FIFA World Cup. His latest tournament was the 2023 AFCON in Cote D’Ivoire, where he played six out of Nigeria’s seven matches reaching the finals. Although the Super Eagles’ decade-long wait to win the Nations Cup landed them in second place, having lost to hosts Ivory Coast in the final, Troost-Ekong won the tournament’s golden ball. Again, noting a team member with the strong potential to lead and deliver for the country’s national team after him, Troost-Ekong holds up Osimhen as the future Super Eagles captain. The PAOK defender scored three goals in the tournament, two of which came in the semi-final and final against South Africa and Ivory Coast respectively. Having captained his country for two successive AFCONs now, Troost-Ekong believes Osimhen has demonstrated impeccable leadership during Nigeria’s AFCON campaign, and although he scored just once, his work rate and selfless play made up for his lack of goals.

For him, Osimhen was also instrumental in Napoli’s historic title success last season, leading by example from the front and scoring 26 goals in Serie A to emerge as the league’s top scorer. “I am a fan of his. I saw his journey when he came to be a part of the Super Eagles in 2019, as an understudy of Odion Ighalo. I saw how hard he worked. He is a leader in our team, and I tell him that ‘everybody is watching you. The way you play, it drives all of us. I just try to remind him how important he is, and I think he understands that role now and what he means to Nigeria as a person and as a football player. I’m sure that he’s going to be a captain of the Super Eagles in future, that’s my wish for him. And for him to win the AFCON and be the leader in that moment.” Troost-Ekong said.

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