Super Eagles defender, William Troost-Ekong, rejoices as he’s able to prove Ex-Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh wrong for not believing in his strength when he played for him.
Troost-Ekong has become a mainstay in the Eagles team under Gernot Rohr, after he was sidelined by Oliseh for “being too soft”.
Troost-Ekong who was among other players who helped Nigeria qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia was frozen out of the national team by Oliseh after he made only two appearances against Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo under him.
In an exclusive interview with ACL Sports, Troost-Ekong said: “I wanted to play for Nigeria and as soon as Stephen Keshi called me in 2015 and asked if I was interested, yeah, it was a dream come true to play for Nigeria against Chad that time.
“The Olympics was like a restart for my international career. I was part of the Super Eagles until Sunday Oliseh took me out because he said Oyibo boys are too soft.
“I hope he (Oliseh) is watching his TV now and see us going to the World Cup.” No ill feelings with him, I saw him at the Olympics last year and we spoke briefly, though he didn’t believe in me then, but I think Nigerians can see now what I can do.”
Ekong who was born in the Netherlands to a Nigerian father and Dutch mother made his senior international debut for Nigeria on 13 June 2015, playing 90 minutes in an AFCON qualifier against Chad.
In 2016, he made three starts for the senior team before being selected by Nigeria’s under-23 team in their 35-man provisional squad for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, where he played every minute and went on to win Bronze with the National team.
The 25-year-old who is being paired with German-born Leon Balogun in central defence, was subsequently called up by new Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr for Nigeria’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, where he proved himself and helped his country to secure a ticket to the 2018 World Cup tournament.