Bursaspor of Turkey defender, William Troost-Ekong admits he is relishing his relevance in the Super Eagles, but recounted that he struggle to settle down because the players took time to fully welcome him.
Troost-Ekong netted his maiden international goal in Nigeria’s 1-1 draw with DR Congo, but the Holland-born stopper says h could have dropped out long ago.
This is because Troost-Ekong said the Eagles players accepted former West Bromwich Albion striker, Peter Osaze Odemwingie more than him, even though both players are of mixed-race.
Odemwingie was born in Uzbekistan to a Nigerian father and Russia mother, but grew up in Nigeria, while Ekong was born in the Netherlands to a Nigerian father and Dutch mother, then spent all his early days abroad.
”Keshi put a new process into effect. They went to look for boys who had their football training in Europe. There are boys around us who were born in the Netherlands, Germany and England,” Ekong said in an interview with Dutch football magazine Elf Voetbal.
”Some have one Nigerian parent, such as Tyronne and me. But Alex Iwobi from Arsenal has two Nigerian parents.
”In Nigeria, they see me as a ‘blank’ (Dutch for someone with white skin,ed) and the team was surprised I was there. Not that I was the first person with a second nationality.
”Peter Odemwingie was until then I think the best known. He is half Russian, half Nigerian. But because he was brought up in Nigeria, he was more easily accepted. In the beginning, they looked at me a lot because of that.”