Ademola Lookman made his Super Eagles debut for Nigeria against Ghana in Kumasi, and is dreaming of his first 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar with Nigeria’s victory in Abuja.
Despite his caps and success for England at the youth level, Lookman, the Wandsworth born accepted to represent Nigeria through his parents and received approval from FIFA in February 2022.
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After making his debut for Nigeria as a 74th-minute replacement for Moses Simon, Lookman spoke to CAFOnline.com about the reasons behind his choice and his excitement to play for the West African nation.
“I am very excited to be part of Nigeria’s National team and I’m feeling blessed and looking forward to helping the team,” Lookman told CAFOnline.com.
I hope to create great and memorable memories. Belief is a great thing not just in football, but I am sure when you believe put in the hard work which I’ve been putting in you can achieve.
“Both my parents are Nigerians and I’ve always seen these [representing Nigeria] as a possibility. I came to Nigeria, frequently when I was much younger.
“I am familiar with the people and built up a family here, so the switch from England to Nigeria is not an unusual one for me. I am glad I made the switch.”
Lookman featured at U19, U20 and U21 level for England and helped the European side to win the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup in South Korea, scoring thrice including a brace in their 2-1 Round of 16 triumph over Costa Rica.
With his senior debut in green-white-green at Baba Yara Stadium on Friday, the Leicester City man is backing his side to subdue their archrivals at the Moshood Abiola Stadium.
“This is a special event, special moments, the expectations are high. For us, it’s about winning and giving our best in the match,” Lookman continues.
“Ghana is a strong team, very competitive and physical. We expect that but we’ll be ready.”
Having won a FIFA U20 World Cup with England, the former Charlton Athletic and Fulham star admits he is relishing the prospect of making podium successes with the Super Eagles.
“I hope to create great and memorable memories. Belief is a great thing not just in football, but I am sure when you believe put in hard work which I’ve been putting in you can achieve,” he said.
“I work every day to achieve my goal. I am glad to be a part of African history and glad to be here and I hope to give you Nigerians sweet memories.”
The winner of the doubleheader between the two nations will claim one of the five African slots for Qatar 2022 and Lookman will be keen to make an impactful presence on Tuesday.