Register Login Scores

African Football

Iwobi: Why I Snubbed England For Nigeria

On Tuesday, Arsenal starlet Alex Iwobi scored a brace against Lionel Messi’s Argentina. In an exclusive interview with Soccer Laduma, he revealed why he decided to represent Nigeria instead of England.

Click through the mini-gallery above to see other players who switched allegiances at senior national level.

The 21-year-old, who is the nephew of Super Eagles legend Jay-Jay Okocha, made his Nigeria debut in October 2015 and has since represented the African side 14 times.

He has scored four goals in the process, including the strike that booked Nigeria their spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, as well as a brace against Argentina, who rested Messi, in a 4-2 win on Wednesday.

Iwobi was born in Nigeria but moved to England at the age of four. He came through Arsenal's youth academy and represented the Three Lions at U16, U17 and U18 levels. However, at senior level he opted to switch allegiance the African side and has recently told explained why.

"I was growing up in England and England was the only national team I knew, so I was actually very pleased to play at national level," he said in an exclusive interview published in this week's edition of Soccer Laduma.

"However, my family are all from Nigeria, I was born in Nigeria, my uncle (Jay-Jay Okocha) is a legend in Nigeria.

"That's why I thought I would give it a chance. That's why I went to the U23s and somehow felt more welcome, and I thought it's where I belong, so I made the decision to switch."

Read: African World Cup Participants Who Snubbed Europe

Iwobi made his senior debut for Arsenal in October 2015, and has since represented the Gunners 68 times.

Read the whole interview, during which the future African superstar talks about Arsene Wenger, his famous uncle Okocha, scoring the goal that helped Nigeria to qualify for the World Cup, and much more, in this week's edition of Soccer Laduma, issue 1049.

Five Nominees For BBC African Player Of The Year Revealed

Gallery: The Biggest Stadiums In Africa

Africa's WC Absentee XI

8 comments

Top 5

12 Players Who Went Bankrupt

18 Dec 07, 2020 12:34 PM in World News

Nedbank Cup Last 32 Fixtures Revealed

116 Jan 14, 2021 06:28 PM in Nedbank Cup

Beckham Fires Coach, Wants Former Man Utd Teammate

3 Jan 08, 2021 11:23 AM in World News

Chiefs' Plans To Catch Downs

138 Jan 08, 2021 07:05 AM in Kaizer Chiefs

Official: 10 More Confirmed January Transfers

2 Jan 15, 2021 08:15 PM in International Transfers

Official: Man Utd Confirm Second January Exit

1 Jan 13, 2021 05:37 PM in English Premier League

Messi Named World’s Greatest Playmaker Of The Decade, CR7 Not In Top 10

23 Jan 12, 2021 01:36 PM in Messi/Ronaldo/Neymar Watch

‘Chiefs Genius’ Headlines Rama’s Dream Team

28 Jan 15, 2021 02:44 PM in Kaizer Chiefs

Pep Praises Brighton & Tau

7 Jan 15, 2021 10:31 AM in English Premier League

14 Footballers Who Have Degrees

28 Sep 16, 2020 08:30 PM in World News

Chiefs Explain Unpleasant Trip To Angola

56 Jan 07, 2021 09:14 AM in Kaizer Chiefs

11 Footballers Who Went Broke

33 Jun 10, 2020 07:15 PM in World News

Festival & Co Lauded As Unbeaten Swallows Prepare For Bucs

6 Jan 07, 2021 03:12 PM in Orlando Pirates