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I’ve not closed door on Nigeria, says Akpoguma


Hoffenheim’s German defender Kevin Akpoguma and Lyon’s Dutch forward Memphis Depay (L) vie for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group F football match between TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and Olympique Lyon in Sinsheim, on October 23, 2018. (Photo by Daniel ROLAND / AFP)

Kevin Akpoguma is rated by world football governing body, FIFA as one of the future stars of the game.

The Hoffenheim defender, who captained Germany at the 2015 U-20 World Cup has played for the Die Mannschaft at all the youth levels, but he is yet to play for the main team of the 2014 world champions.

And so, he is still eligible to play for the Super Eagles.

Akpoguma has a Nigerian father and a German mother, which makes him eligible to play for either of the two countries.

But the talented defender prefers to wait for a chance with the German team and will decide to switch allegiance to Nigeria if he failed to get the chance with Joachim Loew’s team.

He told The Guardian after Hoffenheim’s 4-0 defeat of Stuttgart that he has thought hard of playing for Nigeria, adding, “but the thing is that I was born in Germany and I have played for all the youth teams of Germany and I am still a young player.

“So, I want to leave it open because Germany can still call me. But if I have no other option to play for Germany, then I can consider playing for Nigeria because my dad is from Nigeria.”

Akpoguma disclosed that members of his family have not put pressure on him to choose any of the two countries, adding, “My father has told me to listen to my heart… he doesn’t want to put pressure on me to make any decision. It is very important I make the right decision.

“There are some examples like Prince Boateng of Ghana, who only played for Ghana in the World Cup and retired after that. I believe that if you want to play for a country I think you should play for that country with love and passion. It makes no sense leaving after a few games. That is why if I play for Nigeria I should be in a position to play my whole career for them. No half measures.

“Gernot Rohr visited us here in Hoffenheim and talked a lot about the young team he is building. I saw it at the World Cup; there are very good players like Iwobi, Ndidi and Leon Balogun. He explained all the things because I had a good conversation with him. But as I said, I want to leave every door open. When the time comes, I will let the world know my decision.”

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