Hull City defender, Ola Aina, has recently shed light on his decision to represent Nigeria over England, expressing his fervent desire to secure a spot in the Super Eagles’ squad for the impending 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The Chelsea star, currently on loan at Hull City, shared his aspirations in an exclusive interview with Hull Daily Mail.
“A World Cup at 21, that would be a big achievement,” emphasized Aina. With a mere four games remaining in his season-long loan with the Championship club, the talented player aims to leave an indelible mark to earn a coveted spot in Coach Gernot Rohr’s roster.
“To be in the squad would be a blessing. I’ve just got to work hard here to secure a place and leave a good impression every time. It would be an honor,” Aina remarked, highlighting the profound pride he feels representing Nigeria, which, he admitted, holds a deeper significance due to its proximity to his ethnic origins.
Reflecting on his past representation of England at age-grade levels, Aina expressed gratitude but affirmed his current commitment to Nigeria. “I think it’s the right decision for me. I enjoy it every time I go away. It’s a good bunch of lads and coaching staff. It’s always a good experience for me,” he added.
Addressing the choice to play for Nigeria, Aina disclosed, “England wasn’t there so I just had to pick Nigeria. And it felt right, you know?” He cited Nigeria’s persistent calls and his ethnic origin as pivotal factors in the decision-making process.
As Aina anticipates the possibility of facing England at Wembley on June 2 in Nigeria’s final World Cup build-up game, the young talent admits, “It would be weird, a funny feeling. I’ve got some friends in that England squad, so it would be a good day. Exciting. When the time comes, I’ll be looking forward to it.”