In an exclusive interview, Nigerian defender Ola Aina has expressed his eagerness for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Having transitioned from representing England at junior levels to donning the green and white of Nigeria, Aina is poised to make a significant impact on the global stage.
Aina, who competes as a defender for Hull City, recounted his proud moment playing for Nigeria. He remarked, “The fans are so passionate, and it’s a big honor to represent them. The country is football mad, and you feel that just putting on the shirt.”
Reflecting on his experiences in the Championship with Hull City, Aina acknowledged the challenges of senior football, emphasizing the intensity, quick pace, and physicality of the game. The 21-year-old, who has demonstrated versatility by playing in different positions, shared his enjoyment of the left-back role and his eagerness to contribute to Hull City’s defensive prowess.
Discussing his goal against Blackburn in the FA Cup, Aina expressed pride in scoring his first senior goal. He credited former Chelsea captain John Terry for his influence and confidence-building words before matches, describing the experience of playing against Terry, now with Aston Villa, as surreal.
Aina revealed, “Playing against JT was a bit surreal because whenever I had seen him on the other side of the pitch, it was in a training game! Seeing him in different colors and not on the same team as me was weird, but it was good to challenge myself up against him.”
As Aina keeps a close eye on Chelsea’s progress, he remains focused on honing his skills and concentration on the field. With the World Cup on the horizon, the young defender is poised to leave an indelible mark on the global football stage