Troost-Ekong: Why AFCON 2023 best player has not dumped Super Eagles yet

William Troost-Ekong captained the Super Eagles at AFCON 2023 Photo Credit: Troost-Ekong/X)

Troost-Ekong: Why AFCON 2023 best player has not dumped Super Eagles yet

Izuchukwu Akawor 10:37 - 26.02.2024

William Troost-Ekong led Nigeria's Super Eagles to the AFCON 2023 final and was named player of the tournament. But he could have missed the party.

Super Eagles stand-in captain William Troost-Ekong has opened up about how he almost missed out on Nigeria's journey to the final of the AFCON 2023 in Cote d’Ivoire.

Pulse Sports Nigeria reports that Troost-Ekong delivered a commanding performance, emerging as the inspirational leader behind Nigeria's quest for continental glory in the AFCON 2023.

Troost-Ekong almost quit Super Eagles

In a candid conversation with CNN’s Amanda Davies, Troost-Ekong reflected on why he changed his mind and stayed with the national team setup, revealing the pivotal role played by his fellow teammates in convincing.

"I spoke to some of the players that I have been with for a longer time, for example, Alex Iwobi, and Leon Balogun," he explained.

AFCON Player of the Tournament, Nigerian defender William Troost-Ekong || Image credit: X

"They all said, yeah, they thought it would be a real shame (if he left) and they felt I had a lot more to give."

For Troost-Ekong, the decision to return to the fold was about more than just football—it was about honouring his past and paving the way for a brighter future.

MVP Troost-Ekong (m) of Nigeria celebrates one of his goals at AFCON 2023. |IMAGO

"It made me think about my younger self and how much it meant and how proud I was to make my debut, to play my first game under Stephen Keshi in 2015," he reflected.

"And I deserved to give my younger self a better ending. So, that was the thing that changed my mind really," he added.

As Nigeria's captain at AFCON, Troost-Ekong led by example, leading from the defense with poise and authority while inspiring his teammates with his unwavering commitment and determination.

His stellar performances earned him the prestigious title of Player of the Tournament, cementing his status as one of Africa's finest defenders.

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Troost-Ekong's journey from doubts to redemption and triumph serves as a testament to the power of self-belief. With his impeccable dedication to the national team cause, he has not only written his name in Nigerian football history but also inspired a new generation of aspiring footballers to dream big and reach for the stars.

Troost-Ekong is still savouring his Player of the Tournament award and is expected to continue to shine on the international stage despite a heartbreak Nigeria suffered in the final.

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