Why I delayed playing for Eagles –Idowu

Posted on Nov 30 2017 - 4:55am by admin

Festus  Abu

Russia-born  energetic and tough-tackling defender Brian Idowu has revealed that although he was desirous of switching his international allegiance to Nigeria when  he was invited by the Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr to represent the country where his father was born, he didn’t believe he was good enough.

 The 25-year-old Amkar Perm star  made his international debut in  Nigeria’s 4-2 defeat of South American giants Argentina in a friendly affair in Krasnodar, Russia,  on  November 14. The versatile player scored the third goal.

Until  he  honoured the Krasnodar  clash, Idowu  was eligible to play  for both  Russia and Nigeria because he holds dual citizenship.

He was touted as a potential star in the Russian  set-up following his head-turning  performances in Amkar’s campaign  in the 2015-16   Russian Premier League but Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov failed to invite him despite the alleged pressure from the  2018 World Cup hosts’ FA.

Idowu, who can operate from five positions –   left-back, right-back, centre-back, wing and holding  midfield – who confirmed holding for Russia  call-up – admitted he was not sure whether he could perform at the national team level.

When asked on Amkar’s official website on Wednesday  why he turned down Rohr’s invite initially,  the player  revealed that he decided to represent Nigeria this time because of their qualification for next year’s World Cup in Russia.

 Idowu said, “The first reason is the World Cup. In addition, I wanted to check whether I could  perform at a high international level. Also, I lacked  confidence.”

The  former Dynamo Saint Petersburg player confessed  he was worried that  his Eagles’  teammates  would not accept him  before the  Argentina encounter.

“There was a feeling that I had come to view. Everything is new, you do not know anybody, nobody knows me, it’s unclear how we will meet, what will be the situation, how I will look in training,” Idowu  said.

“I watched as a real football fan of  Mikel  Obi, who at Chelsea took all the big titles, as well as  Ndidi and Iheanacho.

 “A lot of good players, whose game I used to watch on TV. And then they greet me and now we are together in the same team.”

“The atmosphere and the training process were positive, a lot of jokes during warm-up. I think everyone saw a video where I played a song on a chair, as traditionally done by all newcomers – this is one of the positive moments that were in the team.”

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