Friday Sep 10, 2021. 17:00
KRC Genk striker Ike Ugbo has opened up about his decision to commit his international allegiance to Nigeria and not England.
The lanky hitman was born in Lewisham, Greater London, England to a Nigerian father and he played for English youth national teams – under-17 and under-20.
However, in 2020 Ugbo opted to play for Nigeria at senior level, while on the books of English giants Chelsea FC, who have since sold him to Genk last month.
The 22-year-old explained that he decided to play for Super Eagles because he would get the opportunity to play in the FIFA World Cup finals.
“I chose Nigeria and right now, we’re getting the papers in order,” Ugbo told Sport Voetbal Magazine.
“The chance of playing at the Fifa World Cup is part of it. I think I have more chances with Nigeria than with England.
“Also, I grew up with images of the [Nigeria] national team and always followed their strikers, especially the guys who came to England.”
Ugbo spent last season with Cercle Brugge on loan from Chelsea and he scored 16 goals in 32 matches in the Belgian Pro League.
He is now playing alongside his soon-to-be Super Eagles teammate Paul Onuachu at Genk with Nigeria set to continue their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign next month.
The West African giants will face the Central African Republic both home and away in Group C matches.