The Super Eagles goalkeeper has revealed the reason why he chose to star for the three-time African champions even though he could have waited for a call-up from the former European champions.
Fortuna Dusseldorf of Germany goaltender Maduka Okoye confessed that he felt more Nigerian than German, and he has been proud of his decision to play for Nigeria.
The 20-year-old was born in Düsseldorf, Germany to a Nigerian father and a German mother, but last year he pledged his international future to Nigeria.
Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr invited the youngster to the Nigerian national team setup and handed Okoye his debut in a high profile friendly game against five-time world champions, Brazil last October. Nigeria secured an impressive 1-1 draw against the Selecao in that encounter.
Okoye remains proud of his Super Eagles career so far, but the young shot-stopper would not want anyone to be forced to play for Nigeria.
“My opinion and my advice is to follow your heart, you have to feel it, where the love is. I felt the love in Nigeria, and I feel like a Naija boy, that’s why I chose Nigeria over Germany,” Okoye explained the rationale behind his decision to the Super Eagles Media Team.
“I felt great after I got my first call-up to the Super Eagles, it was a pleasure. It’s a big step for me in my football career.
“With the first call-up I had a bit of problem, but after that, for the Ukraine game everything was set up, and I prepared well.
“I couldn’t wait to get to the Super Eagles, everything went well. Thank God,” Okoye added.
Okoye has since earned further call-ups for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Benin and Lesotho.