“No Regrets Choosing England Over Nigeria” – Crystal Palace Star, Eberechi Eze

Crystal Palace football star, Eberechi Eze said he has ‘no regret’ choosing England over Nigeria at the international level.

"No Regrets Choosing England Over Nigeria" - Crystal Palace Star, Eberechi Eze

Eberechi Eze will join Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers, set to commence this month.

England will embark on their journey, starting with a match against Malta on June 16, followed by a home game against North Macedonia in Manchester next week.

The 24-year-old midfielder, who concluded the domestic campaign impressively with Crystal Palace, aims to make his senior debut for the national team.

Eze was born in Greenwich, Greater London to Nigerian parents, and had previously represented England at the Under-20 and Under-21 levels.

However, in December 2019, he had a meeting with the then-president of the Nigerian Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, raising hopes that he might choose to play for Nigeria.

Despite the meeting, Eze ultimately decided to join the England squad.

When asked about the factors that influenced his decision on Tuesday, Eze told a news conference that “I don’t know when I decided. I received a call and felt as though it was the right decision to make. I’m very, very happy to be here.

“Speaking to people around me, my family and my wife – getting good advice from the people around me – to think about what the best decision is for myself and for my career. We think this (playing for England) is the best one.

“We think that this is the best one. It is a big opportunity for me, it is the highest level of football. I look at it with no regret at all.

“It is the highest level of football, you want to test yourself against that, you want to be in that and you can see from the quality of the team, where they are getting to, the confidence they are playing with, it is incredible. So, being part of that is big.”

Reflecting on his motivation, Eze also revealed how missing out on a place in the squad for Euro 2020 due to injury pushed him further.

Gareth Southgate had confirmed that Eze would have been included in the provisional squad for the tournament if not for an Achilles tendon injury he sustained.

Learning of the call-up shortly after the injury occurred gave Eze a different perspective and the determination to work harder.

“It is hard to put into words, I look at things a bit differently, I saw that as ‘I am on the right trajectory’ although it is a sad situation I was in. No-one wants to be injured but I saw that as ‘this is the level that you can get to’ so I put my mind right, focus on my rehab. It gave me the motivation to keep going,” Eze explained.

Eze’s excitement and drive are evident as he eagerly awaits the opportunity to represent England on the international stage and make a mark in the Euro 2024 qualifiers.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Super Eagles coach, Jose Peseiro has named a 23-man squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Sierra Leone.

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