William Troost-Ekong has stated his happiness at his international choice of Nigeria over the Netherlands despite some criticism from Dutch great, Rafael Van Der Vaart.
The Udinese star was eligible to play for the Oranje but decided to commit his international future to the Super Eagles.
Ekong was born in the Netherlands to a Dutch mother and a Nigerian father. He began his career at Dutch side FC Groningen.
However, despite spending most parts of his life in Holland, and playing for Dutch youth teams, Ekong chose to represent the country of his father. A decision that did not sit well with former Netherlands international Rafael Van Der Vaart who said that Ekong could have made the Oranje if he had been patient.
But Ekong, who made his Nigeria debut in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying clash against Chad in 2015, says he does not feel any regret over the decision. He has won bronze medals with Nigeria at the 2016 Olympics and the 2019 AFCON.
In an exclusive interview with Soccernet.ng, the former Gent star said he is happy with the decision he made, and he wouldn’t change it for anything.
“I’m satisfied, I’m really happy with the place I am right now. Of course, when you do look back it is always easy to advise someone what they should have done,” Ekong told Soccernet.ng.
“But I think I made a lot of right decisions and I stand by my decisions that it was always a dream to play for Nigeria. The pride I get playing for Nigeria wearing the shirt, I wouldn’t want to trade that for anyone else.
“Who is to say that playing for the Netherlands is better than playing for Nigeria? I respect his opinion and his view because it’s also showing that I’m doing something well for people to be talking like that and especially a great player like Rafael van der Vaart.”
“I’m very happy about my decision and wouldn’t change it for anything,” he added.
Since making his debut in 2015, Ekong has won over 40 caps for the Super Eagles, scoring two goals. This year he became an ambassador for the END Fund’s campaign against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in seven states in Nigeria through his collaboration the global football-for-good organisation, Common Goal.
“The whole idea is to raise awareness because [NTDs] treatment is free but people just have to know about the possibility of getting the treatment and hopefully, it can prevent a lot of people from getting sick,” Ekong said.
You can read the full interview with William Troost-Ekong on Soccernet.ng on Monday.