Dynamo Kyiv winger, Muyiwa Olabiran, has revealed how his father persuaded him to play for Nigeria ahead of Ivory Coast.
The 21-year-old was born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, to Nigerian parents, which made him eligible to represent both countries.
The Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) attempted to lure him into playing for Ivory Coast before the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) reached out to him.
Benito, as he is fondly called by his admirers impressed in a test match against Ivory Coast when he came off the bench to score a consolation goal for Nigeria as Ivory Coast ran out 6-1 winners in the game.
After the match, the Ivory Coast coaching crew did all they could to make him dump Nigeria, but he said his father insisted that he had to represent Nigeria.
“We had a game against the Ivory Coast U23 national team, I came late for that game because I went to meet my dad at the shop,” Benito said in an Instagram with Eagles Tracker.
“They were leading us 5-0 so ten minutes to the end, the coach asked me to enter, and I scored one goal, making it 6-1.
“Immediately after the game, the head coach of Ivory Coast U23 team told our coach that he wants me to join the Ivorian U23 national team, but then I wasn’t having the Ivorian passport, I was supposed to travel that time, so it was difficult.
“The coach said he’ll speak to the president, but the president said I cannot because I didn’t have the passport, they said they’ll do it but that it will take time and I have to travel.
“That’s how I missed out, but they later called me. My dad said I have to play for Nigeria. Ivory Coast saw me before Nigeria”.
The Nigerian Football Federation invited him for the U-23 AFCON qualifiers against Libya after monitoring his performances at Russia First Division side, FC Tambov.
“During the period, my agent got some calls from the national team and told him they’ve heard about a young guy playing in Russia. That’s how I got my call-up to represent Nigeria U23s.
“During that time, we were still playing in the league. When I got to the national team, I didn’t know anybody apart from Chukwueze because he came to Russia with Villarreal to play against Zenit, and Awoniyi, another amazing player.
“It was during the qualifiers, we played against Libya in Tunisia, that was the first time I played for U23.
“The next day I received some messages asking where I was playing, that I’m an amazing player. That wasn’t the moment because we lost the game, so I wasn’t in the mood, some journalists were trying to reach me. In the return leg, we won 4-0,” Benito added.
Muyiwa joined Dynamo Kyiv in the January transfer window after FC Tambov released him.