After missing the whole 2018-19 Primeira Lig season and the 2019 African Cup of Nations tournament due to injury, Tyrone Ebuehi is excited to be back on the pitch doing what he knows how to do best
Nigeria international Tyrone Ebuehi is hoping he can get back to top form with Dutch side FC Twente and subsequently earn a recall to the Super Eagles squad for which he confesses he has missed playing.
Born in the Netherlands to a Nigerian father and a Dutch mother, Ebuehi chose to play for the three-time African champions instead of the Oranje Boys.
The 24-year-old made his debut for the Super Eagles in a 3–0 friendly win over Togo in June 2017 and was in Nigeria’s 23-man squad for the World Cup in Russia the following year.
But after securing a high-profile move to Benfica from ADO Den Haag in 2018, the full-back was sidelined for more than a year, missing the party to Egypt 2019.
Gernot Rohr’s men made it to the semifinals of that tournament before losing to eventual winners, Algeria.
“I saw every game,” Ebuehi told the BBC.
“It wasn’t easy for me. I always wanted to be with the team and play in my first Nations Cup.
“For me, international breaks are always special, the friendships I’ve made and formed with the coaching and backroom staff, teammates, and everyone in Nigeria.
“I was very proud. I miss that a lot, but life is life. I was happy to see them play the way they did. Unfortunately, we didn’t win, but I know better days will come for us and more success. I cannot wait to be a part of the team again.”
It could be a challenging period spending such a long time without competitive football, and Ebuehi admits to suffering mental and emotional pain.
But the new FC Twente signing is grateful to his teammates, coach, and the Nigerian fans who kept in touch and encouraged him during those dark days.
“Of course, teammates, the coach, the staff, and even the fans were in touch. I spoke with a lot of my teammates.
“William Troost-Ekong is like a big brother who never stopped giving me the necessary support. They’ve all been incredibly nice to me, and I appreciate that.
“I can’t thank the Nigerian fans enough. I don’t check my social media messages everyday, but once in a while I do, and I see some amazing and incredible messages.
“So many people praying and wishing me well despite being away for two years. I will continue to be grateful for the support I get,” Ebuehi added.