The World Cup is the dream of every professional footballer, and Udinese youngster of Nigerian descent has expressed his desire to feature at the ultimate stage
Udinese wing-back Destiny Iyenoma Udogie has confessed that he is looking forward to being a part of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar later in the year.
By the time the last edition of the Mundial kicked off four years ago in Russia, Udogie was still a starry-eyed 15-year-old slugging it out in the Hellas Verona youth academy, unsure of what the future held for him.
Fast forward to the present times, and the 19-year-old is having the best of times in Serie A, where he has made 24 appearances, scored against AC Milan at the San Siro, and netted the goal that shot down Sampdoria.
Udogie has been a part of the Italian youth system from the under-16 to the under-21, giving the European nation a significant advantage over his allegiance.
But the versatile young defender remains eligible to represent three-time African champions, Nigeria, through his parents.
Super Eagles interim technical adviser Augustine Eguavoen has excellent left-back options in Paderborn’s Jamilu Collins, Porto’s Zaidu Sanusi, and Rangers’ Calvin Bassey. Still, Udogie could gate-crash the party if he maintains his upward trajectory.
He has not shown any interest in representing the West African nation, but he has hinted that he would jump at the opportunity to take part at Qatar 2022.
“Going to the World Cup is the greatest dream because it is played for the whole country. For me, it would be a great satisfaction,” Udogie said, as per Tutto Udinese.
Udogie is the rave of the moment in the Italian top-flight, with some of the country’s biggest clubs keeping a tab on him, including Juventus and Atalanta.
The young defender, however, makes it clear that he shares a relationship with his Nigerian father and still listens to his instructions, which are helping his development.
“My father always tells me to stay calm, to enjoy the moment, to play carefree and not to freak out because I’m still young,” the on-loan Hellas Verona lad said.
“I try to follow these tips. I try to enjoy Serie A and the moment because I’m still young.
“Now, as a wing-back, I feel good because it is a role in which I can express myself. I think I would feel better as a full-back than a half-winger.”
Udogie has a loan deal with Udinese until the end of the season, with the Little Zebras retaining the rights to make his deal permanent. He is currently valued at €9 million, as per Transfermarkt.