The three-time African champions are among the most followed and adored national teams on planet earth
New Bradford City signing Emmanuel Osadebe has voiced his ambition to one day wear the green-and-white kits of Nigeria’s Super Eagles, shutting the door on his chances of representing the Republic of Ireland.
Born in Dundalk, Ireland, to Nigerian parents, Osadebe is eligible to play for both countries at the international level.
The former Tottenham Hotspur schoolboy has played at the youth level for the Republic of Ireland, earning a first call-up to the U-21 setup in 2015.
Now 25, the midfielder has switched attention to the Super Eagles, and he hopes success at Bradford City can present him with more opportunities to open the door to international football.
“Ireland’s not for me; I want to play for Nigeria,” Osadebe told the Telegraph and Argus.
“I’m still only 25 years old, and if I have a good season this year and then a couple more higher up, I know it can happen.
“I believe it will happen, and I hope that being at Bradford starts that process up, and we keep moving up because the goal is to get promotion.”
Osadebe scored three goals and supplied eight assists in 43 games for Walsall to earn his move to Bradford City, where he will play under former Blackburn boss and Manchester United striker Mark Hughes.
Both Walsall and Bradford City are in League Two, the fourth tier of English football.
Nigeria currently have several options on the right midfield where Osadebe excels.
Leicester City’s Ademola Lookman, Watford’s Emmanuel Dennis, and Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze offer stiff competition on the right flank of the Super Eagles.
Dennis and Lookman were on target as Nigeria recorded a historic 10-0 win over Sao Tome and Principe on Monday.