Jordan Torunarigha, who has previously played for the German youth national team has recently made his debut for the Super Eagles national team
KAA Gent star, Jordan Torunarigha, has shed light on the reasons behind his initial reluctance to answer Gernot Rohr’s call to play for the Super Eagles, Soccernet.ng reports.
Rohr, who is currently the technical adviser of the Benin national team, managed the Super Eagles squad from 2016 till he got laid off in 2021 by the Nigeria Football Federation.
During his time as the head coach, reports revealed that he made an attempt to invite Torunarigha who as at that time donned the colours of the German youth national team.
Roger, who has invited the German-Nigerian defender to bolster his squad during the 2018 World Cup tournament did not hide his disappointment.
“It’s disappointing because he was presented with a great chance to play in the World Cup if only he was interested.
“I’ve followed his progress, I believe he would have made positive contributions to the team. But we must really respect this young boy’s decision now and wish him well.” he told BBC Sport.
Speaking to Soccernet.ng’s managing editor, Lolade Adewuyi, Torunarigha explained his earlier reluctance.
“It was difficult for me because my parents are from Nigeria but I have never been to Nigeria. I don’t know how the people are, I don’t know how the country looks like, and for me, it’s a little bit difficult.” he said.
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However, his perspective changed, and he expressed his willingness to play for the Super Eagles.
Subsequently, he received an invitation from Jose Peseiro to join the Nigerian national team.
Although he did not feature in the 6-0 victory against Sao Tome and Principe or the 2-2 draw against Saudi Arabia, he made his debut for the team in a 3-2 victory over Mozambique, which he celebrated on his social media platform after playing for 74 minutes.
Soccernet.ng learnt that Peseiro was instrumental in convincing the Nigerian center defender to switch allegiances, having visited Belgium to watch Torunarigha and Gifg Orban play.
After his visit, the Portuguese coach extended an invitation, prompting Torunarigha to apply for a change of nationality with FIFA.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria are preparing for their upcoming home clash against Lesotho in the 2026 World Cup qualification tie, with Torunarigha expected to continue making significant contributions.