I wanted to play both the U20 World cup and AFCON – Chukwueze

by Ayotunde Ogala (2 min read)

20-year old Villarreal forward, Samuel Chukwueze had to make a tough decision in the summer of 2019.

Following a successful season in La Liga with Villarreal, Samuel Chukwueze was the talk of most Nigerian football fans. With two international competitions coming up in the summer of 2019, fans were hoping that the young star could lead the Flying Eagles of Nigeria to success at the FIFA U17 World Cup in Poland whilst still being able to play a part in the Super Eagles’ exploits at the AFCON tournament in June.

Chukwueze, 20, was suddenly faced with a “problem” that many young footballers would pray for. Go to the U20 World Cup in Poland with the Flying Eagles or travel to Egypt for AFCON 2019 with the Super Eagles.

Speaking on an Instagram Live session with Nigerian comedian, FunnyBone, he revealed that he infact wanted to play in both tournaments for Nigeria that summer, but was not allowed to do so by his club. He said: “I wanted to play both of them but in the process by club said, “No Samuel, you’re going to be exhuasted, you need to make a decision and choose one.”

The pressure was for me to go to the U20 World Cup but I changed my mind because it was difficult for me. My club had faced relegation. I can’t finish that kind of tough season and join the U20 immediately, because when we finished, they were already playing the World Cup. So I told them I wanted to go to the Nations cup, even if I am not playing, I just want to feel the atmosphere of the Nations Cup.

Samuel ended up making six appearances for the Super Eagles at the 2019 CAF African Cup of Nations in Egypt, scoring one goal on the way to a Bronze medal finish in the tournament.

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Photo Credits: CAF

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