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Maduka Okoye: I have a lot to learn to become Super Eagles number 1

Maduka Okoye: I have a lot to learn to become Super Eagles number 1

Super Eagles’ goalkeeper Maduka Okoye has revealed that he doesn’t feel he has earned the first-choice goalkeeper role yet.

Okoye made his debut for Nigeria in October 2019 in a friendly match against Brazil despite having not played at the senior level.

In a new interview with BBC, the Nigeria-German goalkeeper feels he still has a lot to learn before he can claim the number one role .

He said, “I’ve experienced for myself that playing for a club and then for your country is a whole other thing. I don’t see myself as the Nigeria’s number one yet, I have to work on a lot of things before I will be the undisputed number one.”

He said, “Francis Uzoho got injured so I had to do a quick warm-up together with the other reserve keeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa. It was either him or me.

“I had to go for it, but I was nervous at first, and there were a lot of things going through my mind. However, as soon as I set foot on the field, it was like any other match.”

The 22-year-old added “In the beginning, they (the critics) doubted me a lot. When I played in the German lower leagues, they found it impossible to believe I had talent. Now there are fewer doubters; the higher you play at club level, the more they will respect you.”

“These tournaments are going to be a huge platform for players like me. My ultimate goal is to hopefully play in the Premier League. The most important thing for me now is that I can play my games as a number one and develop myself as a keeper, and that is something I can do in the Eredivisie at Sparta Rotterdam,” Okoye added.

Nigeria lead Group C in the Africa qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup with six points and look to increase their tally at the Teslim Balogun Stadium on Thursday.

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