More than a year after he declined to join Flying Eagles at FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland, Nigeria and Villarreal winger, Samuel Chukwueze, has admitted that pressure from his La Liga club made him turn his back on the invitation.
The Flying Eagles of Nigeria failed to go beyond the group phase of the competition with most football pundits insisting that the absence of the Villarreal winger partly contributed to the dismal outing.
While speaking on an Instagram interview session yesterday, Chukwueze, said it was his club that insisted that he should pick between the FIFA U20 World cup and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
“I wanted to play both of them but my club said, no, telling me ‘Samuel you cannot play two of them, you are going to be exhausted.’ It was after this directive that I had to join them in the pre-season tourney.
“My club said I need to make a decision, choose one and the pressure was for me to go to the Under-20, but I cannot finish that tough season in the La Liga and join the Under-20 immediately because they were already playing in at the World Cup.
“I told them I want to go to the Nations Cup even if I’m not playing, let me start from the bench, I want to feel the Nations Cup atmosphere,” revealed Chukwueze in that Instagram interview.
The Nigerian forward was prominent in all the matches Super Eagles played at the AFCON 2019 tournament in Egypt and even scored the opening goal in the 2-1 win over South Africa in the quarter final match played at the Cairo International Stadium where he also won the Man of the Match award.
He returned from the competition with his first continental honour- an AFCON bronze medal.