Super Eagles goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye, has explained the rationale behind his decision to pick Nigeria over his country of birth, Germany, for international representation.
Born in Dusseldorf, Germany, Okoye was groomed at Bayer Leverkusen's academy before joining Fortuna Dusseldorf in 2017 where he has been manning the post for the reserves.
With the Super Eagles goalkeeping position yet to get a convincing hand since the retirement of ex-Wolves goalie, Carl Ikem,e due to illness, Gernot Rohr has given the young lad the chance to stake a claim.
The Fortuna Dusseldorf shot-stopper made his unofficial debut for Nigeria in October 2019 when he replaced Francis Uzoho in the friendly against Brazil in Singapore.
In an interview with the Super Eagles Media Team via YouTube, Okoye has now revealed the reason he chose to represent his fatherland instead of his country of birth.
"My opinion and my advice is to follow your heart, you have to feel it, where the love is. I felt the love in Nigeria and I feel like a Naija boy, that's why I chose Nigeria over Germany," he said.
Okoye could have represented Nigeria much earlier than he did but his club played spoilsport by deciding not to release their goalkeeper to Nigeria for the Olympics qualification doubleheader against Libya in March.
He was, however, a surprise inclusion by Gernot Rohr for Super Eagles' first game after the Nations Cup, a friendly against Ukraine last September.
"I felt great after I got my first call-up to the Super Eagles, it was a pleasure. It's a big step for me in my football career.
"With the first call-up I had a bit of problem but after that, for the Ukraine game everything was set up and I prepared well.
"I couldn't wait to get to the Super Eagles, everything went well. Thank God,'' Okoye added.
The well-built goalkeeper has since that first call-up been a regular feature on the squad list, making the team for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Benin and Lesotho.