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Troost-Ekong Discloses – Oliseh said I was too soft for Eagles

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Nigeria defender William Troost-EKong has said there were doubts about his ability to play well for Nigeria when he was first called-up to the team.

Troost-Ekong made his debut for Nigeria in 2015 and has gone on to make 19 appearances for the Eagles. He was pivotal as the Super Eagles became the first African team to qualify for the Russia 2018 World Cup.

In an interview with on Thursday, the 24-year-old Dutch-born defender, who has formed a solid partnership with German-born defender Leon Balogun, said he was disappointed when he was told by former Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh that he was not physically capable of playing in Africa.

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He said, “There were a lot of doubts over me because I did not play for a big team in Holland before my first call-up. Then, on top of that, being ‘Oyibo’, or half-white, you have to prove yourself even more.

“My partner at center-back (new Brighton signing Leon Balogun) is half-German, half-Nigerian, so he is the same as me. After a game, he (Oliseh) said we were too soft to play against African players. That upset me because one of my traits as a player is that I am someone who does not back away from anyone. I am not the most skillful, but I know what I am good at.

“I think that’s part of being from different countries, different cultures. It’s not nice when people try to use that against you. I identify myself as being Nigerian as well, and I feel at home in the team. Not once have I ever looked around and thought ‘this is not for me’. But it spurred me on. I have played against African strikers since then and no one has bullied me. I have proven my point.”

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With England playing Nigeria today in a friendly on Saturday at Wembley as both countries prepare for the June 14 to July 15 Russia 2018 World Cup, the Turkey-based defender said his meeting with Kane would feel like a homecoming for him – having schooled in London before leaving England in 2013.

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He said the striker once helped him to fill out his registration forms when he was a new scholar at Tottenham.

“He was one of the first guys that sat me down and helped me; it’s amazing to see how well he has done,” he said.

Troost-Ekong earlier this year became the third African player to commit one percent of his salary to charity as part of Juan Mata’s Common Goal project. He is born to a Nigerian father and Dutch mother. His fiancée is in England – expecting their first child.

Source: The Punch

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Super Eagles defender William Troost-Ekong signs for Italy’s Udinese in a €3.3m deal

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Super Eagles defender William Troost-Ekong has joined Italian side,Udinese in a deal worth €3.3m from Turkish side, Bursaspor.

 

The 24-year-old centre-back who played three games for Nigeria at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia completed the move this afternoon.

 

After signing for the club, William took to Instagram to confirm the move. He wrote: ‘Very happy to sign for @udinesecalcio in the @seriea!.’

 

Udinese’s technical director, Daniel Prade told the club’s official website : “Ekong is a player with an important physical structure. He is good in the air, can defend very well and support the attack as well.

“We talk about an aggressive central defender, strong in contrast and with an excellent game reading: a thoughtful, non-instinctive leader who always tries to play the ball, all characteristics that go very well with the game of our coach (Julio Velazquez).

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Mourinho: I wanted to play Martial

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Manchester United started the Premier League season with a 2-1 win over Leicester. Captain Paul Pogba scored from the penalty spot before Luke Shaw scored his first career goal to double the score. Substitute Jamie Vardy scored a late equaliser.

After having such little time with the first team following the World Cup, with many of the players returning to first team training as recently as Monday, Jose Mourinho acknowledged that his players were tired and not match fit.

Anthony Martial, whose agent has claimed on more than one occasion this summer that the player wants out of the club, was an unused substitute but Mourinho claims he wanted to play the forward.

I needed six changes not three, three weren’t enough for me. I want to play Martial for Mata or Alexis but I couldn’t. Paul Pogba couldn’t play 90 minutes, Fred the same. I needed more changes, but I couldn’t so it was not easy to manage the game from the touchline point of view.

I feel I wanted more attack and I feel that Martial coming into the game in the last 20 minutes for Alexis could have given us the second goal to kill the game. But I couldn’t make that change, so it was really hard. But the players gave everything, they gave what they had. I told them to give everything they had. You have 10 minutes, you give 10 minutes. Marouane told me he couldn’t give me more than 10 minutes, okay but give me 10 minutes. Everybody did that in a fantastic way.

 

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Manchester United Vs Leicester: Why I Handed Pogba Captain Band – Mourinho

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Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho has explained why Paul Pogba was handed the team’s captain band in their Premier League game against Leicester City on Friday.

Mourinho started the French midfielder in Friday night’s Premier League opener after just a few days’ training.

Pogba scored from the penalty spot to give United the lead in the first half with Luke adding the second goal late in the second half.

Pogba had his first training session on Monday but impressed to such an extent with his application and physical condition that he was picked to start.

The Portuguese coach handed Pogba the captaincy.

Asked about the significance of making Pogba captain, Mourinho told Sky Sportsm, “Last season, he was captain a few times.

“Valencia is captain, but Valencia is not here.

“Paul is one of the options, third season, made in the academy, understands the club, the culture, good relationship with his teammates and a good example today putting himself in the team.”

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