Francis Ajuonuma, Lagos
Nigeria International and West Brom Albion defence strongman, Semi Ajayi, says playing at the FIFA World Cup and helping the Super Eagles win the Africa Cup of Nations will be a dream come true.
The former Arsenal and Charlton of England man, who spoke recently in an interview in London believes that the dream of every football player is to excel at the international stage.
Ajayi also described the English Premier League as one of the best leagues of the world where every best player wants to compete.
“Well, I would say playing in the Premier League consistently and that’s obviously something I would like to do here with Albion. That would be in there. And definitely play in the World Cup. A third is win the African Nations. All three would be excellent,” he said.
He insisted that it has always been his dream to play in the colours of Nigeria despite approach from England.
“The decision was made a long time ago. I decided to play for the Under-20s when I was 19 and the goal was always to play for the first team. As a youngster, we would go there every two years to visit my mum and dad’s families… it was nice to meet my grandparents and all my cousins. It’s a really nice country; mum’s family is in Lagos. She makes Nigerian food at home but it’s different when you go out there and get the real thing,” he added.
On his failed Arsenal career, he said: “At one stage I was first understudy behind Mertsacker and Koscielny but they then bought Gabriel Paulista in the January. Arsene Wenger was very honest with me in that he said he wanted me to stay and develop but he couldn’t offer me first-team football at that point.