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Lookman relishes Nigeria choice

Ademola Lookman is delighted to have chosen Nigeria over England for his senior international career, describing it as the best decision he ever made.

The 26-year-old Atalanta forward, who is expected to play a key role for Nigeria in Friday’s 2026 Caf World Cup qualifying fixture against South Africa at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, said this in an interview with the Times on Tuesday.

“I wanted to build a career internationally. The decision was something that I thought about for a long time before making it. To play for Nigeria is an honour first of all and the best decision I ever made,” said Lookman, whose magical Europa League final performance for Atalanta, with his hat-trick deciding the match in favour of the Iltalians, sets him apart to succeed Victor Osimhen as the African Player of the Year.

After representing his country of birth, England, at the youth level, Lookman switched allegiance to Nigeria, and he has since gone on to star for the Super Eagles, earning 20 caps and scoring winning goals against Cameroon and Angola as Nigeria reached the AFCON finals in Ivory Coast.

New Super Eagles coach Finidi George is banking on quality strikers like Lookman to go all guns blazing against South Africa and Benin Republic, a sharp contrast to their AFCON approach under Jose Peseiro.

“With the calibre of players that we have, we cannot play defensive football. In football, you must get that balance: when you attack and when you defend.” “We had the best defensive record at the AFCON but struggled going forward. We have to get the balance right,’ said the former Enyimba coach and Nigerian international who stepped in the saddle in May.

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