The Super Eagles squad comes with a lot of expectations, among which they have been tipped to secure their fourth Africa Cup of Nations title
Former Nigeria U-17 forward, Wisdom Ubani, has shared that he is not yet prepared for the pressure that accompanies playing for the Super Eagles national team, Soccernet.ng reports.
Ubani, who previously played for NK Lokomotiv, made significant contributions under Manu Garba’s management during the 2019 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations, scoring three goals in five games, pivotal to the team’s qualification for the World Cup that year.
In an exclusive interview with Soccernet.ng, Ubani, now with Croatian side NK Kustosija, reflected on his standout moments in the U-17 campaign and his aspirations for the future.
Reflecting on his European journey, Ubani recounted almost signing for Belgian professional football club, R.S.C Anderlecht, but the deal did not go through.
“After the U-17 World Cup, I had a trial with Anderlecht, but the club could not reach an agreement with my agent. It was a difficult moment. I then joined NK Lokomotiva.”
Recalling his favorite moments from the U-17 World Cup and AFCON, Ubani highlighted Nigeria’s clash against Hungary and Tanzania
“The Hungary game where we won 4-2 was special; I scored in that match. At the AFCON, it was scoring a direct free-kick against Tanzania to make it 4-4.”
Discussing the crucial free-kick, Ubani explained, “I was confident I could score. I asked my teammates to let me take it and that I will score it. When it went in, they were all surprised.”
When asked about his readiness for the national team, Ubani admitted his readiness for the Super Eagles team, and the pressure that comes with playing for the team.
“I’m not ready for the Super Eagles yet. There’s immense pressure at the Golden Eaglets’ level, let alone at the senior national team. I need to be fully prepared for that.”
Looking ahead, Ubani expressed his ambitions, stating, “When I eventually play for the Super Eagles, I want to make an impact. I dream of Nigeria reaching the semi-finals of a World Cup tournament.”
Regarding his role model in the national team, Ubani admires Napoli forward, Victor Osimhen, saying, “I look up to [Victor] Osimhen for his goal-scoring abilities and passion on the field. His drive and passion makes him different”
On his career aspirations, Ubani shared, “I have many goals, but I prefer not to speak too much about them.”
When discussing his favorite English Premier League club, Ubani revealed, “I’m a Chelsea fan.”
The English Premier League is the most watched league in Nigeria, and most Nigerian players would love to play for a Premier League so as to be watched almost every week. When asked about playing for Chelsea someday, he jokingly replied, “Who wouldn’t want to play for Chelsea? I’d love to bring my mother to live with me first.”
Ubani and several other 2019 U-17 squad could have the same thought about the pressure that comes with playing for the Super Eagles. However, the squad has gone silent since their exit from the 2019 squad except the likes of Peter Olawale, Akinkunmi Amoo still garnering the media attention.