In this question and answer session Super Eagles winger, Ademola Lookman, speaks to Completesports.com at the team’s hotel quarters in Abuja ahead of their Thursday’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Leone stars of Sierra Leone.
The RB Leipzig loanee from Leicester City, while rueing the Eagles’ failure to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, says his main preoccupation now is how to make the disenchanted Nigeria fans happy again. Aside winning games in the AFCON qualifiers, he promises that the first of many goals he hopes to score for Nigeria will come soon.
Interview by RICHARD JIDEAKA.
Lookman on how he felt after the Super Eagles failed to secure the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup ticket
The feeling was bad, it was of disappointment, frustration and shocking, but like they say, ‘time heals overtime’. I have put it behind my mind now and moved on. We have AFCON qualifiers coming up and we are looking forward to win both games
Lookman on the decision to pledge allegiance to Nigeria after representing England at the youth level.
it was a tough decision. A decision I had to make because obviously it was my country’s call. My parents are Nigerians and I came to Nigeria a lot of times growing up and Nigeria wasn’t new to me. Being around the coach, players and people wasn’t strange.
Making decisions wasn’t a tough decision in terms of knowing where I was going. Coming into the team, the squad has been great and everyone has been very receptive and welcoming. I love this group and the people.
Lookman, on the challenge of winning back the love of Nigerians following the World Cup ticket disappointment.
I hope to endear myself to Nigerians by playing well and winning as many games and laurels.
My first goal will be coming soon and hopefully I will score plenty in future. At the moment I want to enjoy playing and the goals will come. Nigerians will love us again with time.
Lookman, on his personal passion playing for the Super Eagles
I have always followed the Super Eagles growing up and I am happy I am in the team now and I believe we shall do good going forward. Whenever I step out to the pitch, I give 100 percent but for Super Eagles, I give 150 percent and that is because I know what it means to the people.
I know how much Nigerians love the Super Eagles and what it means to them and the country. I want to win and grow with the team. I want to give joy to the people from far and near the country for the passion and love they have for the Super Eagles. They (fans) should be happy and it is our responsibility to make them happy by winning games and laurels and project our country
Lookman on the suggestion that the weather affected the Super Eagles in the play-off games that Nigeria played but lost the World Cup ticket.
I can only speak for myself. The weather didn’t affect my game. I think obviously when I first came to camp, the first couple of sessions I used for acclamatizing and bonding with mates. But when it came to match day, I think I was in good shape to physically show what I can do and I played my game. I don’t think it was a factor to the loss of the World Cup ticket
On what Nigerians should expect against Sierra Leone.
Like I said earlier, we want to win this game and the next. The weather is okay and we have to make amends by winning Sierra Leone here first, then off to Morocco for next game [vs Sao Tome & Principe].
On a lighter mood, Lookman on his appetite for Nigerian foods.
Oh yes, I eat eba, jollof rice, ewa, pounded yam. I eat everything. I ate them while growing up and I still do. I love Nigerian foods.
On his favorite Nigerian food available in England
I love pounded yam with efo riro soup. I love it so much.
On his understanding of Yoruba language
No gbo Yoruba na ( I understand Yoruba)
yes, ama win daa da ( we will win well).
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