October 16, 2021

2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Union Berlin’s Awoniyi shares secret to Nigeria call-up

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The former Liverpool star could earn his Super Eagles debut against the Wild Beasts on Thursday evening

Union Berlin star Taiwo Awoniyi has attributed his recent Super Eagles call-up to hard work and dedication.

Following his impressive goalscoring run in the German elite division – where he boasts five goals in seven appearances in the 2021-22 campaign – the 24-year-old was called up by coach Gernot Rohr.

Initially, he was not in Nigeria’s plans for the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers against the Central African Republic, but an injury to France-based Terem Moffi necessitated the move.

Elated by his call-up, the former Nigeria U23 star spoke about why he was invited to the three-time African fold.

“It’s hard work and dedication but for me sometimes you work hard and don’t see the result but just keep on working be patient and God will do the rest. I’m very happy about it to be part of the Super Eagles,” Awoniyi said on Brila FM per Completesports.

“For me, it’s every player’s dream. Every player will be happy to be part of the Super Eagles and in one of them.

“It’s a privilege and honour for me to be part of the team which I’m very happy about.”

Awonyi must put in a lot of work to stand a chance to displace red-hot Victor Osimhn, Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho and Belgium based Paul Onuachu from the starting XI.

In a recent interview with the Bundesliga website, he opened up on the challenges he faced while growing up in Nigeria and how he ended up moving to Europe.

“I always said it’s difficult to go into detail but it was really difficult, let me just put it that way,” Awoniyi told Bundesliga.com when asked about growing up in Nigeria.

“Football is like a lifeline for my family because it changed a lot of things. Getting the money to buy football shoes, getting the money to eat sometimes is quite difficult, but my parents were able to send everyone to school which is the most important thing to be able to do.

“I’m very grateful to them for it, but it was not an easy journey, to be honest.”

On leaving the West African country to play in Europe, Awoniyi continued: “Yeah, I’ve always loved to play football. I started football really quite early. I went to school also but my goal was always football, football, football.

“So when I had the chance to come into the national team, I realised this is something I wanted to do and when I had the chance to get signed by Liverpool, I couldn’t say no.

“It was a dream come true for me because it has always been what I wanted – to play football all my life.”

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