SPORTS Eagles didn’t have my jersey size, jokes Akinfenwa
Wycombe Wanderers big striker, Adebayo Akinfenwa , has jokingly said the unavailability of his kit size in the Nigerian national team may have played a role in his inability to get a call- up to the Super Eagles in 2003, but admitted that the country was blessed with a lot of talents.
Akinfenwa , who stands at 1. 85m tall and weighs 102kg , admitted he made an effort to play for Nigeria when he was 21, but was overlooked .
In an interview with ESPN , the 38-year – old joked that his body size could have been the reason for his inability to make the Eagles team.
He said , “ I had interest ( playing for Nigeria ) when I was young. I was 21 when I hooked up with former England striker of Nigerian origin John Fashanu ; there was talk then , but Nigeria are always blessed with great strikers, so it was harder for me.
“ I know there was a campaign one time to try and get me out there , but they weren ’ t really feeling me and that … maybe they haven’ t got a kit that can fit me . ”
Though, born in London , Akinfenwa holds the Eagles dear saying they helped him understand the value of embracing the culture of his ancestry.
“ I remember the 1994 World Cup, the Super Eagles with ( Daniel ) Amokachi , Jay -Jay Okocha and ( Rashidi ) Yekini like it was yesterday, ” he told ESPN.
“ It was such an immense feeling, coming up against Argentina, and I can remember that World Cup being amazing for Nigeria .
“ It leaves an impression , and what I loved the most was the fact that you saw our culture when they scored; and those celebrations , you saw the colours.
“ So as a Nigerian I saw to never be afraid to embrace your culture, to let people know what your culture is , and I don’ t shy away from who I am . Everything I do , I let ( people) see who I am and I don’ t shy away from being me ; that’ s what I take away from 1994 and 1998.
“ That was what I got from it , as a youngster, going into manhood ; that was what I was able to take from watching the Super Eagles . ”