Odion Ighalo has revealed that he holds regular conversations with national team coach Gernot Rohr about making a return to the Super Eagles.
The 32-year-old called it quits after the 2019 Nations Cup where he led Nigeria to a third-place finish and won the golden boot as the tournament’s top scorer with 5 goals.
It was the second time Ighalo would be exiting the national team following a vow never to don Nigeria’s green and white after horrendous abuse and death threats directed at him and his family following Nigeria’s ouster from the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Ighalo, however, rescinded his decision to retire a few months later and he told busybuddiesng.com that Rohr played a major role in getting back into the national fold.
“Me and Rohr, we talk every day. Even yesterday he messaged me congrats for my two-year anniversary, that I’m doing well and all that,” Ighalo said referring to the second year anniversary of setting up his orphanage home last December.
“We talk almost every time. Coach Gernot Rohr is like a father to me.
“He brought me back after what happened in the World Cup and I said no, I’m not going to go back to the national team. It’s hundred per cent because of him I came.
“He convinced me, talked to me and all that. Said, “I know you are not fairly criticized, what people are saying is too much to go to your family and all that. But, I want yo to come back and prove them wrong because I know you are a good striker, I know the support you give the team, I know how much you play for the team and all that. Apart from the football, I want you to come back.
“I said “coach I am not going to come back because this is beyond football. I’m a professional, I got criticized all the time and I take it because it’s my job”.”
Rohr finally won and Ighalo returned to spectacular effect, topping the goals chart in the 2019 AFCON qualifying series with 7 goals before going on to score 5 more at the tournament proper to claim the golden boot.
With his recent move to Manchester United, the question of his return to the Super Eagles has once again risen to the fore especially following Rohr’s revelation that he’ll try again to convince Ighalo to make a return to the Super Eagles.
Given the high regard in which Ighalo holds the Franco-German, a comeback could be very likely.