Philip Billing: Bournemouth Star Rejects Nigeria For Denmark

Philip Billing has shot down speculation that he is considering a switch to the Super Eagles saying “it would be strange to stand up for Nigeria when I feel one hundred per cent Danish”.

Born to a Nigerian father and Danish mother, the midfielder whose full name is Philip Anyanwu Billing has represented Denmark at youth level but is eligible to play for Nigeria having never been capped by the Danes at senior level.

The 23-year-old has been on the wishlist of Eagles manager Gernot Rohr since 2018 and recently, speculation heightened that the paperwork needed to confirm his switch to Nigeria was all but done.

The Bournemouth midfielder, however, rubbished the “rumours” about his impending switch to the three-time African champions.

While acknowledging his Nigerian roots, Billing said he doesn’t feel remotely Nigerian and has never dreamt of putting on Nigeria’s green and white.

“I think there are some rumours that come out of nowhere. When I saw it, I thought it might be good just to make a Danish article. I saw the last time people started to speculate that I didn’t mind playing for Denmark and blah, blah, blah,” Billing told Danish publication

“It would be strange to stand up for Nigeria when I feel one hundred per cent Danish. Of course, I have Nigerian roots and am half Nigerian, but I was raised and born in Denmark.

“I have a Danish mother, Danish little brother and Danish little sister and a Nigerian father. But this is Denmark I want to stand for. That’s my big dream.”

The former Huddersfield Town star revealed that he held discussions with Rohr prior to the 2018 World Cup where he made it abundantly clear where his heart lies and it isn’t with the three-time African champions.

“I’ve talked to the coach [Rohr], but I know where I want to play. I want to play for Denmark, so it is no longer than that.

“He [Rohr] just said he really wanted me to play for Nigeria because the upcoming World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations will be played soon. I made it pretty clear to him that I wanted to play for Denmark. That’s my big dream.

“Hopefully this is the last time I have to answer whether I choose Nigeria. I can say that I am one hundred per cent in Denmark. I only think these are rumours and that’s to get people talking. But there is nothing at all.”

Billing still holds out hope of being called up to the Danish national team despite repeated snubs and revealed that he has held promising discussions with new Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand about his international prospects.

“I’ve talked to Kasper Hjulmand over the phone. Not about anything specific, but we just had a great conversation to get to know each other a little,” he continued.

“From what I hear, it’s something I look forward to very much playing with the national team and hopefully in the future a few minutes and make my debut.

“I have nothing but positive things to say. The conversation I had with Hjulmand was very positive. I think big things are going to happen under him. That’s my feeling.”

Billing moved to current side Bournemouth last summer after impressing for Huddersfield Town for whom he scored five goals in played 81 appearances.