Swiss World Cup star Manuel Obafemi Akanji has revealed why he chose to play for his adopted country at the tournament instead of the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
Akanji, who has a Nigerian father and a Swiss mother, was speaking with reporters after Switzerland crashed out of the tournament with a 1-0 defeat to Sweden in their last 16 clash on Tuesday evening.
In his words via Punch, Akanji said: “Nigeria never called me to play (for the Eagles). There was no question where I should play because Switzerland asked me if I wanted to play for them. I heard nothing from Nigeria. So it was my decision ”
When asked if he would have played for the Super Eagles if he was contacted, the Borussia Dortmund centre back replied: “I don’t know, because they never (Nigeria) called me.”
“I don’t think I have any regrets playing for Switzerland (at Russia 2018). Switzerland got to the second round and Nigeria didn’t.” He concluded.
Manuel Akanji was one of Switzerland’s best performers in Russia as he helped the team to the knockout stage from Group E, which had five-time champions Brazil, fellow Europeans Serbia and Brazil 2014 World Cup quarterfinalists Costa Rica.
He was, however, powerless as Sweden knocked out his team via a lone strike from RB Leipzig forward Emil Forsberg on 66 minutes, which took a deflection off him and wrongfooted Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer.