Bayer Leverkusen forward Nathan Tella recently shared his decision to represent the Super Eagles of Nigeria instead of the Three Lions of England despite being eligible for both.
Nathan Tella, at the age of 24, has chosen his international career. He was born in London and has lived in England all his life.
In an interview with OmaSports, Tella explained his heartfelt reasons for wanting to don the Super Eagles jersey and make his family proud.
“I feel like it’s always been a big part of my life. I was born in London and I’ve been in England all my life, but at the same time my parents and grandparents are Nigerian, so I feel like it’s the bright route to go down so I wanna do something that makes my family proud as well.”Nathan Tella said
Tella’s choice to play for Africa three times champions stems from his family’s Nigerian background. His parents and grandparents are Nigerian, which, for Tella, makes representing Nigeria a meaningful path to follow.
His interactions with fellow teammates have also influenced Tella’s decision. Conversations with Joe Aribo at Southampton and Victor Boniface at Bayer Leverkusen have shed light on the Super Eagles’ appeal. Boniface, in particular, has provided valuable insights, igniting Tella’s excitement about sharing the field with him in the national team.
“I have asked him quite a bit and at Southampton I had Joe Aribo as well, so I spoke to both of them just to see what it’s like, but obviously, I’ve been with Victor and he’s been telling me what’s it like so if I get the chance I’ll love to play with him there.”Nathan Tella
Nathan Tella also appreciates the exceptional talent within the Nigeria national team. He views this as a unique opportunity to challenge himself and grow as a player.
“It is a very talented national team, but I’ve always liked a challenge myself. The reason I’m here is to push myself and challenge myself. I wanted to play with better players, and with the national team, you’re playing with the best players in the country.”Nathan Tella
Despite his open declaration, Nathan Tella is aware of the competition within the Nigeria Super Eagles’ attacking lineup. His Leverkusen teammate, Victor Boniface, recently secured his place in the squad. To achieve his dream, Tella knows he must play a crucial role at Bayer Leverkusen and capture the attention of Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro.