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Ex-Germany U20 captain desires 2023 AFCON, honors representing Nigeria

Posted : 07 November 2023
KAA Gent's central defender, Jordan Torunarigha, aspires to secure a spot in the Super Eagles' squad for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, commencing in Ivory Coast on January 13, 2024.

Having switched his international allegiance from Germany to Nigeria, Torunarigha had previously represented Germany at various youth levels, culminating in captaining the U20 squad in an U20 Elite League match against the Netherlands on October 5, 2017.

His initial call-up to the Nigeria national team occurred during a 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against São Tomé and Príncipe in September, though he remained on the bench for the entire game, as was the case in the friendly match against Saudi Arabia the following month.

Torunarigha eventually made his senior debut in a friendly against Mozambique on October 16, spending 75 minutes on the field and joining the ranks of German-born players who have recently represented the Super Eagles, following Leon Balogun and Kevin Akpoguma.

In vying for a spot in the Super Eagles' Africa Cup of Nations squad, Torunarigha faces tough competition from established central defenders such as Semi Ajayi, Kenneth Omeruo, William Troost-Ekong, and Calvin Bassey, all of whom are higher in manager Jose Peseiro's pecking order.

Speaking to Het Nieuwsblad before Gent's Europa Conference League encounter with Icelandic club Breiðablik, Torunarigha stated, "I'm giving my all and hoping for a selection. Representing Nigeria continues to be a great honor. Nine players from our team may potentially receive call-ups in January, which is quite substantial. But first, we're heading to Iceland. I've never been there before, but I'm not daunted by the cold temperatures. I frequently take ice baths."

The 26-year-old Torunarigha will learn next month whether he has secured a place on Nigeria's Africa Cup of Nations roster.


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