Super Eagles captain Troost-Ekong reveals how fight with Jose Peseiro almost spoilt his AFCON 2023 Dreams

Nigeria men’s football team captain, William Troost-Ekong has revealed that discord between him and former Super Eagles head coach, Jose Peseiro nearly cost him a place in Nigeria’s squad to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

Troost-Ekong was benched in Nigeria’s final AFCON 2023 qualifying fixture against Sao Tome and Principe in September and was omitted from the squad for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Lesotho and Zimbabwe the next month.

The PAOK of Greece defender was also not included in the squad for the international friendlies against Saudi Arabia and Mozambique but made the squad for the AFCON 2023 finals.

Ekong surprisingly ended up playing a crucial role for the Super Eagles in Cote d’Ivoire, netting three times and winning Player of the Tournament.

“[It] resulted in us not actually speaking for a few months,” Troost-Ekong told CNN World Sport.

“That was the time where my pride and ego, I think maybe got the better of me. I thought about stopping.

“Thankfully, I’ve got a good group of people around me who took me out of it.

“[It] made me think about my younger self and, how much it meant and how proud I was to play my first game [for Nigeria].

“I deserved to give my younger self a better ending. So that was the thing that changed my mind … I think my career has always been a testament of not giving up.”

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