Super Eagles Captain William Troost-Ekong Contemplated Leaving National Team Ahead of AFCON 2023

The 30-year-old defender revealed to CNN World Sport's Amanda Davies that he and Peseiro went months without speaking, prompting him to consider quitting international football

In a candid revelation, Super Eagles Captain William Troost-Ekong has disclosed that he contemplated leaving the Nigerian national team before the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) due to strained relations with former coach Jose Peseiro.

Ekong admitted that the aftermath of Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar had significantly strained his relationship with Peseiro.


The 30-year-old defender revealed to World Sport’s Amanda Davies that he and Peseiro went months without speaking, prompting him to consider quitting international football.

However, Ekong credited his support system for helping him navigate through the challenging period, preventing him from making a premature decision to retire from representing his country.

Ekong’s revelation sheds light on the personal struggles and emotional toll experienced by players, often hidden beneath the surface of their professional endeavors.

Despite the adversity, Ekong showcased resilience and determination during the 2023 AFCON, where he emerged as a standout performer, leading the Super Eagles to the final against Cote d’Ivoire.

Throughout the tournament, Ekong’s leadership and on-field prowess were evident, as he netted three crucial goals, solidifying his status as one of the competition’s most outstanding defenders.

His remarkable performance earned him the prestigious title of the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), further cementing his legacy in Nigerian football history.


Reflecting on his journey with the national team, Ekong expressed a desire to provide a better ending for his younger self, emphasizing the significance of representing Nigeria with pride and determination.

His commitment to overcoming obstacles and never giving up serves as an inspiration to aspiring athletes across the globe.

In addition to addressing his own struggles, Ekong condemned the unfair treatment directed towards teammate Alex Iwobi on social media following the AFCON final.

He highlighted Iwobi’s significant contributions to the national team and urged fans to show appreciation for his dedication and achievements on the pitch.

Despite his personal tribulations, Ekong remains focused on his club career with Greek side PAOK.

However, speculations have arisen regarding a potential move to the Saudi Pro League, with Ekong acknowledging the allure of new opportunities in football.

At 30 years old, Ekong understands the importance of considering all options as he navigates the latter stages of his career.

As Ekong continues to excel both on and off the pitch, his journey serves as a testament to resilience, perseverance, and the enduring spirit of Nigerian football.

Amidst the challenges and uncertainties, Ekong’s unwavering commitment to his craft and his country exemplifies the true essence of a sporting icon.

In conclusion, William Troost-Ekong’s revelations offer a glimpse into the inner workings of professional football, highlighting the personal struggles and triumphs that shape the careers of athletes.

His honesty and candour serve as a reminder of the human side of the beautiful game, inspiring fans and fellow players alike to persevere in the face of adversity.


This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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