Ex Netherlands Youngster Outlines Circumstances That Would See Him Represent Nigeria

Ex Netherlands Youngster Outlines Circumstances That Would See Him Represent Nigeria

Chukwu Ikechukwu
updated at March 1, 2024 at 6:24 AM
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  • Jonathan Zirkzee has expressed his readiness to play for the Super Eagles
  • The Bologna striker is eligible to represent both Nigeria and the Netherlands
  • Zirkzee scored 11 goals in 43 league appearances for Italian side, Bologna

Jonathan Zirkzee has openly expressed his desire to play for Nigeria but has also outlined the specific circumstance that would see him choose to represent the Super Eagles.

Born in the Netherlands to a Dutch father and a Nigerian mother, the 22-year-old Bologna forward is eligible to represent either national team - should he get an invite.

Jonathan Zirkzee, Nigeria, Netherlands, Super Eagles, Serie A
Jonathan Zirkzee is eligible to represent both Nigeria and the Netherlands at the senior level. Photo by Jonathan Moscrop.
Source: Getty Images

According to Complete Sports, Zirkzee said he would not hesitate to switch allegiance to Nigeria if he failed to get a call-up to the Dutch senior national team, which he has represented at the junior level.

"But Nigeria is not a country that you just choose because you cannot play for your homeland. The competition there for attackers is perhaps just as great as in the Dutch team.
"But my dream has always been the Dutch national team. And the European Championships are not necessarily a crossroads. Like, if that doesn’t happen, then I’ll look further."

Zirkzee has 11 goals in 43 league games for Bologna in all competitions since joining the Serie A club from Bayern Munich in 2022, leading to interest in his signature.

The rise of Jonathan Zirkzee

Zirkzee began his football career at the age of five with VV Hekelingen in the Netherlands before joining Spartaan in 2010, where he played alongside his cousin, Nelson Amadin, Wikipedia reports.

The 22-year-old forward would later move to the youth setups of ADO Den Haag in 2013 and then Feyenoord in 2016 before Bayern Munich came calling one year later.

Anderlecht confirmed the signing of Zirkzee in 2021 on a season-long loan from Bayern, where he ended the 2021/22 season as the club's leading scorer with 16 goals and nine assists in 34 starts.

Nigeria and Netherlands jostle for Zirkzee

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that on the international stage, Zirkzee has attracted attention from Nigeria and the Netherlands due to his brilliant performances this season.

The three-time African champions and the European giants appear to want the in-form 22-year-old striker in their squads for the upcoming international window in March.

Zirkzee's apparent support for Nigeria in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations has fuelled speculation regarding his desire to play for the West Africans instead of the European nation.

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Chukwu Ikechukwu
Chukwu Ikechukwu Godwin is a journalist with over 9 years of experience in the Nigerian media industry. He has worked both in Radio (Today FM, Rhythm FM, Wish FM) and Television (Silverbird TV) as a Sports Analyst..