Eberechi Eze: How Nigeria Missed Out on Exciting Forward Representing England at Euro 2024

Eberechi Eze: How Nigeria Missed Out on Exciting Forward Representing England at Euro 2024

Babajide Orevba
June 20, 2024 at 6:17 PM
In this article:
Eberechi Eze logo
E. Eze
Crystal Palace logoMEngland logo
Nigeria logo
England logo
UEFA European Championship logo
  • Eberechi Eze was poached by former NFF president Amaju Pinnick, but the striker chose to represent England, his country of birth
  • The impressive Crystal Palace forwarded is part of the Three Lions squad at the ongoing Euro 2024 tournament in Germany
  • Eze was born in London to Nigerian parents, but despite efforts by Nigerian officials, the star says he has no regrets playing for England

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Crystal Palace star Eberechi Eze was eligible to play for Nigeria and England, but the forward opted to represent the Three Lions at the national team level.

Born in London to Nigerian parents, the exciting attacker who began his youth career with Arsenal is now representing England at the ongoing Euro 2024 in Germany.

Although he was benched in England's 1-0 win over Serbia, the 25-year-old came on as a 69th-minute against Denmark, replacing fellow Nigerian descent Bukayo Saka.

Eberechi Eze, Nigeria, England, Super Eagles, Three Lions, Euro 2024
Nigeria missed out on Eberechi Eze, who is now representing England at Euro 2024. Photo Credit: Alex Pantling.
Source: Getty Images

He has scored 26 goals in 124 matches across all competitions for Crystal Palace, including 11 Premier League goals in the just-concluded season.

Eze once stated that he had no regrets about choosing to play for his country of birth, saying it was the right decision he made.

How Nigeria missed out on Eberechi Eze

During his reign as the president of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, who met with Eze in England, expressed optimism that the player would represent Nigeria.

At the time, Eze had represented England U20 and U21 teams, but he was still eligible to play for the Super Eagles.

In 2020, Eze disclosed that he had yet to decide on whether to play for Nigeria or his birth country, England, at the senior international level

He made England's provisional squad for Euro 2020, having earned a national team call-up from Gareth Southgate. However, he suffered an injury in camp and was dropped.

Eberechi Eze says no regrets choosing England over Nigeria

On June 16, 2023, Eze made his senior debut for the Three Lions, appearing as a 70th-minute substitute for James Maddison in a 4–0 UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying win against Malta.

That sealed his fate as he could no longer represent Nigeria again. He said, via Daily Post:

“We think that this is the best one. It is a big opportunity for me. It is the highest level of football. I look at it with no regret at all.
“I received the call, and I felt it was the right decision to make, and I am very, very happy to be here."

How Mateta rooted for Eze

Sports Brief earlier reported that Crystal Palace forward Jean-Philippe Mateta is backing teammate Eberechi Eze to make the England squad for the 2024 European Championship in Germany.

Mateta and Eze have been in fine form since Oliver Glasner took over as coach of Crystal Palace in the middle of March following Roy Hodgson's resignation due to ill health.

Despite Mateta's goal-scoring run, he could not make the French team for the tournament this summer but believes England will be better with Eze in their squad.

Babajide Orevba photo
Babajide Orevba
Babajide Orevba is a CAF accredited Nigerian journalist and HOD of the Local Desk with over 10 years of experience in media landscape.He studied NCE Political Science/Social Studies, AOCOED.