It was a cracking goal
A testament to the tales we and our folk had spun over time in awe of his prowess
Arnaut Groeneveld Danjuma is an amazing talent and showed it again in the Champions league game between Club Brugge and Atletico when the Dutch Nigerian scored a beautiful right foot stunner
While many will look on the goal with awe for most Nigerians there will be a feeling of pride heavily tainted with pangs of regret
Regret over what might have been
Many like us had salivated over the prospect of Danjuma marauding down the flanks for the Super Eagles just as he does for Brugge
But that dream may never materialize as the player in question has his heart set on the Dutch National team with the Super Eagles sadly only an option should his quest for a place on the Orange fail
And the Dutch have moved fast to make his dream a reality and edge one over the Eagles by extending an invitation
If he eventually gets capped by the Dutch It is to an extent no fault of ours after all it was the players preferred choice
But for a player who even went as far as changing his name to reflect his African roots why was his preference for the Orange instead of for the Super Eagles?
Former Super Eagles right Back George Abbey who himself is no stranger to dual Nationalities believes a lot mostly lies with the players upbringing
“Most Players with dual nationality don’t know anything about our country or its culture”. George Abbey told Soccer Assembly
“They identify with the country they have been brought up in”
“The players parents have a responsibility to introduce them to their heritage & culture so the individual has a more even perspective when choosing a nation to play for” he added
Recently another Dutch talent Tyrone Ebuehi who instead choose Nigeria over the Netherlands told the BBC he feels very Nigerian.
“My father was born in Nigeria and he is from Benin City, which makes me half Nigerian.” Ebuehi told the BBC
My mother is from Holland, so I’m half Nigerian and half Dutch”
However UK Based Soccer Administrator and head of Team Nigeria International believes the NFF have to change their approach and lure these talent while they are still young
“Home grown talents they have more quota when it comes to age group tournament” David Doherty told Soccer Assembly
“We need the NFF to begin to consider including some Nigerian descents based on merit into the age grade teams making approach easy for.us”
“We can’t wait till they developed and start chasing them for inclusion in the Super Eagles. There needs to be a balance” he added
All summations are valid while also not overlooking the obvious fact that the profile of the teams in context also plays a part as teams viewed by the player as having more of a footballing pedigree and greater success achieved in the sport usually have a higher appeal to these players
But as for Arnaut Danjumas case perhaps Nigeria should not lose sleep over his playing for the Orange
Afterall just like fellow colleague and revered sports writer Solace Chukwu put it “you never lose what you never had” . . .