Exclusive: Leon Balogun Expresses “Relief” to be Back in Super Eagles Fold

Exclusive: Leon Balogun Expresses “Relief” to be Back in Super Eagles Fold

Leon Balogun has described his return to the Super Eagles as a relief and admits he didn’t expect it so soon after a long period without action at club level.

Balogun last featured for Nigeria at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and was snubbed for the friendlies against Ukraine and Brazil as well as the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Benin Republic and Lesotho.

 


The Center Half was out of action for a lengthy period, playing only two competitive games with Brighton since he featured in the 2019 AFCON quarter-final match against South Africa.

 

In the January transfer window, Balogun made a switch to Championship side Wigan Athletic and has already made five appearances in the league at the club.

 

Apparently, his renewed form with the Championship club impressed the Super Eagles Coach Gernot Rohr, who has named the 31-year-old in the 24-man squad for the AFCON qualifiers against the Leone Stars.

 

“It’s kind of a relief and I am very happy to be back in the squad,” Balogun told brila.net.

 

“I think this is the first time that ever since I joined the Super Eagles I was not called up for a longer period due to the fact I was not playing and it was a tough thing to take, but I worked my way through it, I was preparing myself, I was working hard for it and waiting for it.

 

“But also there’s factors; like fair enough there’s been players who have been playing regularly and it is just normal that this happens if there’s a player.

 

“Despite everything that I have done in the past on the pitch for the Super Eagles, despite a lot of good performances I think it’s just something that happens if you don’t play regular football.”

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