Chelsea youngster Ola Aina opted to play for the Nigerian national team despite playing for England’s youth teams.
Aina, who is currently on loan at Championship side Hull City, revealed former Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi influenced his decision to play for Nigeria.
“The one person that I would say has been an influence to me a little bit is John Obi Mikel,” Aina told Goal.
“I was first talking to him three years ago about it [playing for Nigeria]. Last season, the season before and the season before that.
“Two years on, it has finally happened. Anything that comes from Obi is respected and I was happy that he invited me to come and join the team. He is very well respected. He is our skipper, he is our captain. Everyone respects him entirely as they should. He is loved throughout the camp.
“My family are also very proud Nigerians and they are happy to see me play for the Super Eagles. I am happy with it as well. On my parent’s side, they just support whatever decision that I decide to make in my career. They give me advice and what not but they ultimately just support the decisions that I make.
“Me and Victor [Moses] are very close too. Obviously, I spent the whole season with him last season. We built up a bit of a bond. He is an important player but so is everyone else here.
“It was a wholehearted decision that I made but it wasn’t tough, to choose Nigeria. It was an easy decision to make because, for one, my ethnic origin is Nigerian. Secondly, it is an opportunity that I couldn’t really turn down. We have got a good squad, a good team and good staff.
“It is looking like we will qualify for another World Cup. For me to be part of that, is always a dream. I am just waiting for a few more approvals now and then we are good to go. I can’t put my finger on it right now but hopefully I will make my debut very soon.”