William Troost-Ekong: Super Eagles defender says Nigerians doubted him because he is ‘Oyibo’

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William Troost-Ekong

Troost-Ekong is of Dutch descent but switched his allegiance to Nigeria after representing the Netherlands at the youth levels.

Super Eagles defender William Troost-Ekong has revealed that Nigerians doubted him when he first joined the national team because he is ‘Oyibo'.

Troost-Ekong is of Dutch descent but switched his allegiance to Nigeria after representing the Netherlands at the youth levels.

'Oyibo' is a Nigerian term which is used to refer to caucasians.


The 24-year-old was given his first Super Eagles call-up by the late Stephen Keshi and made his debut for the Nigerian national team in June 2015.

Since his debut, Troost-Ekong has risen to become a crucial part of the Super Eagles. But it wasn’t easy at first for the defender.

There were a lot of doubts over me because I did not play for a big team in Holland before my first call-up,” the Bursaspor defender told The Telegraph.

Then, on top of that, being "Oyibo", or half-white, you have to prove yourself even more.”

Born to a Nigerian father and a Dutch mother but grew up in England,  the defender also went on to reveal the struggle he faced in finding a home.

When I am in Holland they see me almost as a foreigner because I am not a typical Dutch,” he also said.

And when I go to Nigeria they see me as a foreigner as well, so there has never really been somewhere where I can say: 'OK, this is me'.

I have always had a bit of that, but it has become part of me.

Troost-Ekong has now found a home with the Super Eagles and after 21 appearances, Nigerians have taken the defender to heart.

I've taken a different route,” he said.

Premier League move?


After the friendly game against England at Wembley on Saturday, June 2, the defender exchanged shirts with his friend Harry Kane whom he met during his youth days at Tottenham. 

The Nigeria international who now plays his football in Turkey with Bursaspor also reveals he wants a return to England.

But if I can get to the Premier League, I will feel like I have achieved a lot.

Troost-Ekong spent his early days in England with Fulham and Tottenham but began his senior career in the Netherlands with FC Groningen and FC Dordrecht.






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