Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi has said he is treated like a king whenever he travels to Nigeria to play for the Super Eagles.
The 20-year-old forward chose to represent his country of birth instead of England.
Iwobi, who is nephew to former Eagles captain, Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha, left Lagos when he was four years old and after a brief stay in Turkey, was raised in east London.
He made his Nigeria debut in a 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Egypt in Kaduna.
“Everyone appreciates you. You’re almost like a king!” He told The Guardian.
“When I arrived at the airport, I thought, I’ll just have my earphones in, but everyone was like ‘Iwobi! Iwobi!’ Oh gosh. Hi guys! I didn’t know what to expect. It was just mad.
“I always go with Kelechi Iheanacho. When we go, we get escorted. Because I’m not used to the Nigerian culture as much as they are, they do help me with it. I can’t really speak the language that well. They help me with the fans. The fans are very different there. They don’t ask me for autographs, they ask for boots, money.
“At my debut, we played in a stadium that holds 30,000 and there was 60,000 – I don’t understand how. People were standing on the floodlights, on the scoreboard. I was thinking, ‘What? This isn’t even safe!’ But people there will do anything to watch the match.
“Sometimes in a Premier League game the fans are a bit quiet but in Nigeria you just hear trumpets, everything. The atmosphere is so different compared to England.”
Iwobi has scored once in seven appearances for the Eagles.