Genk and Nigeria Super Eagles forward Paul Onuachu has revealed where he was when he got a call from Gernot Rohr as an invite to the national team.
The Score Nigeria recalls, imagine the 25-year-old was with his girlfriend on a date and his mobile phone rang, it was a call from a strange number, he checked his phone again, it was a strange call from France and he was wandering who could be calling him from France.
The call came again, it was the same number from France. He looked at his girlfriend, she lovingly gazed her eyes on him too. He was wondering, if he should pick the call or call back later after his date with his girlfriend.
Then his girlfriend urged him to answer the call. He doesn’t know who was calling. He don’t know if it was another lady somewhere that wants to ruin the date with his girlfriend. He was kind of reluctant to answer, but the object of affection gave him a smile to answer the call.
He eventually picked the call and it was one of the amazing pleasant surprise of his career as a football player. Gernot Rohr, the Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles was the one calling Paul Onuachu to notify him of his invitation to the national team.
That was how the 25-year-old striker Onuachu narrated his experience on live Instagram interview via Super Eagles official instagram handle at ng_supereagles monitored by yours truly, Francis Achi on Tuesday evening.
Having scored 55 goals in 132 appearances for FC Midtjylland of Denmark in seven seasons, Onuachu was in no doubt in the form of his life, but was he expecting an invitation to the Super Eagles, his simple answer was capital NO.
“I was not expecting an invitation to the Super Eagles. Although I was doing well at my club in Denmark but I felt that there are other Nigerian players doing also well in leagues like England, Spain and other leagues in Europe and i may not have the chance since I was playing in Denmark,” Onuachu said.
“So, I was really shocked when Gernot Rohr informed me on phone that I had been invited to the national team. He asked me if I had seen the news, I said no. Then he told me himself. I thanked him. I was very happy.
The Imo state – born striker who grew up at Ojo in Lagos state later won his first debut for Nigeria against Egypt in a friendly game at Stephen Keshi stadium in Asaba, which he gladly announced himself to the million of fans of the Super Eagles with a stunning thunderous volley of a goal.
It was his first game, first touch was perfect and his second touch was a stunner inside 10 seconds of the game, his first goal for the Super Eagles of Nigeria. What a way to begin your career in the national team and the striker described his goal against Egypt as his most memorable goal he ever scored.
“I have scored great goals in the past for my club but my goal against Egypt should be my most memorable goal. It was a goal i scored for my country in my first game. That goal would definitely remain my most memorable goal of my career.
“My debut goal is the most memorable goal of my career. I really enjoyed the goal. The build-up to the goal was very special.
Onuachu who now playing for Genk in Belgian Jupiter League further informed that he believed that his debut goal and all round performances in the Super Eagles camp earned him a place in the Super Eagles squad to 2019 AFCON tournament in Egypt.
“I had to grab the opportunity of being invited to the Super Eagles with all the seriousness it deserves. I worked very hard. I was very focused and my debut goal gave me the needed confidence and I am very sure the goal worked in my favour to be in the team to AFCON tournament in Egypt.
“Another shocker I got was when Gernot Rohr called me a day before our first game against Burundi that I would be starting. I was shocked and on the day of the game, Odion Ighalo also inspired when he told me not to be scared that I should just go and do my thing in the game.
“I played my best of course. I was later replaced and Ighalo came in to score the lone goal of the game. Playing in the national team has to do with a lot of experience and Ighalo demonstrated it with his goal against Burundi,” he concluded.