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Barcelona youngster, Boluwatife Balogun has pledged his allegiance to Nigeria, despite being able to represent Netherland and France. Balogun, who has a French mum and also holds a Dutch passport, has made himself available for the Olympic National Team and Flying Eagles. Balogun, 18, started his career in France with Lens Academy, which produced the likes of Raphael Varane, before making a move to the famous Barcelona La Masia Academy, which produced the likes of Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta, two years  ago. As an attacking midfielder, Balogun emulates Andres Iniesta and is touted to become  the first Nigerian to play for Barcelona’s first team since Emmanuel Amuneke and Gbenga Okunowo in the late 90s and early 2000s. According to, Balogun said his father played a huge role in his decision to represent  Nigeria. ”I was born in Nigeria. My mom is French and I have a Dutch passport, so I’m also eligible to play for Holland and France. I don’t have any special reason why I am picking Nigeria ahead of these countries, that’s what my dad wants.” ”Andres Iniesta is my role model, he is a great passer of the ball, he continued. “He has good dribbling skills, he thinks what to do with the ball before it gets to him.” ”There are good players there that have some good qualities in the Nigeria team. But with what I possess we will be spectacular,” he concluded. Balogun joins the plethora of Nigerian youngsters in diaspora who have made themselves available to Nigerian coaches for selection.

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This article was first published on 15th December 2014 and updated on February 19th, 2015 at 9:16 am


Arinze Ude is a PhD Student at the University of the West of England Bristol, UK, where he's exploring on the mechanisms of donor cell leukaemia. He shares his deep thoughts on his blog and the Naked Convos. He is keen to promote personal development of the Nigerian youth via thought-provoking articles.

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