After staring for Germany at age-grade level, including playing in the Olympics for his country of birth, Jordan Torunarigha's next dream was to star for the Die Mannschaft, culminating in his turning down several calls to play for his fatherland. With no invitation coming from the German senior national team, the Gent of Belgium defender has taken solace in the Super Eagles as he is one of the three new invitees by the three-time African champions to prosecute the dead rubber AFCON qualifier against Sau Tome and Principe
jordan Torunarigha is one of the three new invitees on the Super Eagles of Nigeria squad for the game against Sao Tome and Principe and had since reported to camp after initially ignoring several invites and with no German national team invitation insight.
The 26-year-old son of former Nigerian footballer, Ojokojo Torunarigha, was born and bred in Germany, where he started his football career in Chemnitz and lived with his family.
As a kid, Jordan learnt the basics of football at Chemnitzer FC until 2006, when he joined Hertha BSC youth team as a nine-year old.
At Hertha BSC, Jordan developed through the academy and B team to the main team.
Jordan started playing football as a striker until Hertha BSC U-15 Coach, Ante Covic converted him to defence, a position he has excelled in.
The defender has only played for two clubs-Hertha BSC of Germany and current club Gent of Belgium.
The 26-year-old new Super Eagles invitee first joined Gent in January 2022 on loan from Hertha BSC.
At the end of that season, Gent made the transfer permanent, the defender penning a three-year deal with the Belgian club.
Torunarigha represented Germany at youth level and played in the German Olympic team at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Rohr was interested because the Super Eagles needed more top defensive talents to back their attacking surplus. But the young defender turned down the opportunity as he was still dreaming of playing for Germany at the senior level.
Torunarigha has however denied ever rejecting an opportunity to play for Nigeria in the past and has vowed to put in his best to ensure the Super Eagles win come tomorrow.
“It's my first call-up, get some playing time maybe and to show the fans who are criticizing me for denying Nigeria but it is not true. I want to make them feel happy and give them something back,” Torunarigha told NFF TV.
“I want to show everybody who criticized me before that I'm here to help the team, to give everything for the country and make Nigerians proud.”
Torunarigha revealed that he has been welcomed by the Super Eagles players and spoke of the differences between the Nigerian and German national team set-up.
“It's really nice to meet the players, all of them are nice. They accepted me and it's nice to train with big players like Osimhen and Chukwueze, it's nice to see them training.
“It's a little bit different, like in Germany everything is strict. For example, you cannot go to meetings with flip-flops, you have to wear normal shoes.
“The captain, Troost-Ekong helped me but also Collins, they are the players that helped me find my spot in the team,” he added.
Jordan, born in Chemnitz, Germany, while his father Ojokojo played as a professional, preferred to continue his development in the German youth sides. Ojokojo had played for Shooting Stars before moving to Germany where Jordan was born.
A highly-rated defender, Jordan eventually played in the German Olympic team at the Tokyo Olympic Games. He left Hertha Berlin for Gent in the Belgian league last year after a season out on loan.
In a recent encounter, Torunarigha revealed to an online publication why he rejected Rohr's overtures and his availability to play for Nigeria if they want him in future.
“It is difficult for me because my parents are from Nigeria, but I have never been to Nigeria,” Torunarigha revealed. “I don't know how the people are, I don't know how the country looks like. And for me, it is a little bit difficult.”
“My dad only listened to Fela when he took his shower,” Torunarigha said. “I listen to his music. He's a legend for all Nigerians.”
The 26-year-old hopes he can still give back to Nigeria when he finally visits the country of his parents.
“I always say that I didn't become a professional for me alone. I want to help the people who don't have so much,” he said.
Meaning Torunarigha will commit his international future to his fatherland if returning Super Eagles Head coach Jose Peseiro hands him his debut this weekend.
He will follow in the footstep of his father Ojokojo Torunarigha who represented Nigeria in the 90's.
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