William Troost- Ekong is a core part of a new generation of footballers who serve as a bridge between Nigeria and its sizeable diaspora population. Troost-Ekong who famously came up at Tottenham Hotspur alongside Harry Kane touches on the highs and lows of his career in his Earned Not Given documentary. He tells the story of being dropped by Spurs;
“I started playing in the academy. I was at Tottenham Hotspur which is an amazing club. I wasn’t an amazing talent or a stand out performer.
One of my last moments of the club before I left Spurs, I had a meeting with one of my coaches where he told me and my mum that he didn’t think I was going to become a player. That I wasn’t good enough to play.
“This was something that really upset me at the time and it later became a big point for me to prove, first of all to them, then to myself and after to the world that I was good enough to go all the way to the top.”
The defender in turn used that as a motivating factor to put his nose to the grindstone. Troost-Ekong has since played for FC Groningen in the Netherlands, Gent in Belgium, Haugesund in Norway, Bursaspor in Turkey and now Udinese in Italy – (in)advertently making the coach eat his words.
Troost-Ekong also spoke about the Super Eagles, where he has since grown to become one of the leaders in the team.
“When we play in Nigeria, it’s always a party. It was a big moment as well to captain Nigeria, such a big footballing nation. The Nigerian fans, they are so exciting. Football means so much for Nigerians because there’s always a lot going in the country and a lot of negativity and whenever we play, I feel like we have a moment to just put everything on pause and when we win, everyone smiles for the day and it’s just exciting to see how happy we can make people.
Watch the documentary below;