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Mikel Obi Urges NFF To Make Philip Billing Play For Nigeria


Former Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi has urged football officials in Nigeria to convince Bournemouth midfielder Philip Billing to switch allegiance to Nigeria.

Philip Billing has been in excellent form for Premier League side Bournemouth, scoring the first goal in a 3-2 loss to the league-toppers Arsenal and the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory against Liverpool last weekend.

He is eligible to play for Nigeria at the international level through his father, but he chose to represent Denmark instead because that is where he was born and where his mother is from.

He has played thrice for the Danish national team since then but still has the opportunity of switching his allegiance to his fatherland.

Former Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr reportedly urged Biling to play for Nigeria in 2018, but the central midfielder who is now 26-year-old turned down the German tactician.

Five years after that effort, Mikel Obi, a former Chelsea midfielder has reignited the discussion following Billing’s form so far this season.

The Nigerian-born Danish midfielder has scored 6 goals and provided one assist in 25 Premier League appearances this season.

“He was to me the best player on the pitch (against Arsenal) but I understand why Reiss Nelson was voted man of the match,” Mikel Obi said in an interview about Biling after the Danish midfielder scored against Arsenal on March 4.

On his desire to see Biling in the colors of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, Obi added, “I am aware of the effort by the last coach of the team and I think the time to revisit that talk is probably now”.

He made his debut for Denmark national team on October 7, 2020. Since then, he has played twice in friendlies and once in the Nations League for the European team.

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Before then, Billing has represented Denmark at the under-19, under-20, and under-21 age-grade levels.