Football

Joe Aribo thrilled to wear Super Eagles’ number 10 jersey

Nigeria midfielder Joe Aribo is delighted to be entrusted with the iconic number 10 jersey.

Nigeria midfielder Joe Aribo is delighted to be entrusted with the iconic number 10 jersey.

Aribo was surprisingly handed the shirt on his debut for the three-time African champions in a friendly against Ukraine in September 2019.

The 24-year-old opened scoring for the Super Eagles with a sublime goal in the 2-2 draw.

The former Charlton Athletic player also scored another superb goal on his second appearance the following month , a 1-1 draw in the friendly against former world champions Brazil in Brazil.

The number was made popular by former football stars; Pele, Diego Maradona and Nigerian legend Austine Okocha.

Aribo hopes to do justice and carry on the legacy of all the players who have worn the number before him.

‘Getting called up was a surreal feeling and one I definitely didn’t expect, from where I’ve come from but it just showed me how far I’ve come,” Aribo told the Daily Mail.

‘I’ll never forget my first game with the No.10. They left the spot [in the changing room] for me and I didn’t sit there because I was thinking “this can’t be me.”

‘They said “no, this is you” and when I was warming up I was thinking “yo, this is crazy. The ten for Nigeria.” I didn’t know how to feel. A crazy feeling. In football, let alone Nigeria the No.10 shirt is iconic. If you’re wearing it you’ve got to be a good player so I feel like I have to be good.’

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