SUPER EAGLES

I worked harder because Nigeria did not call me for AFCON 2021 - Bassey

Bassey has played six consecutive games for Nigeria after using AFCON 2021 rejection to fuel his passion at Rangers

Calvin Bassey playing for Nigeria against Mexico at the AT&T Stadium in Texas (IMAGO/Icon SMI)

Super Eagles defender Calvin Bassey has revealed his motivation for improving his performance at Rangers during the second half of the 2021/22 season.

The 22-year-old Nigerian international stated that missing out on the final squad for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) made him put in more work at Rangers last season.

Bassey has since featured six (6) times for the Nigerian national team since he made his debut for the Super Eagles in the first leg of the final World Cup Qualifiers against Ghana.

While speaking with NFF TV, Bassey accepted that he used the rejection of not being part of Austine Eguavoen's side to Cameroon as fuel to improve his performances at his club.

The 22-year-old noted that he worked harder during the second half of the season and he believes that his hard work was what made him earn a call-up to the Super Eagles.

Bassey said of the AFCON 2021 exclusion: "Obviously it was very disappointing. I knew I just needed to work harder and just try out my game.

"And hopefully I'm guessing that's why I'm here. Hopefully, I've done that and caught the coaches' eyes."

Bassey was invited by Eguavoen for the two-legged World Cup Qualifier against Ghana with the Rangers' defender making a substitute appearance in the first leg before going straight into the starting XI in the second leg.

Bassey recounted his experience then: "I was shocked, I couldn’t believe it. I just felt so privileged and blessed. I thank God every day because God is our strength.

"So I just feel blessed and privileged to be here and to represent my great nation. Playing for Nigeria, I don’t think I can put into words.

"We have over 200 million people behind our back every time we go on to the pitch."

Bassey has arguably cemented his spot in the starting XI of the Super Eagles, starting every game for Nigeria since he made his debut in the first leg against Ghana.

The 22-year-old played from the off against Ghana (second leg), Mexico, Ecuador, Sierra Leone, and Sao Tome & Principe.

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