Super Eagles defender William Troost-Ekong did a fun interview which was shared on his social media page.
The interview was done in his car while on his way to Stansted Airport in London from where he was to fly to Amsterdam to be with his mum and granddad.
The Udinese defender was making the trip with his newborn baby and his fiancée and his interview, he delved into his life as a father, 2018 FIFA World Cup experience with the Super Eagles and the start to life in Italy.
After a busy Christmas schedule with Udinese in the Serie A, Troost-Ekong entered the new year with his fiancée and son.
“It’s been busy, I haven't actually been in the UK enough for Christmas, I had to play on Boxing Day on the 29th so it’s been nice to be back here for New Year's Eve and spend some time with the family and so friends. It’s been very busy,” the Super Eagles defender said.
It was a busy last six months of 2018 for the defender who played at the 2018 FIFA World Cup with the Super Eagles of Nigeria, resumed pre-season with Turkish club Bursaspor before completing a move to Italian club Udinese.
“Life in Italy has been good. We’ve enjoyed I so far. It’s been a change, of course, new football, new language and new environment,” the 25-year-old said.
“But I think I managed to settle in well, working on my Italian and enjoying the football so it’s been good so far. “
“The season’s been very eventful, of course, we have the World up in the summer and few weeks after that, I had my move to Italy so it was a lot of changes and a lot of exciting stuff going on,” he continued.
Life in Serie A
Troost-Ekong has taken to life in Serie A like a duck to water, starting in all Serie A games for Udinese since he joined.
It’s also more than the appearances, Troost-Ekong has been impressive for Udinese this season and has established himself as one of their most important players.
“So far I think I’ve been quite happy with how I have been playing. I’ve managed to play all the games for my new team so that was an achievement for myself. We are doing quite well, so fa so good,” the former Gent defender said.
“My personal goal this season was to, first of all, to play for my new team, be important, and also try to finish off well and give the fans a good season.”
Troost-Ekong has also been very important to the Super Eagles where he played a major part in their qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) holding in Egypt.
After the 2018 World Cup, Troost-Ekong played three out of the four Super Eagles AFCON 2019 qualifiers as Nigeria made a return to the tourney for the first time since 2013.
After playing an important role in Super Eagles qualifiers, the defender is already looking forward to the main tournament in Egypt.
“We have the AFCON coming in the summer and on the back of that World Cup, we have a strong feeling that I want to prove myself again on the international stage and try to win that with Nigeria,” he said.
2018 World Cup experience
After playing in the 2016 Summer Olympics with the Nigerian U-23 team, Troost-Ekong had another international experience with Nigeria at the 2018 World Cup and it was definitely the highlight of the year for him.
“My best memory probably would be playing in the World Cup I think that’s definitely was amazing one or playing at Wembley against England, that was a big one as well,” the former Tottenham youth player said.
“I think it’s overshadowed by playing for Nigeria and having the opportunity to as well captain Nigeria a few times that was special memories.”
The move to Italy has come with its own challenges. Learning a new language, a new culture on and outside the pitch.
“I think Italian football is a lot more tactically disciplined. You have a lot of big games, play against big players and there are about eight very strong teams in the league. So it’s been a new challenge for me to step up and try to raise my game,” the defender said.
“I think it forced to me learn more and to develop as a player.
“It’s been interesting being in Italy with a new culture, new league, new team and especially also being a dad for the first time.”
Amidst the engrossing year he had in 2018, Troost-Ekong also welcomed a son with his fiancée after the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
It was one change that was difficult to handle along with his commitment as a professional footballer.
“It’s been difficult but it’s been very rewarding as well when I see my son,” the father of one said.
My fiancée has been amazing, she’s helped me out so much and I think we’ve formed a very good family unit now and we just trying to take in our stride.
“Because now when I’m coming home from training, being in a new country, I’ve got to try to learn the language at the same time be there for my son and help my fiancée as much as I can. So it’s been a bit of non-stop.
“But at the same time, like I said it’s been very rewarding as well having a son at home in Italy.”