John Ogu has revealed the sacrifices he made to position himself for his first World Cup 2018 qualifiers appearance with Nigeria.
The midfielder who featured more prominently for the Super Eagles at 2013 Confederations Cup has been on the periphery of Gernot Rohr’s squad with the likes of Wilfred Ndidi, Ogenyi Onazi and Mikel Agu ahead of him in the midfield pecking order.
Having booked their spot in Russia, the German tactician rang the change with the Hapoel Beer Sheva man handed his first start at the heart of the pack.
The 29-year-old capped off his showing with a brilliant 62nd minute curler that flew past Faouzi Chaouchi. The game ended 1-1 after Yacine Brahimi converted from the spot with few minutes left.
And the former Académica player who described the feeling as a 'dream come true' revealed how he had to get himself prepared - including sitting out matches for his club and taking care of his treatment bills - for Friday’s duel in a series of tweets.
October 20, in a game against Steau Bucharest in our UEFA cup match,I had a little tear in my satorious Muscle that forced me out of the game. I usually don’t go out from games but that night it was painful so I did 1/2 — John Ogu (@ogujohnugo) November 11, 2017
Weekend of that same weekend, we were to play against Maccabi Tel Aviv which is a very important game for my club . Training on saturday, I wanted to play with me begging our doctors to inject me .But they refused because they don’t want to risk it 2/2 — John Ogu (@ogujohnugo) November 11, 2017
I was thinking also of this day and moment in my career . So I went for Ultra sound and it was that I had a tear and I will be out for 4 weeks they said . Thank God for the Gene he blesses me with . I told them I will be back in 2weeks .2/3 — John Ogu (@ogujohnugo) November 11, 2017
I spent my own money to visit a specialist, went for therapy with my team 3 times .Spent also on Orthotics to fit in my boots . Came back exactly in 2weeks just to be back to represent my country . Missed 2 league games and Europa League game .— John Ogu (@ogujohnugo) November 11, 2017
I’m not looking way too sharp yet but I will keep working hard . I’m really proud of the team tonight . We worked as a team and fought for each other . Happy all my efforts were not in vain . I’m Grateful to God for his grace upon my life !!🙏🙏 — John Ogu (@ogujohnugo) November 11, 2017