Babajide Alaka | Deputy Editor
For many who have not heard of Patrick Owomoyela – he is a defender who plays for Borussia Dortmund though not often and he should leave the Uefa Champions League finalists at the end of this season.
In his club career, he has made very good decisions leaving Werder Bremen for Dortmund where he has won the Bundesliga title and the Cup but on the international scene he will always rue his decision to play for Germany prior to the 2006 World Cup, where after appearing for Jurgen Klinsman on various occasions, he was left out of the Germany squad for the 2006 World Cup and unfortunately he has not been called up since.
Now to the present, Sidney Sam is about to toe the same line. To be realistic – on a good day without the Champions League final and the DFB Pokal Cup that has made sure players from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are unavailable for upcoming Germany friendlies, Sam will not be in the reckoning to be named. European countries have a penchant of doing this – remember also John Fashanu, who earned a cap for England and that was it. Also we remember Ugo Ehiogu, also capped by the Three Lions and then discarded. Gabriel Agbonlahor is in their company.
If he were to play for Germany in the friendly against USA next month, at most he will then win another two or three caps and that will be it. But if he chooses Nigeria, he has about 99% chance of appearing at the World Cup next year in Brazil barring any serious injury. If he has good advisers, they should be telling him that though the prestige of appearing for the Mannshaft is tangible but it will dissipate like vapour. Playing for Nigeria gives him the chance to have a long and fulfilling international career.
There are so many Nigerian players either directly or indirectly who have been denied the opportunity of an international career because of heeding a ‘superior’ call instead of calculating and knowing where their international career is better buttered.Victor Moses chose Nigeria and already he is an African champion with the chance to represent the country at the Confederations Cup. Victor Anichebe chose Nigeria and he is the proud winner of a silver medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
That is something he can yearn for – fulfilment and knowing that he will make a difference for Nigeria and not for Germany. The real German squad is loaded with young and quality players, who will be around for a very long time. He should be wise!