Some of Nigeria’s Super Eagles appeared to be in a state of disbelief this week when new call-up Chijoke Aniagboso revealed his true age during his national team initiation.
Before singing—an initiation to formally join the team—the young goalkeeper stood up before the team to introduce himself to his new teammates.
However, a few of his more senior colleagues appeared not to believe the stopper when he claimed to still be a teenager.
“My name is Chijoke Aniagboso,” the stopper began, standing up in front of the team while holding a bottle of water as a make-do microphone, “and I’m 18 years old.”
His revelation about his age brought an expression of shock from his watching teammates, with one of the players—who sounded suspiciously like his goalkeeping rival Francis Uzoho responding: “You are what?” when the keeper revealed his age.
Aniagboso then repeated his age, prompting guffaws of incredulity and laughter from his teammates, who appeared not to entirely believe the keeper’s claims that he’s only 18.
The camera also pans to Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, who appears in a state of disbelief and shock when Aniagboso revealed his slender years for one so imposing.
The stopper, who has been called up to the seniors for the first time, has already achieved great success with Nigeria at youth level.
He represented the national side at U-17 and U-20 level, winning the Wafu B Cup with the latter in 2022 while also representing the Eagles at the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations.
He’s being made to wait for his senior international bow, however, with Jose Peseiro instead opting to start with Francis Uzoho for Friday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea-Bissau.
It means that the Giant Brillars stopper, who made the squad ahead of Watford stopper Maduka Okoye, will have to wait to make his international bow.
Reassuringly, perhaps, he appears to have time on his side…!