Former Super Eagles forward Ike Uche says he has no regret playing for the national team despite not having the opportunity to play at the FIFA World Cup.
Made his debut for Nigeria in 2007, scoring his first goal in an African Nations Cup qualifier against Lesotho at the Warri Township Stadium in a match the Super Eagles won 2-0.
Speaking in a radio interview on Comfort 95.1fm, the former Villareal striker says he is grateful for the opportunity to represent Nigeria.
The former Iwuanyanwo Nationale striker was part of the victorious 2013 Afcon team that conquered Africa in South Africa despite making four appearances in that tournament without scoring.
“In football you never get to be in the national team forever, others were before you and when you are there, you must also make way for others. It is like a school, the Super Eagles will always remain.
“I have no regret for the 7 years I played for the Super Eagles; I was happy and I enjoyed it, the bad and sad experiences won’t take you to anywhere, so I left them behind.
“But ofcourse it’s always sad to see a good player for one reason or the other decides to quit the national team, we have to respect that decision. The next person that will come will also face this pressure and even the ones before us went through this.
“Pressure will not stop in Nigeria, sometimes you don’t understand it, but this is how it is, our fans get happy with just a little and get upset with just a little.
Ike Uche was dropped by Coach Lars Lagerback from the 23-man squad that traveled to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa despite returning from ACL injury and declaring himself fit for the mundial.
“The dream of every player is to play for his country and win as many title as possible,” Ike Uche said. “At the time I was coming from an ACL injury, I recovered on time to play but people who picked the team didn’t see me fit enough to go to the World Cup.
“My dream was to represent Nigeria at the highest level, but if what I want doesn’t come, I don’t let it affect me, life goes on, if I don’t play in a game, I just take it as what it is. Inside of me, I ask myself questions why these things happened but some time you just have to let it go.
The prolific striker played alongside some great players in the national team but says playing in the same team with his brother, Kalu Uche, gave him joy and satisfaction.
“My brother Kalu impressed me in the tournament (World Cup), ending as the highest goal scorer. He was one of the people that did well in South Africa, when you see your brother doing well; there is nothing else to do than to be happy with him.”
“Playing alongside my brother in the national team makes me very great, its not something you see every time, any time we play together gives me joy. It is one of my dreams to play in the same team with him, it never happened at the club level, but I consider playing with him in the national team as one of them,” he enthused.
The 36-year old quit international football in 2014 after seven successful years wearing the green and white jersey, but remained eternally grateful for the opportunity.