• ​Alex Iwobi ‘almost cried’ twice after sending Nigeria to Russia 2018
  • He couldn’t believe he’d achieved the feat at such a young age
  • The 21-year-old believes he will shine at the World Cup

Alex Iwobi has discussed seeing his parents jump for joy when his goal booked Nigeria a 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ trip and why he feels he will shine at the tournament.

In front of 80,000-plus spectators in Uyo – including his father Chuba and mother Patience, the sister of Jay-Jay Okocha – the 21-year-old Arsenal attacker scored the 73rd-minute winner against Zambia in October which sent the Super Eagles to a sixth World Cup from the last possible seven.

“It’s difficult to describe, as the feeling was crazy,” Iwobi told the June edition of FourFourTwo magazine. “I remember looking at the crowd and seeing my parents jumping – I almost cried, it was emotional.

“I would never have guessed I’d do something like that so early in my career. I had dreams about it, but the fact that my dreams came true – I can’t put into words how I felt.

“After the game I went to the hotel and my mum and dad were both there. Just seeing them, I almost burst into tears again.”


Nigeria open their Group D campaign against Croatia on 16 June, before facing Iceland and Argentina. And Iwobi is relishing the challenge.

“The fact I’ve been training with world-class players every day has given me a bit of experience, so I’ll know what to expect in Russia,” the 15-times-capped, four-goal international said. “The intensity I train at with Arsenal is very high, so I’m preparing in a good way.

“It was always my dream as a kid, so I can’t wait to be involved. I’m looking forward to the atmosphere and wearing the colours of Nigeria. I feel like I can do well.”

Nigeria have lost all four of their World Cup encounter with Argentina by a one-goal margin – most recently when Lionel Messi headlined a thrilling clash at Brazil 2014. However, the Super Eagles will be buoyed by a 4-2 friendly victory over La Albiceleste in October, with Iwobi nutmegging Javier Mascherano en route to a brace-completing strike.

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