Super Eagles goalkeeper John Noble has admitted that he was about to represent Togo. In a captivating turn of events, football goalkeeper Noble shares the story of his journey from playing for FC Kara in the Togolese league to contemplating his national allegiance. In an exclusive interview with Elegbete TV, Noble reveals the inner turmoil he experienced while on the brink of naturalizing in Togo, only to have a last-minute change of heart.
“I was playing for FC Kara then in the Togolese league,” Noble said. “We won the league and the Cup, and I won the Golden Gloves for the season, and I was about to naturalize to Togo.”
Having achieved remarkable success with FC Kara, securing league titles, cup victories, and even earning the prestigious Golden Gloves accolade, Noble found himself at a pivotal moment in his career. The Togolese goalkeeper was contemplating naturalizing to represent the country, but a myriad of thoughts clouded his mind. One significant concern revolved around Nigeria's abundance of talented goalkeepers, leading him to question whether it was necessary to return to his homeland.
“A lot of thoughts were running through my head. There were thoughts that Nigeria had a lot of goalkeepers, and there was no need to go back.” He added.
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During this uncertain period, Noble sought counsel from experienced footballer Emmanuel Adebayor, who had faced a similar crossroads in his career. “I remember speaking with Emmanuel Adebayor on the phone, and he said I could follow his path because he decided to represent Togo, and things worked out well for him.”
“I was confused because I looked at my background; I had a lot of responsibilities, and people were looking up to me. So I had to start something to make sure I had money for myself and my family as well,” he said.
As fate would have it, Nigeria and Togo were scheduled to face off in a crucial CHAN fixture, with Noble included in the Togolese squad. The preparations for the game were intense, and the weight of his decision bore heavily on him. Friends, family, and well-wishers bombarded Noble with questions, expressing doubts about his choice. However, a surprising turn of events on the eve of the match altered the course of his journey.
“After then, Nigeria was having a game with Togo in a CHAN fixture, and I was in the Togolese team. We were preparing to play against Nigeria, and it wasn’t easy. I had many thoughts; a lot of people called to ask me if I was sure of what I was doing.”
Without divulging the exact nature of the incident that transpired, Noble hints at a pivotal event that compelled him to reconsider his decision. The unexpected turn of events created a significant shift in his mindset, prompting him to reassess his priorities and the path he wished to pursue.
“However, a day before that game, something happened that made me change my mind.” He said.
Enyimba goalkeeper Noble may not have earned an official cap for the Nigerian national team yet, but he has been recognized for his talent and received multiple call-ups. In fact, he was even included in coach Augustine Eguavoen's squad for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, held in Cameroon.
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 months ago