Shocking moments are very common in a football game. These can occur when a player scores a bizarre own goal, collects a red card, a team from two goals down clawed its way back from two minutes to go and eventually wins the game 3-2.
These are just few examples of shocking moments in the game of football. For some players, it could be when they signed the mouth watering contract with the club of their dream, it may just be when a defender scored the lone goal that ensured that his team survived relegation.
But for Super Eagles striker, Paul Onuachu who plies his trade with Genk of Belgium, he revealed that one of the pleasant surprises of his career was when he got a call from Gernot Rohr informing him of his call -up to the Super Eagles.
It was not a call he was expecting as he was on a date with his girlfriend when the call from an unknown number called him. He was reluctant to answer the call but his girlfriend encouraged him to answer the call.
He answered the call. Low and behold it was Gernot Rohr that was calling him from France about his invitation to the Super Eagles.
Prior to the call, he was not aware that his performances for his club, FC Mitdjyllland of Denmark where he scored 52 goals in 135 appearances was deserving of a national team invitation.
“”I was not expecting an invitation to the Super Eagles. Although I was doing well at my club in Denmark but I felt that there are other Nigerian players doing also well in leagues like England, Spain and other leagues in Europe and may not have the chance since I was playing in Denmark,” Onuachu said on Official Instagram handle of Super Eagles @ng_supereagles
“So, I was really shocked when Gernot Rohr informed me on phone that I had been invited to the national team. He asked me if I had seen the news, I said no. Then he told me himself. I was very happy.
It is the dream of every player to represent his national team and Onuachu revealed further that he was happy when Rohr handed him debut game against Egypt in an international friendly game last year at the Stephen Keshi stadium at Asaba.
But another shocking moment he got was when he scored from a ferocious volley at the edge of the box inside 10 seconds into the game. It was a beautiful shocking moment of his career and he still cherish his debut goal in the national team as his most memorable goal of this career.
“I have scored great goals in the past for my club but my goal against Egypt should be my most memorable goal. It was a goal i scored for my country in my first game. That goal would definately remain my most memorable goal of my career.
“My debut goal is the most memorable goal of my career. I really enjoyed the goal. The build-up to the goal was very special,” he added.
Being a new entrant into the nest of the Super Eagles, he was very happy to make the final squad to the 2019 AFCON tournament in Egypt. He was simply determined to work very hard in training sessions and remained focus in the task ahead when hostilities would begin in the City of Alexandria where Nigeria was in Group B with Burundi, Guinea and Madagascar.
The first game of Nigeria was against Burundi. Training sessions became more intensive as the day approaches, but he never knew another shocker was awaiting in Egypt. It came a day before the game against Burundi when Rohr informed him that he would be starting against Burundi.
“Another shocker I got was when Gernot Rohr called me a day before our first game against Burundi that I would be starting. I was shocked and on the day of the game, Odion Ighalo also inspired when he told me not to be scared that I should just go and do my thing in the game.
“It was my first tourname for Nigeria and I started the game. That is football. I played my best of course. I was later replaced and Ighalo came in to score the lone goal of the game.
Playing in the national team has to do with a lot of experience and I am very happy with the support I got from my fellow teammates in the Super Eagles and the coaching crew, everyone, including the fans and my family,” he concluded.