Spain youth international defender Derik Osede Prieto has revealed that he will rather play for Nigeria at the senior level than represent Spain.
Derik, 22, has played at all youth level for Spain and presently contracted to Real Madrid B team. He is eligible to play for the Super Eagles of Nigeria under the FIFA rule because he has not played for the Spanish senior team.
In an interviewed granted to BBC Sport, Derik reveals that he is very Nigerian and would love to wear the green and white jerseys someday.
“I have lived in Spain all my life and I am not sure the people in Nigeria are aware that I have Nigerian blood,” Derik said.
“But I crave for something special with Nigeria because it will give me a chance to properly connect with the ancestral home of my father.
“My father is from Benin City and even though I have never been there I always follow events in Nigeria.
“I celebrated when the country won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2013 and I was cheering the team at the last World Cup in Brazil.”
“Playing for Spain was the foundation to where I am today and I can never take that for granted,” he said.
“You can’t throw away your education or outgrow it, Spain gave me what I have now and my hard work got me to where I am.
“But somehow I feel one half of my life has always been left untouched and I need to fix that.”
Derik has rejected suggestions he could be using Nigeria as a bargaining chip in his push for a call-up from the Spanish U-23 or senior selectors.
He insists: “Even if it’s difficult for some people to understand, I have made my decision [to represent Nigeria] and am going to stick to it.
“My father has not influenced my decision in any way. I respect him and adore his outlook on life but it’s my personal desire to play for Nigeria.
“When you look around Europe there are several Nigerian players playing at the top level and the future looks bright for the team.
“With that in mind I want to be a part of that group. I do not need favours from anyone, I only need an opportunity.
“I eat Nigeria’s wheat meal, listen to Nigerian music and play as Taribo West [former Nigeria central defender] on video games online.
“If I get a chance with Nigeria, I believe my versatility as a player will make me stand out..”