Samuel Chukwueze says he was “very very surprised” when he got the news of his invitation for Nigeria’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa.
Chukwueze who had represented Nigeria at the U17 won the cadet World Cup in 2015 and finished as the third best player at the competition.
The midfielder was recently promoted to the first team at Villarreal after a full season with the reserves in Segunda B.
In September, he made his Villarreal first team debut in the UEFA Europa League draw against Rangers.
He has since made three appearances in the competition. He scored his first senior team goal in the Copa del Rey in the 3-3 result away to Almeria.
Three days later he made his full league debut for the first team in La Liga at the Estadio de la Cerámica against Levante.
Speaking on his rising profile; three years after the success with the Eaglets, Chukwueze told footballlive.ng that much of it had been down to “hard work, discipline and determination.
“Especially determination, this had made the difference. It has been amazing and I want to keep improving so that I continue with the rise.”
The young midfielder will hope to get his chance against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in the AFCON qualifiers and the international friendly against Uganda.
South Africa hosts Nigeria at the FNB Stadium on November 17 for the penultimate match in the qualifiers.