Representing Nigeria would ‘feel strange’ – Billing
Bournemouth midfielder Philip Billing admits it would feel slightly strange to play international football for Nigeria ahead of Denmark.
Billing, who is of Nigerian descent, was born in Denmark and has featured for the Red and White’s Under-19 and Under-20 sides, but is yet to make the step up to the senior side.
The 23-year-old is still eligible to play for the Super Eagles, who recently failed in their attempts to persuade Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham to switch his international allegiance from England.
Everton and Nigerian winger Alex Iwobi, who left Arsenal for Goodison Park this summer, talked to the Cherries midfielder prior to the Premier League clash at the Vitality Stadium on September 15, which ended in a 3-1 victory for the hosts.
Iwobi discussed the possibility of Billing playing for the three-time Africa Cup of Nations champions, but the Bournemouth ace, who joined from Huddersfield Town in July 2019, turned down the chance.
“I am half Nigerian and I feel that way too, but I was born and raised in Denmark,” Billing told BT. “My mother is Danish and my sister is Danish, so it would feel strange to have to play for Nigeria.”
Billing has started all eight Premier League matches this season and although earning credit for his performances, his discipline has been an issue. The midfielder has already received three yellow cards and was lucky not to be sent off in the 1-0 defeat at Arsenal prior to the international break.
The Copenhagen-born star is expected to retain his starting place when the Cherries return to action on October 19 at home to Norwich City. The Canaries head into the contest on the back of a dismal 5-1 thumping by Aston Villa at Carrow Road.
Bournemouth have won the past two meetings against Daniel Farke’s men, winning 3-0 in the Premier League back in 2016 before overcoming Norwich 2-1 in the EFL Cup in October last year.
James Mason grew up in Northumberland so is entrenched in both the football and golf scenes. A low handicap golfer, he also follows Newcastle United and predicts big things under Rafa Benitez.