DStv UEFA Euro 2024 African Footballers Focus: Bukayo Saka – England

News 13 June 2024

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DStv UEFA Euro 2024 African Footballers Focus: Bukayo Saka – England

While UEFA Euro 2024 is obviously all about European nations and players, that doesn’t mean there won’t be some African flair on show. One such example is England winger Bukayo Saka, who has Nigerian heritage and will be looking to inspire the Three Lions to glory in Germany.

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Saka, who was born and raised in London by Nigerian immigrants, is set to be one of the key players at the European Championships. He comes into the tournament having enjoyed a superb season with Arsenal (who took the Premier League title fight to the final day of the campaign) and is widely regarded as one of England’s most influential attacking players, due to his speed, skill and creativity on the right flank.

Saka could have represented Nigeria’s Super Eagles due to his family heritage, but opted for England instead, and has racked up 33 goals and 11 caps for the Three Lions since his debut in October 2020.

The 22-year-old admits to feeling a pull toward his Nigerian roots but is comfortable with his decision to play for England.

“I feel like I’m really, proud of my Nigerian heritage. I always still watch Nigeria’s games where I can and I wish them all the best and support them all the way,” Saka explained. “But I’ve seen the process of how England are transforming, and I think in the future they’re going to do great stuff. I feel like it was right for me to choose England.”

He added, “My dad was born here [in England], my mum was born in Nigeria, but they both grew up in Nigeria and met each other in Nigeria. They came over and when they came to England it wasn’t easy for them because obviously, it’s a new country.

“It’s really cold for them, but they adapted well, and as soon as they had me and my brother, they always left everything out the way and put us first. Especially my football career, my dad always pushed me, he took me to training on days where sometimes it would take two hours to get to training. So, I’ll always be so grateful for my parents for the work they’ve done for me.”

You can see Saka in action for England when they play their Group C matches against Serbia, Denmark and Slovenia on June 16, 20 and 25 respectively – with all matches LIVE on SuperSport.

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