Africa continues to wield tremendous influence in the on-going Euro 2020, a continental championship wildly believed to be the greatest.
While last Tuesday’s encounter of France and Germany featured 10 players of African origin, the Thursday’s Group C’s clash of Austria and the Netherlands further raised the Africa at Euro 2020. Three players of African origin featured. Two of them are Nigerians by birth.
The Austrian side that lost 2-0 was captained by David Alaba, whose father is a Nigerian.
The Netherlands had Georginio Wijnaldum, whose former surname is Boateng, although in recent media comments, he played down on his Ghanaian origin.
The PSV Einhoven attacking midfielder claimed that he dropped Boateng because that was the name of his former step-father.
In a media report, he remarked: “I want to put on record that I am now Georginio Wijnaldum not Georginio Boateng, in fact I have been known as George Wijnaldum for four years now.”
As for Alaba, his identity has never been in doubt. His father is George Alaba from Ogere in Ogun State, South West Nigeria
His mother, Gina, is from Philippines. He was born in Vienna, Austria making him eligible to play for three countries spread across three continents – Nigeria (Africa), Austria (Europe) and Philippines (Asia).
A third Nigerian,Karim Onisiwo came into the Thursday night match as a 84th minute substitute for Xaver Schlager in the Austrian side. His father and that of David Alaba are reported to be very close.