SHOLA Ameobi is desperate to fulfil his ambition of appearing at a World Cup – 23 years after being inspired by Sir Bobby Robson’s England at Italia 90.
The Newcastle United striker is in line to make the Nigeria squad for next summer’s finals in Brazil after breaking into Stephen Keshi’s side this season.
The Super Eagles qualified for the tournament after beating Ethiopia in a two-legged play-off.
Ameobi remembers watched the 1990 tournament in Italy when Sir Bobby – who handed the 32-year-old his chance at Newcastle a decade later – guided England to the semi-finals, where they were agonisingly beaten by Germany on penalties.
“It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride coming so late into the squad and helping them out,” Ameobi told BBC Radio Newcastle.
“It’s been fantastic. To get this opportunity to go to a World Cup is a dream come true.
“As a child I remember watching the 1990 World Cup finals and thinking ‘I’d love to be there’.
“Hopefully, I’ve got a chance to do that now, which is tremendous for me at my age.
“It’s something that you dream of doing. Obviously, there’s a lot of travelling, but you don’t mind doing that as you’re representing your country.
“It’s been an awesome experience for me, topped by the fact we’ve qualified.”
Ameobi’s international exploits have buoyed him ahead of United’s Premier League home game against Norwich City tomorrow.
“It’s certainly given me a lot of confidence in myself,” added the former England Under-21 international, who started against Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.
“Hopefully, I can translate that on to the pitch for Newcastle.”