Former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Ike Shorunmu, has revealed the reason why he was dropped by Clemens Westerhof dropped him from the USA 1994 World Cup squad.
In an interview with agency report, Shorunmu disclosed that being up against more experienced Eagles goalkeepers like Peter Rufai, Alloy Agu and the late Wilfred Agbonavbare, cost him a place in the team.
“When I was in the national team as a goalkeeper during our first World Cup, I was part of the team as a goalkeeper alongside AloyAgu, Peter Rufai, and Wilfred Agbonavbare,” Shorunmu said.
“On the final day of the team selection, Westerhof called me. He said, ‘I know you. You are a very good goalkeeper. But what I am looking for in this World Cup is experience. You are still young and have potential. I promise you, if everything should go on well, after the World Cup, I will recall you’.
“This was because Rufai, Aloy and Agbonavbare were more experienced and they were at the peak of their careers then.”
Shorunmu added: “Initially, I was not happy. But when the truth dawned on me, I saw that he was right with the decision to drop me. They were more experienced than I was then and it eventually shaped my career.”
Shorunmu would eventually go on to be Eagles first choice goalkeeper at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea/Japan.
He was in goal for the Eagles in their opening two group games against Argentina and Sweden.
Shorunmu kept in goal for the Eagles at both the 2000 and 2002 African Cup of Nations in Ghana/Nigeria and Mali respectively.
He made his Eagles debut in 1992 and retired after the 2002 FIFA World Cup after making 36 appearances.
At club level, Shorunmu featured for Stationery Stores, Concord, Shooting Stars, Basel, Zurich and Lucerne in Switzerland and Turkish clubs Besiktas and Samsunspor.
Also he served as goalkeeper trainer for the Eagles.