Real Madrid youngster Marvin Olawale could represent Nigeria
Marvin Olawale is an 18-year old talented Real Madrid midfield player who played for teams like Tranmere Rovers and La Salle before he signed his first professional football contract and came to Madrid in 2016. He was born in Palma de Mallorca in Spain and is therefore available for selection by the Spanish national team. However, because his father was Nigerian, he is also eligible to play for Nigeria. To make things more complicated, his mother was South Korean, so he could play for S. Korea too under the grandfather rule.
Recently, the Nigerian Football Federation have made their intention known that they would try and get Marvin to play for the Super Eagles. Of course, as the young midfielder is showing a lot of potential, both the Royal Spanish Football Federation and the Korean Football Association would like for him to play for their national sides too. Marvin can choose who to play for, and he can choose either of the three nations; Spain, because he was born there and Nigeria or South Korea because of his birthright.
Marvin’s full name is Marvin Olawale Akinlabi Park. According to Spanish tradition, footballers get two surnames; the first one is his fathers, the second being his mothers. This is why we address him as an Akinlabi rather than Park.
The official Real Madrid Football Club website describes young Marvin as a direct player who attacks from the midfield and performs well in one-on-one game situations. He is a strong footballer with solid pace making him a threat to the opposing team and he can use both feet when he plays.
Marvin wouldn’t be the first Real Madrid player to decide to switch and play for the Nigerian national football team. Derik Osede, who was born in Madrid, played for the Spanish Under-19 side and even won the 2012 UEFA European Championship with them. However, in 2015 he decided he would play for the Super Eagles, as his father was Nigerian.
People close to Marvin have described him as shy and reserved and he is likely to keep whatever decision he makes to himself until the time is right to make it official. Whichever country he chooses to play for, that country will get a great prospect for the future. All three countries will continue to hash it out behind the curtains to try to persuade him that he should play for them.