Rangers star Calvin Bassey has opened up on the disappointment of missing out on the Nigeria squad for the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year and admits it spurred on his stunning form towards the end of the season.

Bassey was a surprising absentee from the Super Eagles’ squad while Rangers teammates Joe Aribo and Leon Balogun were selected.

calvin bassey nigeria rangers super eagles
Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

He went on to play a huge role in helping Rangers to the Europa League final and thinks that his renewed effort helped seal a place with the Nigeria squad for this summer’s fixtures.

“Obviously it was very disappointing,” Bassey said (NFF)

I knew I just needed to work harder and just try out my game and hopefully, I’m guessing that’s why I’m here.

“Hopefully I’ve done that and caught the coaches’ eyes.”

After being named in the squad for Nigeria’s recent fixtures, Bassey confessed that representing his country is a dream come true.

“Yeah I was shocked (to be in the squad), I couldn’t believe it,” he added. “I just felt so privileged and blessed and I thank god every day. I just feel blessed and privileged to be here and to represent my great nation

“We have over 200 million people behind our backs every time we go out onto that pitch and just being able to be one of the 25 players in the squad representing them is like a dream come true.”

Calvin Bassey has a huge season ahead at Rangers – if the Gers can keep him

After really coming to the fore last season, Bassey is going to be a vital player for Gio van Bronckhorst in the title race and challenging for a spot in the Champions League.

With Bassey also having been eligible for Italy and England, you can’t help but think both will be left rueing letting him slip through their fingers.

As a host of clubs reportedly circle, Rangers will need to make sure they can keep hold of Bassey for a while longer, at least.

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