Becoming a Nigeria international is the best career decision ever made by William Troost-Ekong, the defender revealed.
The Netherlands-born player has a Dutch mother and a Nigerian father, but after turning out for the European side at several youth levels, he switched allegiance to the west African country.
He made his debut in 2015 and was part of the squad that won bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics. He also represented Nigeria at the 2018 World Cup and played a key role in qualifying the country for 2019 African Cup of Nations, where he would be expected to make his continental debut.
"I think the decision to play for Nigeria has to be the best ever for me," Troost-Ekong told BBC Sport.
"We have some amazing and talented players in Nigeria and to get a chance to play for a great country like ours is an honour and immense privilege.
"You cannot force anyone to choose Nigeria, you must love the country and be committed to it or you don't brother.
"Personally, I will be grateful for the opportunity and everything Nigeria has given to my career.
"I've fulfilled some dreams by playing at the Olympic Games and on the biggest stage [World Cup] in Russia, now I look forward to living another dream by playing at the Africa Cup of Nations.
"I couldn't see too far ahead but I couldn't have imagined all of that is happening in my career now at a young age.
"But here I am and it's thanks to hard work, the coaches, our fans and my teammates who have all been supportive."
Since moving to Italy from Turkish outfit Bursaspor last summer, Troost-Ekong has been a mainstay in Udinese's defence, playing 28 Serie A games.
The 16th-placed side continue their fight against relegation on Sunday, welcoming Empoli to the Dacia Arena.