Muy feliz de mi debut con la selección y súper contento por el calor que la afición me a regalado ❤️❤️❤️❤️?? ayer empezamos un nuevo viaje ?? Gracias a dios , bendiciones happy sunday . . . . . . #happysunday #nzalang #nzalangnacional #graciasadios #diosesgrande ??#equatorialguinea #felicedomenica #felizdomingo
Pedro Obiang became West Ham United’s latest full international when he made his senior debut for Equatorial Guinea at the weekend.
The Spanish-born player is the son of parents who moved to Europe from the small Central African nation, which is home to a population of around 1.25 million and is considered by some metrics to be the continent’s richest country.
“I’m very happy to have made my debut with the national team and super happy for the affection the fans showed me,” the West Ham star wrote in an Instagram post. “We started a new journey on Saturday.”
The 26-year-old has long been sought after by Equatoguinean Football Federation officials and, after completing the necessary paperwork, the former Spain U21 international appeared in Saturday’s 1-0 African Nations Cup qualifying defeat by Senegal in Bata on Saturday.
I’m very happy to have made my debut with the national team and super happy for the affection the fans showed me
Wearing the No8 shirt, Obiang went up against his former West Ham colleague and current Crystal Palace star Cheikhou Kouyate in midfield, while his own teammates hailed from clubs in Ethiopia, Slovenia, Spain’s lower divisions and Equatorial Guinea itself.
Equatorial Guinea were already out of the running for qualification prior to Obiang’s arrival, while Senegal and Madagascar had already secured their place at next year’s finals in Cameroon.
The National Thunder, as they are also known, were edged out by Luis Meseguer’s 52nd-minute own-goal and Obiang and his new compatriots will need to avoid defeat in Sudan in their final Group A fixture in March 2019.
West Ham players have now played senior internationals for 48 different countries from Argentina to Wales. Prior to Obiang, the most-recent was Andriy Yarmolenko, who became the Irons’ first Ukraine international in September.