Has Starlet Ezra Walian Regretted Taking Up Indonesian Citizenship?
A long ball forward from the Indonesian team saw Singapore’s defender struggled to get it clear away. Indonesia’s number-9 Ezra Walian picked up the loose ball from the missed clearance and went one-on-one with the
A long ball forward from the Indonesian team saw Singapore’s defender struggled to get it clear away. Indonesia’s number-9 Ezra Walian picked up the loose ball from the missed clearance and went one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Unfortunately, Ezra did not make the best out of it as his shot was parried off for a corner kick. That perhaps sum up the evening for the 21 years old as he returned to Singapore for the first time since 2012 triumph with Ajax Amsterdam in the Canon Lion City Cup.
The flamboyant striker, who is currently playing for Netherlands’ Almere City FC, was called up by head coach Luis Milla to face Singapore in an International Under-23 Friendly as part of the RISING50 Celebrations to commemorate 50 years of warm bilateral relations (as of 2017) between both nations weeks ago. Eventually, Indonesia walked away with a 3-0 victory over Singapore on that night.
“There have been a lot of pressure and expectation for me to perform well, but I think I have had a great game. All I need is to score and get my name on the score sheet,” said Ezra in a post-match interview with Junpiter Futbol.
Although the striker does admit that the European style of football which he has been used to is still somehow different from Southeast Asian’s, he is refusing to use that as an excuse for his slow start with Indonesia.
“The style of play in Europe is really different from Southeast Asia’s. In Netherlands, the play is really more organized and simple. We are trained to play just simple passing, build up each and every attack with simple play and move forward. However, the play in Southeast Asia is slightly more aggressive and “hectic”. We are always in a rush to move forward and at times, it can be messy. I notice this is not just Indonesian football, it’s generally Southeast Asian football style,” comment Ezra when he was asked about his adapting to Southeast Asian football since taking up Indonesian citizenship.
Having said that he is having a slow start in Indonesia football scene that does not stop many other Asian clubs from contacting him with attracting offers. To which Ezra explained, European football is currently still the best environment for his development.
“Despite having a Southeast Asian citizenship, I am still eligible to play in Netherlands as there is no foreigner ruling in Netherlands’ domestic league. In fact, I am not the only one with such a “special” background. We have also got many dual citizenship players such as Moroccan/Dutch, Czech Republic/Dutch and many more. We always make fun of each others during training by grouping together based on nationalities but it really doesn’t mean anything. So since I am still eligible to play in Europe, I do not want to jump too fast into Asian football at the moment,” explained Ezra.
So perhaps, one last question before Ezra board the plane back to Netherlands. Having experiencing all these challenging start to his International football after taking up of Indonesian citizenship, has he ever regretted his decision?
“I have never regretted taking up Indonesian citizenship at all. I have been receiving many great support from everybody in Indonesia and even overseas. I know it will only get better and I will continue to work hard to make Indonesia proud!”