Eagles running back Jay Ajayi takes part in a media...

Eagles running back Jay Ajayi takes part in a media availability for the Super Bowl on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, in Minneapolis. Credit: AP / Eric Gay

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Eagles fans are considered some of the toughest and most critical in the NFL, but for running back Jay Ajayi, it’s nothing he can’t handle.

“In my opinion, Philadelphia’s fan base is as close as you’ll get to a European football team like Arsenal,” he said Thursday at his Super Bowl LII media availability. “The fans are so passionate about their team. They get upset when things aren’t going well. I love being a part of it.”

Ajayi was born in London and played soccer at an early age. After his family moved to Maryland when he was 7, he played soccer until he was a high school junior before transitioning to football. American football.

“I played varsity and I also played club as well,” said Ajayi, who played forward. He played some pickup soccer when he was with the Dolphins, although he hasn’t played in about a year.

His passion for soccer remains fierce when it comes to his beloved Arsenal club, which has struggled this year and is sixth in the Premier League standings.

“I have been getting nervous just because things have been kind of crazy,” said Ajayi, who speaks with an English accent. “But we’re starting to make some moves, so that’s kind of got me feeling better about everything.”

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