Thomas Partey has confessed his wide-eyed admiration for Super Eagles' legend, Kanu Nwankwo since he was a little boy.

Partey, a player who's played against the likes of Xavi, Andrés Iniesta and a constellation of other midfield superstars, also ranked Kanu above them all, highlighting him as a "genius". 

"Nwankwo Kanu is my idol. He’s the best midfielder I’ve ever seen play football. He was a genius,” the 24-year-old told CSN while his 'Atleti' were in the country for GOtv Max Cup International friendly which his team won 3-2 but not without labouring for it. 

The Ghanaian also revealed his reverence for Super Eagles' captain John Mikel Obi and his easy-peasy style of style of play. 

“I’m a huge admirer of Mikel Obi. I like the way he keeps things very simple on the pitch and makes it seem so simple and easy to do."

Unfortunately, Partey's Black stars won't be in Russia next month when the World Cup kicks-off after they've been beaten to the berth by Mohammed Salah-propelled Egyptian side.

 

 

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The Arsenal youngster believes the Super Eagles of Nigeria have enough quality in store to make a statement at the World Cup.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria have been drawn alongside Argentina, Croatia and Iceland of the World Cup billed to start next month.

Nwakali, who was on target for the Super Eagles B team in a friendly match with Europa League champions Atletico Madrid said if the Eagles’ players needed only to put their hearts together to make a statement at the World Cup.

Speaking after the game about Eagles’ chances in Russia, Nwakali said, “We have to go Russia and make a statement. Is a game and I believe as a team we can make it.

“We have quality players to defend Nigeria and with their minds put to it, they would do it.”

When posed to the former Golden Eaglets captain whether he had done enough to deserve a place in the Eagles’ preliminary squad to the World Cup, he said, “Well, I’m not the one to decide, the coach is the one to decide.”

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The Super Eagles B team were defeated 3-2 by Atltetico Madrid on Tuesday, in a match played at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium.

Nwakali’s wonderful strike put the Eagles in front, but Angel Correa restored parity for the Spanish giant under five minutes.

Fernando Torres, who donned the Los Rojiblancos’ jersey for the last time came up the bench in the second half to put Atletico in front, but a Solo effort from Usman Mohammed that saw the whole stadium went agog for minutes, and looked like will be taking the game to a penalty shootout was dealt a blow by an 85th minute winner from Borja Garces.

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The Erstwhile goalkeeper of the Super Eagles as compared playing at the World Cup with going to the Holy Pilgrimage of Mecca.

Ike Shorunmu, who was behind the sticks for Nigeria at the 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup said players got an unprecedented treatment playing at the World Cup

Describing the feeling of playing at the World Cup in an interview with Punch, Shorunmu said: It’s the Mecca of football. When you appear at the World Cup, it’s like a president visiting another man’s country with the kind of treatment you are given by the hosts.

“It’s very interesting. Believe me, you can’t compare it to any other competition; it’s a special tournament. From the airport, you get a welcome party to your hotel, the security and atmosphere are amazing.”

The 35 capped international, who missed out on making the Eagles’ squad to the 1994 and 1998 World Cup described missing out at the latter as the worst memories of the World Cup.

He added that keeping Super Eagles’ first game at the 2002 World Cup, a game Nigeria lost 1-0 to Argentina was his best World Cup moment.

”I missed the 1998 World Cup and it remains my worst because there was a lot of noise that I would be there,” Shorunmu said.

“There was advertisement and even a shooting session ahead of the competition but it was like I was destined not to appear at that World Cup.”

He added, “My best moment was playing our first game against Argentina at Korea/Japan 2002. The pressure on the team was on me, that “Ike, you are the one we are hoping on.

“But I couldn’t do it alone, it’s a team work. But I achieved something at the World Cup with my performances against the Argentines.”

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The Super Eagles were the first African side to qualify for the World Cup – going through the qualifying series unbeaten, but Garba Lawal claims the players don’t play like they want to leave a legacy behind.

 

The 44-year-old was part of the team that represented Nigeria at the 1998 edition of the World Cup in France. He scored one and provided another one in the historic 3-2 win comeback against Spain.

 

The Former Nigerian international talking to completesports about the Eagles’ chances going into the World Cup said the current Eagles’ team are short of quality compared to the 1998 set that quality in abundance.

 

“The 1994 and 1998 squads never depended on any player to get going when it got tough, Garba said.”

 

“But now when a player is out of the team due to one reason or the other, there’s problem, Nigeria start panicking. Then we had two quality players in every position and you can call on any player to fill in the void, but now, we will start thinking. Same cannot be said of this current squad.

 

“It baffles me most times - I wonder if the current crop of players ask themselves why many people still rate the 1994, 1996 and 1998 squad as the best Super Eagles team ever?

 

“They don’t show in their game that they want to leave a legacy behind with the way they play. There’s a problem already and they are comfortable dropping it at the feet of the coach.”

 

The Super Eagles will kick-start their World Cup campaign in Russia on June 16 against Croatia, before facing Iceland and Argentina on June 22 and 26 respectively.

Read Also: Nigeria will make the Semi Final

 

Garba Lawal warned that Nigeria would find the group very difficult.

 

The 57 capped international believes Nigeria being clinical and winning the opening game against Croatia is expedient if the team is to stand a chance of making it pass the group stage in Russia.

 

It’s not going to be easy for the Super Eagles, but we must be clinical.

 

“We must win games to go far in the tournament which is important. Our opening game against Croatia is a must win if we are to stand a chance of making it to the next round, Garba Lawal added.

 

 

 

 

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The former Nigerian international believes Nigeria will need the service of Brown Ideye at the World Cup.

Yakubu Aiyegbeni has said that Malaga of Spain forward Brown Ideye will be needed to do dirty works for the Eagles in Russia.

According to the former Everton striker, ‘hardworking Brown Ideye should be the one to pair Odion Ighalo in Russia.

“I strongly believe (Odion)Ighalo is a good striker but he needs support from top strikers like Brown Ideye,” Aiyegbeni told Completesports.

“The strength of any good side is its ability to convert scoring chances, but we would need a good and hardworking supporting striker like Ideye to play behind Ighalo.

“Ideye is strong and can do the dirty work well. This will pave way for Ighalo to bang in the goals.”

The third highest scoring Nigerian international also advised Nigerians not to put pressure on Gernot Rohr and his team going into the World Cup.

He added, “I don’t think Nigerians need to pile pressure on this team because the World Cup is no child’s play.

“They should just support the team and let the players express themselves.

“They do not need the pressure now, let’s not set any target for the team if really we want to get the best from them.”

Nigeria has been drawn in the Group D of the 2018 World Cup alongside Croatia, Iceland and Argentina.

 

 

 

 

 

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Rohr may invite new players - Agali

Saturday, 07 April 2018 08:28

Gernot Rohr may include new players into his 35-man provisional World Cup list, says Victor Agali.

According to chief scout of the Super Eagles, Rohr is opened to give any Nigerian player in top form a chance in the squad to the World Cup

Agali also urged Nigerians to be patience with the Franco-German coach – saying the coach is a blessing to Nigeria.

 “I believe we all must be patient with Rohr because after the likes of Clemens Westerhof and Bonfrere Jo, I believe Gernot is another blessing to Nigerian football,” Agali, as quoted by Vanguard.

“He tries his best to carry everybody along and gives players equal opportunity to be selected and listens to all is scouting and technical team.

“I know Gernot Rohr is fair to all and is committed to developing the image of our football."

He concluded, “He will decide on that. I can’t comment on if he will stick with the ones he has tested and know or not, but may be one or two new faces, just maybe. I strongly believe we should scout more and know more of about opponents.”

 

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George Weah, the only African player to have won the FIFA World best though never played at the FIFA World Cup, had given Nigeria a template on how they could have a successful World Cup campaign later this year in Russia.

The Liberian President who paid the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari earlier this week at the Presidential Villa, Abuja as parts of his recommendations for the Super Eagles to have a successful World Cup campaign warned the Nigerian ministers not to swallow funds meant for World Cup preparation.

The 1995 World Player of the Year also charged the Super Eagles to be the first African country to lift the World Cup – saying “they {Nigeria} are going to represent Africa.

“I think Nigerian team is a model, we all followed them,” Weah said. “I have played with great Nigerian players, I played against them. Now you have a new generation, the fact that they qualified is a good thing for Nigeria.

“But I hope that they will prepare very early because they are going to represent Africa and we will be there to watch them, for them to bring the trophy for the first time if it is possible."

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Weah added, “But I think the seriousness to go to World Cup is not to pay players to go, I want every African government to know, if you win World Cup is a pride to Africa, it is not just to Nigeria, so we must do everything to ensure that the players are not stressed, make sure they concentrate, make sure their incentives are given to them to motivate them.

“Some of the things you see at the World Cup, you will see an entire team go to represent a whole country and you will hear that one minister took the money, they did not pay these players and the players are causing problem. When players are going to camp, it is to relax and focus.

“And for them to be in camp they must have everything there for them not to worry.

“Remember I played in European setting, when we go camp we have nothing to do. The only thing we have to do is to take a shower and prepare for the game, everything is laid down here and so you have no excuse. “So let the players not have excuse, support them and let them go and bring back that cup.”

All these advices from the legendary George Weah - we at spotkick hope the relevant authorities would take note. But it is suffice to state that animals are the only ones that swallow money in Nigeria and not human beings.

And if human beings do swallow money, we’ve not heard any so far in 2018.

Nigeria have been drawn in Group D alongside Croatia, Iceland and Argentina – and they will kick-start their World Cup campaign against Croatia on June 16 at the Kaliningrad Stadium before facing Iceland and Argentina on June 22 and 26 respectively.

 

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Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr has listed captain Mikel John Obi, midfielder Ogenyi Onazi and playmaker Victor Moses in his 28 –man squad to battle Poland’s fellow Eagles and Serbia in pre-FIFA World Cup friendly matches this month.
 
Home –based goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa, who stood between the pipes for the very crucial last four World Cup qualifying games (home-and-away to Cameroon, home to Zambia and away to Algeria), leads the goalkeeping section and will be joined by new boy Francis Uzoho and Daniel Akpeyi.
 
Former junior international Kenneth Omeruo is back among the defenders, as Joel Obi among the midfielders, while Eagles’ B stalwarts, defender Stephen Eze and forward Gabriel Okechukwu, are also handed opportunities.
 
Russia –based Brian Idowu, who scored against Argentina on his debut in a friendly in Krasnodar in November last year, and Al Ahly of Egypt’s Junior Ajayi, who earned an Olympic bronze in Brazil in 2016, are also called.
 
Three –time African champions Nigeria will trade tackles with the Bialo-Czerwoni (White and Red) or Eagles, as the Senior National Team of Poland is known, at the 43,000 –capacity Stadium Wroclaw on Friday, 23rd March 2018.
 
Four days later, the Eagles will take to the pitch against the Senior National Team of Serbia at The Hive, London - home ground of Barnet FC and London Bees.
 
These are the first two in a list of six friendly encounters planned for the Super Eagles by the Nigeria Football Federation ahead of the 21st FIFA World Cup finals in the Russian Federation this summer.
 
THE FULL LIST
Goalkeepers : Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC); Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa)
 
Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Tyronne Ebuehi (Ado Den Haag, The Netherlands); Olaoluwa Aina (Hull City, England); Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugge KSV, Belgium); Brian Idowu (Amkar Perm, Russia); Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes FC, France); William Ekong (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey); Stephen Eze (Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Bulgaria)
 
Midfielders : Mikel John Obi (Tianjin Teda, China); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Las Palmas, Spain); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Uche Agbo (Standard Liege, Belgium); Joel Obi (Torino FC, Italy)
 
Forwards : Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England); Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai, China); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Junior Ajayi (Al Ahly, Egypt); Gabriel Okechukwu (Akwa United
 
(Thenff.com)
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Former Super Eagles forward Julius Aghahowa has branded the current set of Super Eagles’ players as the best Nigeria has ever produced.

Nigeria became the first African Nation to qualify for the Nations Cup – going through their qualifying phase without tasting any defeat – in a group that housed African Champion Cameroon, Algeria and Zambia.

And with the Eagles booking the World Cup ticket in style, Aghahowa who represented Nigeria from 2000 to 2007 in an interview with Vanguard posits that the current set of players in the national team now are the best in history.

On the Eagles’ World Cup campaign, Aghahowa said: “I think they have assembled the best set of players ever for the national team going by their qualification.

"I think they can go far. From what I have seen, we have a solid team. If you want to add one or two players to the team, no problem. On the whole, I think they can go far in Russia.”

The Super Eagles have been drawn in Group D alongside Croatia, Iceland and Argentina – and Aghahowa has said the 2013 African Champions had all it takes to go pass the group stage.

According to the 32-capped Nigerian international, Nigerian players featuring consistently for their respective club sides would put them in good shape going into the World Cup.

“I am very optimistic we can go past that group and even beyond.

“My optimism is based on the fact that these players are active for their various clubs; they play week in, week out and they are in top form.

“The ones that are strikers are scoring goals, the midfielders are consistent, while the defenders have been playing well. With their present form, they will come out of that group and even go beyond,” the former Shakhtar Donetsk striker added.

Aghahowa, who featured for Bendel Insurance of Benin, Esperance of Tunisia, Wigan Athletic, Shakhtar Donetsk amongst others represented Nigeria at the 2002 World Cup that was co-hosted by Korea and Japan.

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