Posted by Nwankwo Kanu on
Super Eagles leggy striker, Nwankwo Kanu is one of the ‘big boys’ in the national team. In many ways, that should simply translate to meaning he is a member of the ‘New Eagles Mafia’.
Super Eagles leggy striker, Nwankwo Kanu is one of the ‘big boys’ in the national team. In many ways, that should simply translate to meaning he is a member of the ‘New Eagles Mafia’. But in a chat with Group Sports Editor, BEN ALAIYA in Port Said, Egypt, Kanu asserts the so-called mafia is dead and that that is why there is so much unity in the team. He spoke on other sundry issues.
Nations Cup Target:
Everybody here in the team, including the coaches have one target, and that is to ensure that we win the Nations’ Cup. We are so happy that we have taken off the pressure off our shoulders by winning the first game against Ghana, now, it’s time to win all our other games to top the group and stay here in Port Said for our remaining games, and we will surely do it.
I don’t want to sound as if other times have not been so, but the mood in camp here is simply exciting. We the older players and the younger ones are like one family; it’s like the Super Eagles which we used to now, so we are ready and fighting for the right reasons and with the right people in camp. I am simply excited about the camp.
Current State of Health:
You all saw me in the game against Ghana, when I came in towards the end of the match. It shows that the medical team believes that I am fully fit and ready for the championship and I will be playing more roles on and off the pitch as the championship continues. We are simply in a class of our own and even former players have been calling us to ask how we managed to reach this level of concentration and unity. Tell Nigerians that Kanu is well, the other players are well but we still need their prayers to be able to make them very happy at the end of the championship. I believe that with God, all things are possible and we have been praying and hope Nigerians back home and everywhere in the world will join us in praying for success.
What Do You Attribute To The New Mood In The Super Eagles:
Again, we must give all credit to God, then we talk about the coaches who have been able to bring this about, and also, we the bigger players have realised that whether we play or not, the success of the team should be number one and that is why some of us are here to say even if we are not selected to play, we would support the team. So, there is nothing like big or small players or Mafia or no Mafia, everyone here is one team, one family united to achieving victory for Nigeria. And may be, because we did not qualify for the World Cup, we look more determined and organised than before because we want to give Nigerians something to be happy about this year.
Younger Players’ Response To Pressure:
Wonderful crop of upcoming players we have in the team. We know we cannot play forever for the team and we have to bring up new players to keep the spirit of the nation high and that is what we are now doing, pumping them up and telling them one or two tricks about the game that we also learnt from the bigger boys before us; so, we are all rearing to go and we just pray that God will crown our efforts with luck at the end of the end.
Advice For Togo’s Coach, Stephen Keshi:
Yes, Keshi’s team may have lost a game but they can bounce back, and that is so for every team that is here, that would be representing Africa in the World Cup. They can still make it in the World Cup and we should just support them and hope they come out well. For Keshi and Sheyi Adebayor, I wish them well. I hope that Keshi bounces back because he was my coach in the Super Eagles. I say it again, there are no longer smaller teams in Africa and everybody wants to defeat the so-called big teams, so we still expect more surprises in the championship.
Egypt 2006 Expectations:
Honestly, we think with the spirit in camp, nothing should be allowed to ruin our chances of winning and that is why I talked earlier about prayers; we need prayers and luck to win this cup and I hope on the final day, we can take the trophy back home to tell Nigerians ‘sorry, we did not qualify for the World Cup, but we won the Nations Cup’.
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