Super Eagles Captain, John Mikel Obi, has declared that Nigeria can go past tough World Cup first round foes Argentina and Croatia on their way to making history in Russia next month.
Just like the qualifying campaign, Nigeria is pitched in a tough-looking Group D at the tournament proper. “I believe we can beat Argentina, Croatia and Iceland, if we really want it,” Mikel said on a special World Cup documentary.
“We want to make history, to do well,” stressed the Tianjin Teda midfielder. Since making her debut at USA ’94, Nigeria has consistently failed to go past the Round of 16 achieved in that maiden outing in the five appearances made at the Mundial so far.
Eagles thrice reached the knockout rounds in 1994, 1998, 2014. The former Chelsea enforcer expressed confidence about the young Super Eagles.
“We have a very young team who want to go past the other teams in the group,” said the calming influence in the Nigeria midfield. “Nobody wants to let the team down.”
Similarly, Leicester City star Wilfred Ndidi has said he hopes the Super Eagles win their first two World Cup Group D matches against Croatia and Iceland before a final group against Argentina.
“It would be great to win our first two games before we face Argentina in our final group game,” Ndidi also said in the special World Cup documentary.
Eagles have lost on all four times they faced Argentina at the World Cup. The top two teams in the group will qualify automatically to the Round of 16. Coach Gernot Rohr said just as the Eagles came through a tough qualifying group, they will fight to reach the knockout rounds of the World Cup.
“We believed in our team and won a difficult qualifying group,” he said. “We hope for a fantastic World Cup, we will like to have good results. “We have young players, the youngest qualifiers for the World Cup, and they will like to fight, they like to win.” The three-time African champions open their campaign in Russia on Saturday, June 16against Croatia at Kaliningrad.