Super Eagles forward Odion Ighalo believes the team can win a fourth Africa Cup of Nations title in Egypt this summer, Completesports.com reports.
The competition will kick-off in Egypt on Friday with the opening match between the host nation and the Warriors of Zimbabwe.
The Super Eagles will begin their campaign on Saturday against debutants Burundi at the Alexandria Stadium.
Ighalo was the top scorer during the qualification round for the this year’s Afcon with seven goals and he remains confident that Nigeria have the quality to conquer the rest of the continent in a tough tournament.
“If anybody says the tournament will be easy, it is a lie because it is going to be tough, it is going to be hot but I believe in the team we have, we have all it takes to do well at the Afcon,” Ighalo stated in an interview with the NFF media.
“Nigeria has a good team that can play in the semi-final and the final. As I said, we will not get carried away.
“We have a team that can even win the trophy if we work hard and if we give everything we have on the pitch, not saying had I known later. We have all it takes to win it but let’s just start with the first game, to the quarter-finals, semis then we will see how it goes.”
Although Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has dismissed opinions that his team is one of the favourites for the title in Egypt, the Shanghai Shenhua attacker echoed the German’s views as he prefers the ‘underdog’ tag for their quest for glory.
“Anything I do in life, I like people to take me as an underdog because I like to surprise people and I like to take people unaware, that’s for me as a person,” he added.
“If they are taking us [underdog], it is very good because it won’t give the team more pressure.
“When the team has more pressure of winning this and that, that’s when you will start thinking of the final when you have not even played the first game.”
After Saturday’s game against Olivier Niyungeko’s men, the three-time African champions will play against Guinea on June 26 and Madagascar on June 30 at the Alexandria Stadium.
By Adeboye Amosu