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Ikeme Rues Missed Eagles’ W/Cup Experience; Set To Assume Assistant Coach Job

Ikeme Rues Missed Eagles’  W/Cup Experience; Set To Assume Assistant Coach Job

Former Nigeria goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme, says he still regrets not representing Nigeria at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.

Ikeme, 32, became Nigeria’s first choice goalkeeper in 2015 after Vincent Enyeama quit international football following a bitter row with then Super Eagles coach, Sunday Oliseh.

The former Wolverhampton Wanderers goalie was in goal in Nigeria’s opening three games in the qualifiers but missed the rest of the qualifying games and the 2018 World Cup finals after he was diagnosed with acute leukaemia in July 2017.


“The World Cup was the hardest thing, football-wise, for me to deal with,” Ikeme told BBC.com.

“When we played England at Wembley in June, I felt it should have been me. It was the same during the first match of the World Cup. It is not a case of life not being fair, more that every kid wants to play at one.

“I watched the matches through multiple angles. Even though I had my own issues, I couldn’t think the games didn’t matter. I had an emotional involvement.

“They were my team-mates. People I class as friends. When Argentina scored in the last minute to knock us out, I was angry in my living room. I felt bad as a fan. I felt sad for my team-mates and sad for Nigeria.

“I can’t explain how joyous playing for Nigeria was for me. To know my whole family was proud. To know I was representing 200 million people who are mad about football. I love it there.

“I have unfinished business with Nigeria. I have spoken to the manager, Gernot Rohr, about learning from him; about the set-up and understanding the tactics from the sidelines. He has offered me the opportunity to go and be one of his assistants, which is great.

“I am hoping to be involved in an upcoming fixture against Libya in October. If not that one, the next.”

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  • good one ikeme

  • Wao! I was blown into the skies with Ikeme’s words. What a lesson not only for our foreign-based players who want the coaches to prostrate for them before they don our colours, but also for entire Nigerians to freely contribute to the development of the country.

    You remain a legend, and your name is already written in gold.
    I’m optimistic that you’ll guide our goal tenders to emulate you. Good luck. It was really painful losing to Argentina. Let’s fervently pray that we don’t meet them come Qatar ’22. Enough is enough.

  • In essence, this guy is saying he would have coordinated the backline better against Argentina and prevented them from scoring at the last minute. He would have helped Nigeria draw or win against England in the friendly at Wembley. And I believe him — No disrespect to Uzoho who equally tried his best. Ikeme was a legend we discovered and made us to quickly forget Enyeama. The call for Enyeama started again after Ikeme was diagnosed with Leukemia.

    You would have made the SE very solid and Nigeria probably would have advanced far at Russia 2018. But there are just certain things in life no one can fully explain. All the best bro and come pass on your knowledge to Uzoho and the rest of the goalminders.

  • Chairmanfemi 3 years ago

    This guy is a Master when it comes to USE OF ENGLISH. I kept on reading those lines of his statement over and over again and I felt over the moon as a Nigerian. This guy just had a very few caps for Nigeria but he’s like a LEGEND to me. We’ll be expecting you @Ikeme against Libya.

  • Edoman of New Jersey, USA 3 years ago

    He is what legends are made of. l saw him in BBC this afternoon. l was like this gentleman is a hero of our time. He is already what every Nigerian, both at home or abroad should emulate in their individual approach to life. Yes, life can be cruel in many ways sometimes but, never give up doing your best in your callings.

    The Manager of our Team lets us down in that particular match against Argentina in Russia. If only Rohr had brought in a defender rather then Ighalo, Nigeria would have been able to sustain and defended the match till the end and thereby would’ve moved to the second round. All that is history now, we know. But it was very painful.

    • SAMSON 3 years ago

      The manager didn’t let us down, all the 11 players on the pitch did, I think u should go to YouTube and re-watch the floppy defence At almost the end of the match, they all should have been defending at that time, and the striker should have buried the ball when he had the chance.