INTERVIEW – Ighalo: Eagles Are In Top Spirit To Beat Bafana, Win AFCON 2019

INTERVIEW – Ighalo: Eagles Are In Top Spirit To Beat Bafana, Win AFCON 2019

Nigeria forward Odion Ighalo has told the world media ahead of the Super Eagles’ AFCON 2019 quarterfinal clash against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa on Wednesday at the Alexandria Stadium that the Nigeria players will play out of their skin to win and advance in the tournament. Completesports.com’s ADEBOYE AMOSU writes the details of his interaction with reporters. Photos by Ganiyu Yusuf.

On Super Eagles – Bafana Bafana Clash

It’s going to be a tough game between two good teams. We are ready for the game. Everyone is in good spirit and can’t wait for the game to start. Our target is to win the competition, to do that, we must beat the South Africans and move to the next round.

We know the South Africans have been saying a lot of things on the internet, but we have told ourselves that we must not lose to them.

On The Criticisms Of Ighalo’s Performance In Some Games

I don’t pay attention to criticisms. I don’t listen to what people say about me, as long the coach is satisfied with my performance, then I am okay. I take everything in the chin and focus on my game.
I have experienced same at my club and it’s now part of me. As a footballer, it’s something I have had to deal with up till now and it has made me stronger.

On The Chances Of Ighalo Finishing As AFCON 2019 Top Scorer

I put the team ahead in everything I do. For me, it won’t be nice to win the top scorer award and we end up not winning the trophy. Honestly, it is something that interests me, but the team comes first in everything.

On Eagles’ Response To The Defeat By Madagascar

We took the Madagascar game lightly because we had already qualified and paid dearly for it. Now we know any mistakes will be punished and it is our responsibility to avoid a repeat of that.

Ighalo gets the better of Indomitable Lions of Cameroon opponent in an AFCON 2019 Round of 16 clash in Alexandria. Nigeria won 3-2.

About Losing To South Africa In AFCON 2019 Qualifiers

It was a bad experience for us. I missed the game as a result of injury. We also missed a number of our key players in that game due to the same reason. The game against them tomorrow is another opportunity to put things right. A good chance to prove our superiority over them.

We have to keep fighting, and against South Africa, we have to adapt to their pace. We will be ready. The loss to them in the qualifiers was tough, but this is a tournament quarterfinal match and it will be a different matter.

They are not that strong compared to the Cameroonians, but they are good on the ball and have pace too.

About Ighalo Mentoring Young Players In The Nigeria Squad

I pass on advice as one of the oldest members of the squad. It is important to encourage the young players and make them understand what it’s like to play in a big competition like the AFCON.

Ighalo’s Message To Nigeria Fans Ahead Cameroon Clash

We want to say a big thank you to them for their support. They should believe in us, and we will make them happy at the end of the day.

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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 6
  • Ndubuisi 3 months ago

    Good interview

     
  • Aauxtyne 3 months ago

    Humble talk. Good spirit!

     
  • Ighalo isn’t the only one who has been speaking in recent days. I just read online that legendary midfielder J J Okocha has been speaking to South Africans directly ahead of the epic encounter on Wednesday.

    Giving a surprise vote of confidence to South African based Super Eagles number one goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, Okocha was quoted as saying to South Africans: “We are not bothered about your opinion, we are not bothered about how well he is doing in South Africa.

    We are happy that he is here because the South African league for us is one of the best in Africa, if not the best. We are happy that you’ve provided him with that good platform to improve and I think he is improving.”

    The former Bolton Midfielder would go on to say: “When he comes to the national team it’s a different ball game, you know.

    For me he is rightly our number one choice now and the more games he plays, the more confident he gets and he will get better.

    I’m not judging him on his stats here in South Africa, but what he’s doing for the national team.”

    It’s hard not to anticipate Akpeyi keeping goal for Nigeria against South Africa on Wednesday.

    On this prospect, a South African fan was quoted as saying: “He (Akpeyi) is our ticket to the semifinals.

    I just hope Baxter doesn’t forget that we have Hlompho Kekana who can score from anywhere in the field if things don’t go our way.”

     
  • Here’s are the highlights of the interview.

    1. “We know the South Africans have been saying a lot of things on the internet, but we have told ourselves that we must not lose to them.”

    Silent planning. Expect surprises and fireworks from the SE tomorrow. Very similar to the SM against Mali in 2013. They were blown away and never knew what hit them until after 90 minutes.

    2. “I missed the game (the Uyo blip) as a result of injury. We also missed a number of our key players in that game due to the same reason. The game against them tomorrow is another opportunity to put things right. A good chance to prove our superiority over them.”

    – Interpretation? SA will have a full strength SE to contend with tomorrow. A clear statement of intent/determination.

    3. “They are not that strong compared to the Cameroonians, but they are good on the ball and have pace too.”

    — They have studied (in fact, overstudied. Hehe) SA and their loud-mouth coach and know 100% they will beat them.

    I love this guy level-headedness. A little to the right, a little to the left. Now, this is what is called CONFIDENCE – Not ARROGANCE as is the case with Baxter.

     
  • Sunnyb 3 months ago

    Match of high intensity and quality with pace and counter attacking football.our players must stand up and be counted tomorrow, especially in the midfield Iwobi must track back to Ndidi and etebo no time for short one in the middle tomorrow.South African would rely on speed to counter us, our defenders can’t be guilty of ball watching tomorrow, Rohr please revisit the game in Uyo this should gives  you more insight in defeating this boastful South Africans.

     
  • Presh 3 months ago

    I still tell you guys if it’s a world football game this man will fumble. He is good for African football, not facing the likes of Messi, and co. He will fumble, but thanks for the goal.