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Mikel Makes AFCON, World Cup Pledge, Dismisses Retirement Talk

Mikel Makes AFCON, World Cup Pledge, Dismisses Retirement Talk

By Nurudeen Obalola:

Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi is confident the team will overcome their poor start in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers to reach the tournament, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.

Nigeria are on the verge of qualifying for their third straight World Cup but have missed the last two AFCONs since winning the tournament in South Africa in 2013.

Mikel, Victor Moses and Leon Balogun were not available in June as the Eagles lost their first qualifier 2-0 in Uyo to South Africa. But Mikel has promised the team will make amends.

“We know we need to get results after the way we started the AFCON qualifiers,” Mikel said. “A few of us missed the game against South Africa but that doesn’t mean those who played didn’t do their best. It’s one of those results. But we are determined to put it right by winning the rest of our games.

“We don’t want to miss another AFCON and we’ll do everything to qualify for the next one.”
Mikel, 30, has been in the Super Eagles set-up since 2006 but has dismissed talk of retirement anytime soon.
“I’m 30 years old, I still have a long way to go,” Mikel said when asked about his retirement plans. “I still want to play till God knows when. For now, I’m not thinking about retirement. I just came out of a very, very bad injury which took me out for five months.
“I’m focused on getting back to my best and I want to play in another World Cup. We’re determined to qualify for both the World Cup and AFCON.”
The Super Eagles will qualify for the Russia 2018 World Cup with victory in Uyo in October over Zambia, who are the only other team still in the race in African qualifying Group B after Cameroon and Algeria were eliminated.
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