Eagles Not Strong Enough to Win Nations Cup – Odegbami

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Segun Odegbami

Segun Odegbami

Former Green Eagles captain, Segun Odegbami has said the Nigerian national team has not shown the kind of character to win the next Nations Cup in South Africa. He said the Super Eagles’ only tough opponent at the group stage is Zambia.

Odegbami told LEADERSHIP WEEKEND SPORTS in Lagos that though Zambia was going to give Nigeria a run for her money, Nigeria would qualify for the next stage of the tournament. “I believe that the Zambians are going to give us the toughest time at the Nations Cup, it is going to be a very interesting match. We will emerge from the group and thereafter anything can happen.

Burkina Faso is our wife, our regular wife; Ethiopia is no treat to us except the Zambians who I mentioned at the beginning.

These teams are no threat at all to Nigeria, and they will never be, there are still push-over in African football and Burkina Faso is one”.

Odegbami lamented that football has not improved in Africa. He stated that the best players in many leagues in Africa are going to Europe to seek greener pastures. He said teams winning Nations Cup presently were teams that have predominantly local players in their fold. “Football has not gone anywhere in Africa. Go and do your research, football in Africa is not making the kind of improvement people think it’s making.

Football, in fact is deteriorating because more and more of our best players are going to Europe. The countries are being depleted of their best players and when they come back, they never perform at the highest level of their games. It is not the same, go and look at it critically, teams that are winning the Nations Cup now are the teams that have predominant local players.

“Look at Zambia at the last Nations Cup co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, look at Egypt, most of their players are plying their professional trade in their country and compare it with the countries that have all their top players in Europe like Ivory Coast and Ghana; they are not winning the Nations Cup. They will come and make a lot of noise and finally it is the team that has predominance of home based players that win it”.

Odegbami further hinted that Nigeria has not done enough to win the Nations Cup to be hosted by South Africa in January next year pointing out that if the team’s head coach, Stephen Keshi could be left till 2014 or 2015 using home based players, the country will win the Nations Cup after.

“Well, I don’t think we will win the Nations Cup next year because I don’t think we’ve done enough to win it. But I think that in 2014 or 2015 if Stephen Keshi continues with this trend of using local players and keeping them together and as well playing as a unit then we can win it.” He said.

In : Sports

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