Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Okocha Tips Eagles for World Cup Semis

Abuja — Austin 'Jay Jay' Okocha, a former captain of the Super Eagles, has tipped the team to reach the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup because of the quality of the players.

Okocha told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abuja that all the team needed was to be confident and focused in South Africa.

"The send-off for the Super Eagles by President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday will go a long way to tell them that more than 150 million Nigerians are behind them.

"They should go out there; do what they know and believe in the strength of Nigeria.

"I hope that with the quality of Coach Lars Lagerback and the experience of the players, they will make Nigeria proud," he said.

"The good thing is that when a team has a new coach, he brings in a lot of challenges for the players."

Okocha said the players on their own would want to show their new boss what they were made of, adding that Africa looked up to the Super Eagles' performance in the World Cup.

"The Eagles are unpredictable; we have always sailed through impossible positions and I am sure the team will defeat Argentina.

"They should see the pressure being put on them as a plus because in football it is better you have the crowd to motivate you," the former sensational midfielder.

He urged the players to believe in themselves and play purposeful football rather than entertaining the crowd.

The World Cup, the first on African soil, is expected to kick off on June 11.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2010 Daily Trust. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.