Captain of the Super Eagles, Joseph Yobo, has declared that the team is gunning for a third continental trophy at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in South Africa. Yobo also talked about his charity in this chat with MTNFootball.com
Eagles are in Faro, Portugal, preparing for the AFCON, when are you joining up with the rest of the squad?
There is a deadline set for us to arrive by the coach and I won't exceed that deadline.
How has the AFCON preparation gone for the Eagles?
It has been good. I believe in Stephen Keshi being an ex-captain and as now the coach, knows what he wants at the competition. Nothing is perfect in life, so there may be one or two difficulties along the line, but we will handle them definitely.
Some players have problems with the national team, what do you have to tell them?
Those that have issues or problems with the team or anyone know why they have that and it is their problem. Nigeria is bigger than anybody. I am here today as captain, but tomorrow I might decide I don't want to play for Nigeria again.
The country has done a lot for me as an international player. People are different. So, those who have problems in the national team create those problems and should fix it themselves. We should be grateful for what Nigeria has done for us, not what we have done. It is give and take. I have played for over 10 years for Nigeria. If I don't go to the AFCON or World Cup, life goes on. I will thank God because where I am today, I didn't expect it.
What should Nigerians expect from the Eagles in AFCON?
I know Keshi has a big plan for the Nations Cup. The players also want to win the trophy, so we will put in everything within us to see that we go as far as possible. We will look at getting through the group, then quarterfinal, semis and final. The trophy is our target.
Looking at 2012, how would you rate the Super Eagles of Nigeria?
The past year (2011) was bad because we could not qualify for the AFCON, but we have enjoyed a better time this year.
How do you feel that again a player from Nigeria did not make the top three in the CAF African Player of the Year award?
No hard feelings, they know what they used to pick the winner. So, I congratulate Yaya Toure for winning it again.
You have partnered different players in the heart of the Eagles defence, who is your preferred option?
I have no preferred option. It's for coach to decide as all those I have played with have been wonderful.
Some have written off Nigeria's chances of winning the AFCON. What do you think?
Well, it is good to be rated as an underdog as it eases pressure on the team. We are better off this way.
What motivated you to come down and give to children in need?
I have been doing this for a long time, but this is my first time of coming here to do it by myself. I love kids and I am pleased to give part of what I have to make them happy.
How would you describe the experience going round the wards to see the children?
I am touched, it is painful to see them in such situation, it is even more painful to know that most of them will die. One must therefore be grateful to God for the gift of life. I had private discussion with the owner of the home on what I will do to further help the kids and the house.
It is great to help. I am therefore calling on Nigerians to help those in need. One doesn't need to be rich before he engages in charity work and nothing is too small or too big to give, so far it comes from the heart. If we all could be involved in this, we would raise the hope of many.
Will this visitation in anyway lift your spirits ahead of the AFCON?
No, this has no connection with football. It is my life what I choose to do. I could have been like any of those kids, but God chose not to let it be so. Life goes on without football. I am happy that I am able to put a smile on their faces and give them reason to hope. Football is my job, but it is not my life. There is a lot more about life than football.