Daily Trust (Abuja)

4 January 2013

Nigeria: Cryuff, Nkono Salute Eagles' Display

Dutch legend, Johan Cryuff, who has adopted Catalonia as his home country was full of praises for the Super Eagles display against his country on Wednesday in an international friendly at the home ground of La Liga side; Espanyol.

Also former Indomitable Lions of Cameroon goalkeeper and skipper, Thomas Nkono, says the rebirth of African football has started with what he saw the Eagles played against Catalonia selected on Wednesday in Barcelona.

Cryuff, who was handling the Catalonian Selected side for the last time, said he told his players that the Nigerian side was a very strong, physical and tactical side and he was not disappointed with what he saw against his side. "It was a good game but the Nigerians are preparing for a major tournament and it showed that they are preparing well and will go very far in the tournament", he said.

Nkono on his part, came to the Eagles dressing room to personally congratulate Keshi for raising such a team from Africa and wished the team well at the Nations Cup.

The towering former Espanyol FC first choice in goal, hugged, back-slapped and said he was fascinated by the display of the Africans in the exhibition game in the Catalan City.

On his part NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, who watched the game live in the company of Technical Committee Chairman of the Federation, Barrister Chris Green said that winning a trophy in far away Barcelona in only the second day of the year was a sign of good things to come in 2013. Maigari is scheduled to return with the trophy to Abuja, early Friday morning.

He urged the players not to relent in their quest for the Nations Cup title in South Africa, arguing that President Goodluck Jonathan has assured that all necessary support will be provided for an excellent outing for the team.

"The President even watched the game against Catalonia selected and he was very proud of you. We also on the part of the federation will ensure that adequate provision is made for you to conquer in South Africa", Maigari said.

Head Coach Stephen Keshi said he was happy at the display of the national team but was not totally done yet with building a strong team. "In the next two weeks we should have a stronger and more reliable team to defend our colours come SA 2013" he said.

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