This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Onazi Is Eagles Rib Cracker, Schools Dike, Moses in Pidgin English

Despite the fierce battle for shirts in the Super Eagles camp, players still find time to unwind by sharing banters during and after training and especially when in the air in many of the flights that they take across the globe.

Before now, Austin 'Jay Jay' Okocha, was identified as one of the wittiest in the national team, Nwankwo Kanu, also jokes off the pitch and on the pitch with the ball, but since the two former national team skippers have left, there seems to have been a vacuum over who occupies the 'jest master's' position in the national team.

Well it seems Lazio midfield man, Ogenyi Onazi has stepped forward to claim the position with his rib-cracking jokes and talks that keeps players laughing endlessly whether on the air or during water breaks at training sessions. And once on the pitch his output is usually tremendous as he showed in the game against the Catalonia Selected last Wednesday.

On the flight from Barcelona to Lisbon, the former My Peoples FC owned by Prophet TB Joshua and Golden Eaglets star threw a poser. "Who was the first National team captain and where is he from and what was the name of the team then?" Red Devils! One of players replied. Fail, na Manchester United name be that", he said. After many of such rib-cracking posers he threw the last on.

"Which Super Eagles captain did not play in the final and yet lifted the Cup? Silence dropped. Finally, he mustered an answer himself: "Don't bother to answer; we all want to go to the Nations Cup!" Laughter erupted.

Onazi has also been on Bright Dike and Victor Moses to stop speaking from their noses and get in the groove by speaking pidgin English.

"That na the official language for Naija." he told both players. Head Coach, Stephen Keshi was to softly acknowledge the conviviality among the players by asking them to keep up the friendly spirit and be very serious when the need arises.

For now Onazi is Ali Baba, I Go Dye and Teju Fine Face all rolled into one in the Eagles camp.

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