Even in Nigeria's fifth defeat to Argentina at the World Cup, Captain of the Super Eagles, John Mikel Obi, yesterday praised his colleagues for putting up brave fight against the two-time champions.
Rather than be sad that Nigeria exited the Russia 2018 in the group stage here in St Petersburg last night, the former Chelsea midfielder said at the post match conference that Super Eagles that was the youngest team at this edition deserves praises for battling Argentina with her superstars to standstill before bowing out.
"It's a shame we couldn't continue the amazing journey we had. This is a great team of young players. I believe in the next four years, they are going to turn out a fantastic team to look forward to, " stressed the Tianjin Teda of China player.
Nigeria lost qualifying for the Round of 16 of the Russia 2018 to a late Marco Rojo winner after Victor Moses had canceled out Lionel Messi's lead through a penalty. Javier Mascherano's foul on Leon Balogun in the box was expertly converted by the Chelsea wingback.
"It's a fantastic team that will be ready for the next World Cup in four years. We have a group of boys who listen and want to improve and we have had a great time since the coach (Gernot Rohr) took charge."
Asked if he was still going to be around for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, Mikel said time will tell as he was going to study the situation and take things one at a time.
Argentina will now face France in Kazan in a Round of 16 clash next week.