By Toba AjayiIlorin
Football enthusiasts in Ilorin on Friday described Super Eagles Captain, Mikel Obi, as Nigeria’s “Super Hero”, following his decision to retire from national team duties.The fans told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Ilorin that Mikel had .ed his part and deserved to be celebrated.
NAN reports that the former Chelsea and Middlesbrough midfielder made the announcement via his Instagram page on Thursday afternoon, after leading Nigeria to a Bronze medal finish at the ongoing 32nd Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.
Benjamin Madoka said Mikel served Nigeria wholeheartedly and should be celebrated.“Mikel is Nigerian Super Hero. He has paid his dues in the national team and he has led by example.
Every .er must emulate Mikel by being patriotic,” he said.Kayode Babatunde described the 32-year-old as a living legend that worth to be referenced in the history book of Nigeria.“He is a good ambassador of his country; Mikel sacrificed everything for Nigeria.
He sacrificed Chelsea for Nigeria and lost his place under Coach Antonio Conte,” he said.Another enthusiast, Mujeed Lawal, said the CAF Young Player of the Year 2005 would be missed in the Super Eagles team because of his immense contributions.
“Mikel’s leadership qualities will remain in our hearts, as he once paid Hotel bills when the Super Eagles .ers were stranded at the Airport a few years ago outside the country,” he said.According to Damilola Kareem, Mikel has put smiles on the faces of Nigerians and also made Nigeria more popular on the world stage in the sport.“His successes in the national team and at the club level have brought honour to his fatherland.
He is a joy to watch when the commentator refers to him as a Nigerian international,” he said.Bolaji Segun described Mikel as more than a hero to Nigeria; he is “an embodiment of loyalty to national calls”.“He has won everything for us. Mikel won our hearts. All the best to the Legend.”NAN reports that Mikel won the AFCON 2013 gold; AFCON 2019 bronze; 2005 FIFA U-20 silver and Rio 2016 Olympics bronze in football in the country’s colours.
FIFA’s “The Best Awards” faces a vote-rigging storm as Lionel Messi’s victory is questioned Lifestyle News
FIFA’s prestigious “The Best awards” have been struck by a vote-rigging storm after claims that the ballot was rigged. During a glitzy ceremony in Milan on Monday, September 23, Lionel Messi was crowned the best men’s .er of the year ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk. Now there is doubt and questions are […]
Erasmus believes planning, execution and luck can win the World Cup – Lifestyle News
JOHANNESBURG – South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus believes his side’s fate at the Rugby World Cup in Japan could be decided by fine margins such as the bounce of a ball, a missed tackle or a refereing decision.
Erasmus told Reuters in an interview that the team’s preparations, which included lifting the Rugby Championship for the first time in a decade, have been perfect, and they can have no excuse for not performing in Japan.
Erasmus believes they are not favourites for the trophy though, but says the gap between the leading nations has closed over the last 12 months.
“If you go purely on world rankings, we are still hovering between four and five, so that says we are not favourites. But I think the gap between team one and five in the world has shrunk,” Erasmus said.
“We are in with a much better chance than 18 months ago. I wouldn’t tag us as favourites, but we have a much more realistic chance.”
Erasmus believes he can find the right formula to win, but says the .ers must . their part too. The team will also need some good fortune if they are to claim a third World Cup title after previous successes in 1995 and 2007.
“My job is to coach well and the .ers’ job is to . well. We do have the talent and we have worked really hard,” he said.
“That is ultimately what we will be judged on. If we are lucky and we don’t get a lot of injuries, we should go deep in the tournament. And then it could be a referee’s decision, a bounce of a ball or a missed tackle.”
Erasmus’s preparations have included sending an advanced party of .ers to New Zealand a week early during the Rugby Championship and resting 18 of his top .ers for their most recent 24-18 warm-up win over Argentina earlier this month.
“We feel we are fit and fairly injury-free at this stage. We certainly feel we are in a good space, but when we get onto that plane all the past games from this year count for nothing,” he said.
“All the preparation we have done so far has put us in a good position, we can’t look at any excuses that we had hiccups in preparation, bad injuries or logistical challenges, so if things don’t go our way, we can only point fingers at ourselves.”
He says the selection of captain Siya Kolisi is key after the flank missed much of the international season with a knee injury but was able to prove his fitness in the win over Argentina.
Kolisi, the first black test captain of the Boks, is a vital component of the side on and off the pitch, according to Erasmus, who acknowledges the need to broaden the game’s appeal to young black .ers in South Africa.
“When I appointed him captain last year, I did not know he would bring so much to the team off the field,” Erasmus said.
“I usually appoint captains for what they bring on the field, not off it, but my eyes weren’t open to what it meant for people around the country.
“He is doing a wonderful job. In the beginning he was struggling with that (captaincy), I think the first three, four games he .ed he suffered a bit.
“But perhaps I did not manage him too well in that period, he had to come through that and he has. He is really maturing and the way he carries himself is amazing.”
The Boks open their campaign against defending champions New Zealand in Yokohama on Sept. 21 before further group games against Namibia, Italy and Canada.
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