President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick is confident that the Super Eagles will perform well at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Speaking on the World Sport programme of the Cable News Network (CNN) from the station’s London studio yesterday, Pinnick said the factors for progress in the world cup is the quality of preparation, and the mental state of the players.
“First and foremost, I must commend all the 32 qualified teams because they came from very intense qualifying campaigns. What will then matter at the finals in Russia are factors such as the quality of preparation by each team, the mental state of the players and prayers from back home.
He admitted that the Super Eagles are in a decent group.
“We are in a ‘decent group.’ Argentina have such a high pedigree and Croatia and Iceland are very good. Iceland reached the quarter –finals of the European Championship last year and topped their qualifying group, so there are no minnows in there.
The NFF boss also commended the African football body CAF for its decision to support the continent’s five flagbearers’ preparations for Russia 2018.
“We are banking on good preparation and the belief that our young players have in themselves. I am also happy that CAF is weighing in with some good money ($500,000 each) to support the preparation of the African flag –bearers. I can also tell you that CAF is looking to see an African team in the semi –finals or even to go all the way to win the trophy.”
“African players light up the English Premiership every weekend. Liverpool FC appear not to be able to do without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, and Chelsea FC sometimes struggle without Victor Moses. We have bright prospects in Russia.”