Former Green Eagles winger, Segun Odegbami, has urged the Super Eagles to demonstrate the resilience and unity of the Nigerian people in their Group D game against Argentina on Tuesday at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Odegbami, who is in Russia to support the Super Eagles, will, for the second time, address the players and team officials at their Saint Petersburg hotel ahead of the crunch final game against the South American side, on the invitation of Amaju Pinnick, President of the Nigerian Football Federation, NFF.
In a statement made exclusive to Newsbreak.ng, the football legend, popularly known as “Mathematical”, stated that the players, who he described as “Nigeria’s greatest ambassadors of the possibilities of the country”, must recognise the huge responsibilities they bear, especially at a period when the country is experiencing difficult moments.
Describing the expectations as “extremely high”, Odegbami said it is important for the Super Eagles to win their game tomorrow as it will be a “soothing balm” for Nigerians.
The 1980 Africa Nations Cup winner also stated that a win would help reiterate the importance of the country’s unison, irrespective of socio-cultural and religious factors.
Odegbami said, “A victory will be an additional soothing balm to the unprecedented pain, suffering and uncertainties in our country – senseless killings, extreme poverty, ugly politics, a wasting and idle generation of youths, in a country so endowed with resources and talent that could make Nigeria one of the greatest countries in the world if only we take lessons from the example being innocently and simply set by the Super Eagles here in Russia before a global audience.
“These players carry a huge responsibility on their shoulders that is hardly recognised beyond the demand for them to win a match. This responsibility could become a burden if not handled correctly and converted into positive energy, determination, patriotism, the will to win, discipline, fighting spirit, driven by the kind of spirit that has made Nigerians the most passionate football followers in the World today.
“Winning tomorrow’s match is very very important for the simple reason that it will serve as a reminder that together as a people, united behind a common cause that keeps religion, tribal considerations, status and other divisions aside, Nigeria can become the greatest Black country in the world within a short time. The Eagles must imbibe that knowledge and spirit now, demonstrate it for all Nigerians to see tomorrow and then demand from all of us love, unity, friendship, merit, justice, fair play, excellence and the will to succeed as a nation against all odds.”
The Super Eagles will face Argentina in a 7 pm (Nigerian time) kickoff tomorrow.