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I Made Super Eagles on Merit, Not on Okocha's Back – Iwobi

We caught up with Arsenal’s and Super Eagles’s forward, Alex Iwobi, on the heels of the National team’s win against Libya in the African Cup of Nation qualifier series, and shared his thoughts…Enjoy!

Alex Iwobi
Alex Iwobi

What's your reaction to the back-to-back victory the Super Eagles recorded against Libya?

 

It’s football and we worked really hard for it. In Uyo, we won 4-0 but it was not easy because the Libyans were all over the place, especially in the midfield. The game was very difficult but we got the result we needed.

I am so glad that the team did well against all expectations, especially because the Libyans drew with South Africa. I am very positive that we will be at the Nations Cup next year.

 

You played in the centre midfield role apparently because of the absence of skipper Mikel Obi, how was the experience?

It was fantastic because I am comfortable with a free role where I can express myself and move the ball as I wish. I am better upfront and in the middle not in the wings.  At Arsenal, I now play in the middle upfront and it is splendid for me.

So far this season, I have contributed to the good run of the team under the new coach and it is good I am doing the same in the national team.

Alex Iwobi
Alex Iwobi

People talk about you and your uncle, Austin Okocha, as inspiration and your backbone…(cuts in)

Backbone how? Okocha is an inspiration to many Nigerian youths not only me. He is my uncle and he talks to me to get better but I have my own future ahead of me. I cannot be another Okocha. I want to register the name Iwobi in the minds of Nigerians with my own style of play and contribution to the national team.

Some people think my relationship with him brought me to the Eagles but it’s my hard work and I am where I am on merit. I want to do much more to create a niche for myself in the football world.

People take you as daddy’s boy because your father follows you to almost very venue of national team games. How will you react to this?

My father is a fan of the game and so it is an advantage that I am in the national team and he can get close to the team. Many people are not aware that before I joined the Eagles, my father follows the national team because he is a fan of the game.

I am okay with him around him because I still enjoy his words of encouragement and I also take into consideration that he is around in everything I do anytime I am in Nigeria.

"Okocha is an inspiration to many Nigerian youths not only me. He is my uncle and he talks to me to get better but I have my own future ahead of me. I cannot be another Okocha. I want to register the name Iwobi in the minds of Nigerians with my own style of play and contribution to the national team."

Some people think my relationship with him brought me to the Eagles but it’s my hard work and I am where I am on merit

How do you see your future and that of the Eagles in the next five years?

Eagles will be glorious in the next five years and I can even say that Nigeria has the potential to win the next two editions of the Africa Nations Cup. Personally, my future in the team is also bright but I have to stress that I prefer to be the number 10.

The forward attacking midfield role works for me, any other role can affect my progress in the Eagles. I enjoy the atmosphere in camp with other colleagues because football is a team game and the bonding is fantastic.

 

 

 

 

Chris Isiguzo

NUJ Leadership Credible - Chris Isiguzo

Dr. Alaba Olusemore/Photo credit: http://www.bea-ng.com

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