in

Etim Esin To Super Eagles: Be Wary Of South Africa

Ex-International, Etim Esin, says it’s team work that gave the Super Eagles victory over Cameroon.

Etim Esin / Photo credit: http://fcnaija.com
Etim Esin / Photo credit: http://fcnaija.com

What is your take on the 3-2 victory recorded by the Super Eagles against defending AFCON champions Cameroon?

It was an exciting moment seeing the Super Eagles win that game. They raised their game; Odion Ighalo came on board, Alex Iwobi and others too.

That’s how it should be, especially at a big tournament like that, everyone should be able to put in their quota for the team.

Everyone worked together as a team; no one was selfish.

Nobody wanted to take personal glory, all were working together for the success of the team, and that’s the way it should be, it must always be a team and not just individuals.

Team spirit is the best thing if you really want to achieve something in any competition.

The defending champions are already out, host nation is already out, even CHAN champions, Morocco, got eliminated by Benin Republic. It is now an open tournament and anyone can win the cup now

What do you make of the elimination of the host nation, Egypt, by South Africa?

Who believed South Africa would be able to beat Egypt?

It shows that there are no more minnows in football, especially in Africa. Some big countries are out now, leaving those we believe are small countries.

The defending champions are already out, host nation is already out, even CHAN champions, Morocco, got eliminated by Benin Republic.

It is now an open tournament and anyone can win the cup now.

Are you saying it’s an open door for Nigeria to win?

I will say yes, but we shouldn’t be overconfident; we should approach each game as it comes, starting from the South Africa game.

We are not the only ones high on confidence now, they are also confident after eliminating the host country, Egypt.

We might be having the support of the fans because of the fact that South Africa eliminated the host team, or it might be other way round for us, but we should give it our all.

It is going to be a balanced game but we should not be overconfident.

Would you say the money incentives from the NFF and other dignitaries will motivate the players to go all the way to the final and lift the trophy?

These players’ weekly wages are bigger than all these bonuses we are talking about.

I was even telling some of them to forget about the bonus, they should do it for themselves and their country.

What’s $10,000 or $20,000 to someone who gets $50,000 or more per week?

That will not ginger them at all.

I want the NFF to do what’s stipulated in their terms of agreement with the players, and do it on time. You won’t hear of such issues of money in other countries because everything has been sorted out even before the start of the championship.

What should Nigerians expect against South Africa in the quarter-final?

We should be wary of them after what they did to us in Uyo in the first game of the qualifiers for this AFCON.

They defeated the Eagles 2-0. We should approach the game with all seriousness, raise our game and see that we qualify for the semi-finals.

I was even telling some of them to forget about the bonus, they should do it for themselves and their country. What’s $10,000 or $20,000 to someone who gets $50,000 or more per week? That will not ginger them at all

Are you impressed with the quality of this year’s AFCON?

It has really improved, especially with the results recorded so far.

It has shown that African football has really improved and there are no more minnows. We should continue to improve that way; so many big names are out but there are still countries like Algeria, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire left.

After persistent refusal, President Muhammadu Buhari finally signed the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, in Miami, Niger, on Sunday / Photo credit: State House.

The Lofty Ambitions Of Continental Free Trade

Wole Soyinka / Photo credit: Nigeriafilms.com

The Conscience Of A Nation