Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi says that the team owes Nigerians the World Cup ticket as an amendment for a poor 2014 performance, even as he vowed that they will not disappoint if they qualify.
The Super Eagles are in pole position to book a ticket to Russia as they lead Group B on 10 points, three ahead of second-placed Zambia who they face next month in Uyo.
Mikel says that though this is a young team, they are hungry to qualify. “I think the World Cup we had last time wasn’t the best and I think we owe Nigerians a better World Cup performance if we manage to get to Russia. And that’s exactly what we want to do.”
“I think if we manage to get there it will be the first World Cup for 90 percent of the team.”
“We have a very good team here, a very very young team. I think this is the youngest team we’ve had since I’ve been here,” the 30-year-old told KweséESPN.
Mikel, who missed the 2010 World Cup in South Africa due to injury, says he is also itching to return, for a good reason.
“I’m still hungry and I want to be there, too. I want to lead the team.
In comparison to the teams he played with in the past, Mikel says the current squad are a ball playing team who just want to play.
“This team is a good team. We know how to play. We want to play football and if we manage to get there, we will play the same way and hopefully we can have a better World Cup.”
To get there, the Super Eagles first have to get past Zambia, and then Algeria in the final two matches of the qualification series.
The Super Eagles had earlier defeated Zambia 2-1 away in the first group stage match, and will meet them again for the second leg in Uyo on October 7