Hapoel Be’er Sheva midfielder, John Ugochukwu Ogu has declared that Nigeria deserve respect at this year’s World Cup, as he believes the Super Eagles have come of age and should not be taken for granted.
Though he stopped short of predicting that Nigeria will rule the world come July 15, the former Academica de Coimbra of Portugal towering midfielder insists the Eagles will fear not opponent at the Mundial.
He went on to warn Group D rivals that Super Eagles will not be in Russia to make up the numbers, but to contest for glory.
He said he is not unaware of the daunting task facing the team, given the pedigree of opponents like Argentina, Croatia and Iceland in the group, but expressed confidence in the ability of coach Gernot Rohr to get his tactics right.
“Of course this is the World Cup and it’s quite different from what we do at our respective clubsides, but Super Eagles deserve some respect too, most especially if you consider how Nigeria qualified for the tournament. Of course we never had it easy and we came up against some of Africa’s best teams.
“Yes we have Argentina, Croatia and Iceland but I’m confident we won’t be going to Russia for a jamboree, rather it will be strictly business when the World Cup begins.”
The former Academica de Coimbra midfielder posited that most of the players in the team would be attending their first World Cup and as such will be ready to make it a tournament of a lifetime.
Hapoel Beer-Sheva were confirmed league champions for the third straight season on Saturday, despite their 1-0 home loss to Jordi Cruyff’ s Maccabi Tel Aviv, in the six-team Championship play-offs.Hapoel Beer-Sheva claimed the title following a 3-3 draw between Bnei Yehuda and Beitar Jerusalem also on Saturday