Nigeria’s Senate president, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki has described the present crop of Super Eagles as the best organized Nigerian team ever and bade them farewell to the 21st FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Nigeria’s number three man and leading football enthusiast also described the players as role models, who do their job quietly on the pitch and accept the rewards whenever such come without holding the nation to ransom. Saraki disclosed as much during a farewell ceremony for the team at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, during which he also praised Eagles technical adviser, Gernot Rohr for the way he has adroitly managed the team and instilled discipline and sense of dedication.
Saraki said: “I have been following the performances and general behaviour of this squad. I must confess that I am very impressed.
“We no longer have schisms and different camps in the same camp, and you sacrifice a lot for the country without demanding so much before you go to battle.
“From the captain, Mikel Obi to the newest member of the squad, I assure you of the love of the entire country and the well –wishes of every Nigerian as you go to the FIFA World Cup and in fact, in all your endeavours.”
Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi, who responded on behalf of the team, thanked Saraki sand pledged that the players will go to the World Cup in Russia to do Nigeria proud.
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president, Melvin Amaju Pinnick equally lauded Saraki for his proven love, support and encouragement of the three –time African champions during the FIFA World Cup qualifying race and even before.
Pinnick then announced to the team Dr. Saraki’s gift of $50,000 to the team ahead of Saturday’s friendly with England’s Three Lions at Wembley Stadium in London, and yet-to-be-revealed ‘special package’ for the entire team “for every unreplied goal” scored at the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
He said: “The Nigeria Football Federation and this team are indebted to you for your huge support all the time. Your love and keen interest has contributed much to keep this team going and reaching for higher heights.
“I must note that we are lucky to have a manager like Rohr who himself is calm, focused and very dedicated to his job, as well as a captain like Mikel who is very humble and God-fearing. The sky will be the limit for this team.”
Also at the event were Senators Ahmed Misau and Baba Kaka Garbai; NFF 2nd Vice President, Mallam Shehu Dikko; and NFF Executive Committee member, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau.
Other guests were NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi; Managing Director of Transcorp Hilton, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo as well as players and officials of the Super Eagles.