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Wednesday, 2 August 2017

My wife’s relatives will kill me if Nigeria does not qualify for World Cup – Mikel

My wife’s relatives will kill me if Nigeria does not qualify for World Cup – Mikel

Mikel Obi

The 30-year-old Tianjin Teda midfielder admitted that the pressure to make it to Russia is immense, just as he explained that it is not simply due to the expectations of supporters in his football-mad homeland.

Super Eagles’ skipper, John Obi Mikel, has revealed that he risks threat to his life should Nigeria fail to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

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The 30-year-old Tianjin Teda midfielder admitted that the pressure to make it to Russia is immense, just as he explained that it is not simply due to the expectations of supporters in his football-mad homeland.

“My wife is Russian,” he said, “and many of our relatives and friends are from Russia. They are all expecting Nigeria to qualify for the next World Cup. I think they will kill me if I fail them,” he added, laughing.

Mikel is however optimistic about Nigeria’s prospects of topping the table and claiming the section’s sole spot at Russia 2018.


His words: “We are in a very good position in our group. We have two wins from two games, and in our last game we beat Algeria at home.

We have a very good young team and the players play good football. If we can win our next match (at home to Cameroon on 31 August) it will edge us closer to qualification. I think we can go through.”

The midfielder has also vowed to do everything within his power to be fit for this vital upcoming double-header.

“I had maintained good form until this injury,” he said. “So it was a shame. But this is part of the game and now I am focusing on recovery and on coming back stronger. I will do whatever I can to get fit to play for Teda and my national team.

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“This Nigeria team looks up to me for advice. My teammates miss me and they need me. As the captain, I want to fulfil my role and help them with my experience.”

Conscious about the danger the Cameroonians are likely to pose to the Super Eagles World Cup dream, the China-based star said: “As everyone knows, they are a very good team. They are strong and they play with confidence.

We must get ourselves well prepared for this game and try our best to get on top against them. It won’t be easy but these are important matches.

If we win both, we will be almost there.”
Nigeria are four points clear of second-placed Cameroon and five ahead of Zambia and Algeria in Group B of the qualifiers.

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