Zambian national football team players celebrate after scoring the penalty which gave them the African Cup of Nations title
Group opponents of Nigeria in the AFCON 2013 tournament, Burkina Faso and Zambia sent spies to monitor the Nigerian versus Catalonia selected game in Barcelona on Wednesday and they were pleasantly surprised at the quality on display.
According to Eagles’ Assistant Coach, Gydounou Valere, the new faces in the Nigerian set up, was a surprise to many.
“Some of the coaches and journalists who came to spy the team had to approach me, asking where are the big names that we are taking to the Nations Cup and I told them that they are seeing them right there on the pitch,” he said.
The former assistant coach of Togo and Mali, said that Nigeria was on the way to causing many surprises at the South Africa 2013 tournament and urged for total backing from all and sundry.
Nigeria will next take on Cape Verde Island next week in another warm up game in Portugal.
Meanwhile, Chelsea midfielder, John Mikel Obi has declared that he is fit for the AFCON 2013 in South Africa after a slight knee complaint.
Mikel was pulled off late in the second half of an English Premier League (EPL) game against Norwich City after he suffered a knock on his knee.
He confirmed Thursday that he is as fit as fiddle and ready for action to pour cold water over speculations regarding his availability for this month’s AFCON.
“I am going to be at Nations Cup as there is nothing to worry about concerning the injury, it is over," Mikel said Thursday.
"I am okay and fit for action. I am already looking forward to play in the FA Cup game against Southampton. I was advised by the doctor to rest it for the QPR game, otherwise I was ready to play.”
Injury ruled out the Chelsea star from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa at the last minute.