John Obi Mikel
By Duro Ikhazuagbe, with agency reports
After Nigeria’s victory at the 29th Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa penultimate Sunday, John Mikel Obi has revealed that the Confederations Cup scheduled for next June in Brazil is Super Eagles next target.
“The next competition we will feature in now is the Confederations Cup, it will be nice to win that and add to my medals’ collection. It will be another history for Nigeria and the continent, but getting ticket to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is very important too,” stressed the Eagles playmaker.
Last year, Mikel won the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea to add his bulging trophy cabinet that includes winners’ medals in the English Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup.
The midfielder, who was one of the outstanding players of the recent Nations Cup in South Africa, told MTNFootball.com Sunday that a first-ever Nations Cup trophy for him has set the Super Eagles on the path to greater glory.
“We had it at the back of our mind to win right from the training camp in Portugal. We were driven to write our names in gold, make Nigerians happy and with hard work, God made it possible for us,” observed the Chelsea enforcer.
Despite Nigeria’s first two drawn matches in the group stage, the former Plateau United player insisted that he never lost hope of Nigeria winning the cup after 19 years wait.
“There was no point in the competition that I, for one, felt we won’t win it. I told you (MTNFootball.com) before we went for the tournament that there are no small teams in football again. I knew it won’t be an easy task for us, so we prepared for it and kept believing in ourselves even when things looked difficult,” stressed Mikel.
He attributed Nigeria’s success in South Africa to hard-work.
“Firstly, I will say God. We were also determined, worked hard and were united as one big family fighting for a common goal together. The spirit was so high and we just didn’t see ourselves losing and that kept us going till the end. There was no division whatsoever in the team,” he noted.
He described the final game against Burkina Faso as his toughest game of the competition.
“All the games were tough, but let me pick the final game against Burkina Faso. They really gave us a good fight even more than they did in our opening group match,” recalled Mikel who was named in Africa Best 11 players of the tournament.