Ahead of the 2018 World Cup slated for Russia in the summer, Super Eagles striker, Odion Ighalo, has warned his national teammates not to be carried away by the team’s smooth sail during the qualifiers and the recent 4-2 victory over South American giant-Argentina.
Ighalo further warned that using the easy run and the victory over the Albiceleste as Eagles arrival at the global stage could spell doom for Nigeria at the competition proper in Russia.
Speaking with THISDAY at the launch of his pet project-Ighalo Orphanage Home in Janaith Hotel, Ajah, the Changchun Yatai striker admitted it was not a small feat qualifying for the Mundial without losing a game from a group that had Cameroon, Algeria and Zambia and recently coming back from two nil down to beat an argentine side that paraded some of the best players in the world.
“Naturally, such feat should be a morale booster to the team with the World Cup just few months away but it could also have a ripple effect as the team might get carried away by such achievements at the competition proper.
“We should just put behind those little successes and focus properly on what is coming ahead of us if we really want to do well in Russia,” Ighalo reasoned.
The striker indeed admitted that the recent victories recorded by the team had taken away the ‘underdog’ tag Nigeria would have enjoyed at the World Cup.
“Now, we are the team to beat. We are now like the proverbial golden fish with no hiding place,” he noted.
Next year’s showpiece in Russia would be Ighalo’s first attempt at the World Cup, but said he is not under any pressure to perform.
“I just pray that I would be injury-free when the World Cup kicks off, however, I’m not under any pressure to perform in Russia,” the former Watford of England striker assured his fans.
Meanwhile, Ighalo has given reasons as to what inform his reason for the orphanage foundation, stressing that it has to do with his tough background.
“Life was tough growing up in Ajegunle and I vowed that if I eventually had a breakthrough, I’ll give back to the society that made me, hence, the Ighalo Orphanage Foundation,” revealed the Super Eagles forward.