Yobo Backs Eagles for 2019 AFCON Glory


Former Eagles captain Joseph Yobo has revealed that with the crop of talented youngsters in the current squad, Nigeria has all it takes to go on and win the Nations Cup in Egypt later this year.

Nigeria will on March 22, in Asaba take on Seychelles in a dead-rubber AFCON qualifying fixture but based on its importance, Yobo insists that the head coach of the team Gernot Rohr should allow the fringe players show their worth. “They’ve qualified so the game is not as important as it should be, so this is an opportunity to give the younger and fringe players to showcase their talents,” he said.

Yobo who was Nigeria’s captain the last time the Super Eagles was at the Nations Cup in 2013 which Nigeria won, has reaffirmed that with the quality in the team, the Super Eagles can win in Egypt.

“Very possible, what surprised me is that this team qualified with a game to spare. It is always difficult for the Nigerian teams during the qualifiers. It shows they built on their good outing at the World Cup despite not making it out of the group stage, so the future is good for us.

“As a sportsman you go into every game and tournament believing you can win and I think that’s the ultimate. Nigeria needs to go there and try to win. We got the trophy in 2013 and haven’t qualified since then so this is a new opportunity,” he added.

The former Everton and Fenerbahce defender has advised the team to take the matches one at a time and grow as the tournament proceeds. “I’m sure they will go to the AFCON trying to win it but I think there should be no target, take it one game at a time in the group stage and build on your confidence. I believe in this team.”

Yobo has also identified Kenneth Omeruo as the man who will become the Super Eagles’ rock at the back, saying the CD Leganes defender is someone the Super Eagles can build around for years to come.

“I am happy for Omeruo because he played along with me. I am happy that he is fulfilling his potential because he is a good defender,” Yobo said.

“Omeruo is someone I have hoped to take over from me and I am happy that he is in Spain and doing fantastically well.

“I am also happy other defenders such as Leon Balogun and other players are performing as well. It is always good that we have our defenders fit and at the moment doing well.

“The Super Eagles team is presently doing well now and they need the support of all Nigerians to do well at the AFCON 2019.”

The former Everton stalwart added, “The future is bright for the team and I believe in them. In football, you go into the tournament with the mind of winning but the team should take it one game after another.”