Former Super Eagles midfielder and Head of La Liga in Nigeria, Mutiu Adepoju is a man who was involved in a lot of crucial matches for Nigeria. Aclsports.com asked him how he expects or wants the Super Eagles to approach this Match against Zambia
“they should be as serious as they were against Cameroon. It is not going to be an easy game because the Zambians are already on a high after the back to back wins over Algeria. Nobody expected them to win in Algiers”. Very good point.
No pundit gave the Chipolopolo a chance in Algiers and expected that Algeria will kick start their campaign with at least 4 points from those matches. Instead…
“We have players that are capable to deliver the victory” Alhaji Mutiu continued. “However, we must be very conscious of the speed of their counter attacks. They have very fast players so we need to be wary of this”.
Adepoju is not surprised that Nigeria are on the verge of qualification “we have always had quality players even though the loss to South Africa might have put a little doubt in the minds of people, but the wins at home to Algeria and Cameroon testify to the quality in the team”.
Adepoju’s International career wound up as that of John Mikel Obi was starting. Both of them made their names at the FIFA U20 World Cups – Adepoju a two-goal hero in the semi-final win over US at Saudi ’89, Mikel, runner-up to one Lionel Messi for the Golden Ball in 2005. Impressed or surprised by Mikel’s captaincy of the Super Eagles now?
“I have been impressed by Mikel’s captaincy but I have not been surprised. When Nigeria won AFCON in 2013 I was informed of how influential he was with his team mates and so it was a natural progression. Also at the last Olympics he was a proper leader”.
LA LIGA IN NIGERIA. So, what is this exactly, Alhaji?
“La Liga is in technical and commercial partnership with the LMC and apart from Nigeria we have offices around the big cities in the world like Dubai, New York, India, China. La Liga is the best league in the world and we want to be able to open up to the world even more and give the possibilities of youths from Nigeria to stand a chance of playing there”. Ok..?
“Yes, part of the plans include bringing technical personnel from Spain and the La Liga structure to work and train those involved in running football in Nigeria. We want to improve the sport here as much as possible”.
Adepoju played in Spain for clubs including Real Sociedad and says “One of our hopes and plans include Nigerian players from the Nigerian league making good careers in Spain”.
DSTV and Kanu Nwankwo signing for Arsenal are some of the reasons people say contributed to the Premier League explosion in Nigeria. Any chance of any of the current Super Eagles players doing same in Spain?
“We have enough quality in the squad already that can make it in La Liga. A few of them already play in England and Germany so hopefully after a good World Cup they might move to Spain”. See again why that World Cup ticket is so very important.
Wilfred Agbonibvare. The former Super Eagles goalkeeper was honoured by his Spanish club with a Sports Centre named after him.
“I heard and I am so grateful to the people of Madrid and the Rayo Vallecano club for this laudable thing. Something that rarely happens in Nigeria where sportsmen are not honoured on their deaths. This club names a sports centre after a player who played only a few years with them. I really appreciate them”.
Very few people in Nigeria even remember Agbonibvare but in far away Madrid they did and have immortalised him.