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Nigeria’s John Obi Mikel Says Nobody Thought We Would Make It To Russia


Nigeria midfielder and skipper John Obi Mikel says he is content with the underdog label put on the Super Eagles in front of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The West Africans are settling their arrangements for the worldwide show-stopper and Mikel said not every person anticipated that them would qualify.

Mentor Gernot Rohr’s side are in a similar gathering with Argentina (Group D) for the fifth time in six World Cup appearances.

They will likewise confront an intense European combine in Croatia and Iceland in the gathering, yet the captain said he is cheerful individuals have thought of them off to achieve the knockout stages.

“When you take a gander at the gathering I’d say we are more than glad for individuals to discount us and exceptionally upbeat to be the underdogs,” Mikel said.

“Honestly, people didn’t expect us to qualify but we are off to Russia and now it’s all about the rankings.

“When you look at the group I’d say we are more than happy for people to write us off and very happy to be the underdogs.

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“It takes the pressure off the shoulders of our young squad and we can go about our World Cup with humility, which is perfectly fine.

“Football is played on the pitch and not by rankings or permutations.”

Two-time world champions have beaten Nigeria four times at the World Cup, with the Super Eagles losing by the odd goal in each of the matches.

However, the former Chelsea midfielder believes they have a great team capable of causing shocks at the tournament.

“We’ve got a blend of experience and a young squad playing without fear but with passion, which is good for us on the road to Russia,” he added.

“We have friendlies against DR Congo (28 May), England (2 June) and Czech Republic (6 June) that will help us finalise our World Cup preparations.

“From the first game at the World Cup our target would be to keep progressing as a team and take it from there.”

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