ALEXANDRIA – Missing out on the 2018 World Cup was for 23-year old Super Eagles forward Moses Simon, a massive blow that he took quite a while to recover from especially after appearing nailed on to be on the plane to Russia.
The player who was still at Belgian club KAA Gent at the time, had played a major role in helping Nigeria secure a berth in Russia with a game to spare but was cruelly ruled out of the Mundial by a thigh injury sustained about three weeks to the start of the tournament.
Having finally been presented with a cathartic opportunity to represent Nigeria at an international tournament at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, Simon who scored one goal for the Super Eagles in the qualifiers, says he always relishes the chance to put on the garb of Nigeria and notwithstanding that this represents his first outing at the AFCON, he’ll always work to give his best for the team.
Revealing that he was able to get over the disappointment of missing the World Cup with the help of his wife, the player who moved to Spanish La Liga side, Levante in the summer of 2018, but has taken time to adapt to new surroundings having featured only nineteen times in the league, believes Nigerians will get to see that he still is “the person I am” if he gets a run out in the AFCON.
“First of all, about the World Cup, it was sad news for me and my family I would say, and my fans,” Simon told busybuddiesng.com in an exclusive chat at the Helnan Palestine Hotel base of the team in Alexandria. “But I just took it with faith,” he continued “because I believe it was for my good and with the help of my wife, I just passed through it.
“I’m ready to serve my fatherland whenever I’m called up and I will do my best. It’s my first time playing for the Super Eagles in a major competition so I will do all with I can to prove to Nigerians that I’m still the person I am.”
The Eagles have had problems in Egypt ranging from illnesses to players, the weather conditions and injuries in training which head coach Gernot Rohr blamed for their lackluster performance in the 1-0 win over Burundi but Simon says the players have stuck together through these challenges and believes that the squad is large enough to deal with any setbacks.
“[We’ve been able to cope with the illnesses and injuries] with the help of each other and, in every position, we have two or three players that can play there, so, I don’t think we lack anything so with the help of the medical staff everything will go well.”