President Muhammadu Buhari has called on the Super Eagles to make Nigeria proud by going all the way to win this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.
He was speaking during the reception held for the Super Eagles at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Wednesday.
The President said: “As you are going to represent us in Russia, you must bear in mind that you are not just going for a tournament.
“With each game, you must remember that you are carrying the passions, emotions and feelings of over 180 million people.
“Play fair and clean, but demonstrate the gallant spirit which Nigerians are known for.
“Nothing unites Nigerians more than football and nothing will gladden the people of Nigeria than for your to acquit yourself honourably by winning in Russia.
“You are the youngest team in the tournament which means you are likely the most inexperienced team, a fact that will not be lost on your opponents. But it is also something that you can use to your advantage.
“You have the full support and the blessings of all Nigerians who will look up to you for as long as the tournament lasts.” he stated.
President Buhari added: “This is our time. We look up to you to make us proud. All Nigerians join me in saying to you, best of luck. Thank you and God be with you all.”
The Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, while speaking at the reception stated that the Super Eagles can qualify from Group D despite being drawn with difficult opponents.
He said, “It is difficult but by no means a mission impossible. The team and the coaching staff are in high spirits and are highly motivated to soar above their opponents at the World Cup.”
The NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, then thanked the president and others that have been supporting the team.
In his words, Pinnick said: “For the first time in the history of this country, we have a team that nobody is talking about being owed a kobo because of the environment you created for us to thrive.”
“This Super Eagles you are seeing today is the most disciplined, the most united in the history of football in the country.
“I am happy to tell you that according to FIFA statistics, this team is the youngest going to the World Cup, which means this team will serve you for long, this team will serve you in the next five years.” he concluded.