Mikel Obi ahead of Sunday World Cup Qualifying match against Zambia: I am now matured to lead the Super Eagles
Ahead of the all important Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying Group B match away at Zambia, Super Eagles of Nigeria captain John Mikel Obi has said he is now matured to lead the team.
“Sometimes when you are young, you make mistakes but the more you grow up, the more you know the things that are more important.
“I think that I am beginning to know where I come from and that is more important than anything.
“I have more responsibility now to lead the country and the team; I think that is what I am doing right now because I enjoy every bit of it,” he said.
The Chelsea midfielder said that the Eagles would use the opportunity of the World Cup qualifying matches to make up for not qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) for two consecutive times.
Nigeria has won six of 16 previous matches (None of the 16 previous clashes was a World Cup qualifying match) with Zambia, drawing five and losing five. Nigeria defeated Zambia 5-4 on penalties to win a memorable Africa Cup of Nations final in Tunis in 1994.
Zambia walloped Nigeria 5-1 in the first –ever encounter, a 1974 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match in Lusaka on July 15, 1973. Nigeria’s 3-2 win in the return leg in Lagos two weeks later was of no effect.
However, the Zambians have not beaten the Eagles in a competitive match in the past 31 years while Nigerian on the other hand have never beaten Zambians on their home soil.