Super Eagles Captain, John Obi Mikel, has declared that the Nigerian team can defeat any team in Africa if they play to their full potential.
The declaration came on the back of their 4-0 walloping of Cameroon on Friday evening.
Mikel, along with four other experienced players, returned from injury to help mastermind the trouncing of their cross-border rivals, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, during the 2018 World Cup qualifiers in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The reigning African champions were handed a football lesson as goals from Odion Ighalo, Mikel, Victor Moses and Kelechi Iheanacho were enough to humble their neighbouring country.
“We have a very young team, obviously I have been here for a long time and now I am the captain of the team,” said a proud Mikel at the post-match press conference.
“I feel I have responsibility every time I step on the pitch to play. This team needs experience, this team needs guidance. The players are very good players, quick players.
”Sometimes they need someone they listen to, someone who can direct them to make sure we have balance and know exactly what we are doing and that’s what we did today.”
“I will do my best, I will carry this team same way I did in the Olympics.
“I want to make sure we go the World Cup and also qualify for the Nations Cup. If we continue playing this way, I think we can beat anybody in Africa.”
The result leaves Nigeria on the cusp of qualifying for the 2018 finals. One more win from their remaining three Group B matches will probably be enough for Gernot Rohr’s side to book a flight to Russia.
Meanwhile, Coach Hugo Broos has conceded defeat in Cameroon’s attempts to reach the 2018 World Cup after the African champions were thrashed by Nigeria.
Cameroon face Nigeria again in Yaounde on Monday evening, but Broos believes the Indomitable Lions have too much to do to qualify for next year’s World Cup.
“There is no pressure any more on Monday – Nigeria have nine points, we have two points,” Broos told BBC Sport.“We need to win all three games and Nigeria have to lose all three games, I don’t think that will happen. There is only honour to defend, there is no importance to this match.
“I just hope my players will have the same mentality that I have – that they will fight on Monday till the last minute to beat Nigeria.
“If we had won this game, we would have a chance, but we lost it and I hope everyone will learn from this.”