The General Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Musa Amadu, said on Sunday that the Super Eagles had taught the Elephants of Cote d’ Ivoire a football lesson.
The Super Eagles ousted the Elephants from the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in South Africa.
Amadu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview that the Eagles made the Ivorian football stars look ordinary.
He said the likes of Didier Drogba, Yahya Toure, Solomom Kalou and Gervinho, who played for Arsenal FC of England, were no match for striker Emmanuel Emenike and others.
“Emmanuel Emenike and Brown Ideye gave the Ivorian defence a very torrid time and I must say that this victory is well-deserved.
“The Eagles showed the class they were made of by beating the Elephants with the young team Stephen Keshi is building.
“Nobody gave the Eagles, who are the ninth team in Africa and 59th in FIFA World ranking, a chance against the Ivorians who are number one in Africa and 14 in world rankings.
“These boys proved today that they rise up to any occasion and they have proved all the skeptics wrong.
“I think we need to thank the skeptics because their unbelief actually galvanised the boys.
“The players’ patriotic spirit and zeal came out because of the criticisms of these skeptics,’’ Amadu said.
According to the NFA scribe, the win over Cote d’ Ivoire has set the pace for the transformation of Nigeria’s football, which will be totally achieved when the Eagles lift the AFCON trophy.
Amadu, however, advised the team not to rest on their oars until the trophy was won.
“The Super Eagles should now completely believe in themselves; the fact that they have beaten Cote d’Ivoire does not mean that they have taken the cup.
“They must take the Eagles of Mali very serious because they are a very dangerous side.
“In fact, the players should know that we still have two very important matches to play, the semi-final and final.
“I hope that they would continue to be on this very high level so that they can soar over the Eagles of Mali and show them that they are more Super than they are,’’ he added.
The Super Eagles would confront the Eagles of Mali on Feb. 6 in Durban, in the first semi-finals encounter of the tournament.