“Despite in-fighting, Eagles remain a big threat.”
The bonus row and skipping of a training session on Thursday will count for nothing when the Super Eagles come up against France in their Round of 16 clash on Monday, according to French defender, Bacary Sagna.
The former Arsenal left-back was unequivocal that the Eagles remained a big threat. He has thus warned his teammates not to be carried away with whatever news was coming out from the Eagles camp.
“They are the best African team at the moment,” the Manchester City-bound full-back was quoted as saying on soccerway.com. “They have very good players. Some play in the biggest European clubs, especially in England. They will fight and they have a lot of qualities. But we want to concentrate on ourselves. As players, we aspire to go as far as possible, to win trophies. It would be a failure not to win the trophy. Initially, we wanted to qualify from the group. Now, we want to go step by step. There are 11 players who will start, but the 23 are important. The atmosphere is very important and we try to keep this dynamic.”
The French team, who were largely unpopular ahead of the finals in Brazil, proved many wrong in the group stages, seeing off Group E rivals, Honduras and Switzerland, 3-0 and 5-2 respectively.
A 0-0 draw in their final match with Ecuador secured their place as group winners, setting up Monday’s last-16 tie with Nigeria in Brasilia.
While the French enjoy the luxury of going as far as winning the tournament on home soil in 1998, Nigeria has never made it beyond the Round of 16 since her debut in 1994.