Mikel Obi: Nobody Believed we would go to Russia
Nigerian midfielder and skipper John Obi Mikel says he is happy with the underdog tag of the Super Eagles ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The West Africans are finalising their preparations for the global showpiece and Mikel said not everybody expected them to qualify.
Coach Gernot Rohr’s side is in the same group with Argentina (Group D) for the fifth time in six World Cup appearances.
They will also face a tough European pair in Croatia and Iceland in the group, but the skipper said he is happy people have written them off to reach the knockout stages.
“When you look at the group I’d say we are more than happy for people to write us off and very happy to be the underdogs,” Mikel told the BBC website.
“Honestly, people didn’t expect us to qualify but we are off to Russia and now it’s all about the rankings.
“When you look at the group I’d say we are more than happy for people to write us off and very happy to be the underdogs.
“It takes the pressure off the shoulders of our young squad and we can go about our World Cup with humility, which is perfectly fine.
“Football is played on the pitch and not by rankings or permutations.”
Two-time world champions have beaten Nigeria four times at the World Cup, with the Super Eagles losing by the odd goal in each of the matches.