BY BOLAJI OKUNOLA.
Former Shooting Stars’ striker, Femi Opabunmi who entered record books as one of the youngest players to feature in the World Cup when he played in a duel with England in 2002, has urged Nigeria’s handler, Gernot Rohr to focus on the younger players in his squad to achieve results at Russia 2018.
The former left winger told www.sportsvillagesquare.com that the Super Eagles will break the Round of 16 stagnation barrier that has apparently afflicted the African team. Thrice, the Super Eagles have been eliminated at the Round of 16 by European teams in 1994, 1998 and 2014.
“We can break that jinx in Russia. All Rohr needs do is to build hope and confidence on the young lads. Let’s look at other teams like England, Germany and host of others, you will realize their teams are built around the young ones.
“I remember during our era at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/ Japan, we proved ourselves. Despite the fact that we didn’t proceed to the knock out stage, soccer loving Nigerians love us and we became the future of the nation.
“I still remember the likes of Vincent Enyeama, John Utaka and other notable names in Nigerian football, made their marks through the tournament. All this came to reality because the coach built confidence in us.
“I see the likes of Alex Iwobi, Tyron Ebuehi, Francis Uzoho and host of other young players making names in Russia. All Rohr needs do is to gear them up ahead challenges and I see the Super Eagles doing well in the tournament,” remarked the former F.C Grasshopper of Switzerland player.