Following the victory of the Idomitable Lions of Cameroon at the just-concluded Gabon 2017 AFCON, some ex-internationals have urged the Super Eagles to take a cue from them and stage a comeback.
A former Green Eagles player, Felix Owolabi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos that the Indomitable Lions had all the elements of what a standard team should have.
The Cameroonian team defeated Egypt 2-1 at the final of the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday. It won the trophy after 15 years drought.
The Indomitable Lions have won the tournament five times in 1984, 1988, 2000, 2002 and 2017, while Nigeria has won it thrice — 1980, 1994 and 2013.
“There are many lessons to learn from Cameroon’s victory, and this has to do with the attitude of the players, there was no dull player among the team.
“They were very resilient, nothing could distract them unlike the Ghanaians, if you look at the Lions, you can’t single out any player playing otherwise, and they played as a team.
“A typical Cameroon player wants to die for his country when having their jersey on, we need such patriotism from our players, money should stop distracting us,’’ Owolabi said.
Ndubuisi Okosieme, a former Super Eagles player, told NAN that the team’s hard work paid off.
“They went back to the drawing board after several failed attempts and they got it right; they deserved to win the tournament.
“Cameroon’s victory should motivate us, missing AFCON doesn’t necessarily mean we suck in football, it means we have to look inwards,’’ Okosieme said.
Tunde Disu, a former Green Eagles player, told NAN that the Indomitable Lion’s victory came as a surprise.
“They were not even among the top five favourites, they were like an underdog in the tournament, and perhaps, Nigeria too can spring such a surprise.
“They kept improving with each match, the coach was their friend, they played like a team should, and they are physical with great height.
“They made everything work in their favour which is highly commendable,’’ Disu said.
On Aug. 28, Eagles and Lions will play the first leg of their qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.