Former Super Eagles’ captain, Nwankwo Kanu has opined that Nigeria’s first match at this year’s World Cup, against Croatia on June 16, is the most important one for the three-time African champions at Russia 2018.
Though the former Inter Milan, Arsenal, Portsmouth and West Bromwich Albion star admitted that each match is equally important at any level, he insisted that getting victory against Croatia is paramount for the Eagles, in order to set their Russia 2018 campaign on the right track.
‘Papilo’ said beating Croatia would continue the tradition set in USA ’94 against Bulgaria and stressed that the first group match is as important as the final for Nigeria.
Nigeria will play Croatia on June 16 at Kaliningrad Stadium, Iceland on June 22 at Volgograd Arena and Argentina on June 26 at Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg.
Though many fans are looking at the last group match against Argentina with trepidation, Kanu said the most important one for him is the opener against Croatia.
The ex-international said beating Croatia should be the Eagles’ priority.
He stressed: “Victory in the match (against Croatia) will give the Super Eagles confidence to face Iceland and Argentina in their subsequent games.”