Ex-Super Eagle’s captain and Athlanta Olympic gold medalist, Nwankwo Kanu, has boasted that the Nigerian team has what it takes to beat the Samba Boys of Brazil in tomorrow’s prestige international friendly match in Singapore.
Nwankwo, who spoke to Sunsport in Owerri, yesterday, noted that the crop of players in the Nigerian team are capable of upsetting any team in the world.
He, however, advised the players to be confident and determined in handling the Brazilian team, affirming that the South Americans could be dangerous, especially with a player like Neymar Junior.
Kanu said he expects an explosive encounter, warning that the Brazilian team will not treat the match with kid gloves.
“Yes, the Nigerian team can beat the Brazilians, looking at the crop of players assembled by the coach. They all know what is at stake, and I believe they will all go out to make Nigeria proud.
“But, they must stay focused and confident because Nigerians are looking up to them,” he advised.
Kanu, who was part of the dream team that beat the Brazilian team at the 1996 Olympics in Athlanta, while speaking on tomorrow’s match in another interview he granted to Goal.com, labelled tomorrow’s clash between Brazil and Nigeria “more than a friendly” as both teams battle for supremacy in Singapore.
Brazil’s assistant coach, Cleber Xavier, said the encounter will only help the Selecao prepare for their World Cup qualification campaign, but Kanu made no effort to downplay the match.
“It will be a wonderful game and that is the kind of friendly we ask for. If I were still playing, I will be very happy,” he said.
“For the boys who will turn up for the game, they should remember this is more than a friendly. The Brazilians will be coming out in full force because they know what we are up to.
“They are still hurt because of what we did to them at the Atlanta 96 Olympics, so, victory is what they will be aiming for. That said, we don’t have to start panicking – it’s the same Brazil, we only have to go out there, relax and play well.
“If the boys can beat Brazil, it will be a confidence and morale booster for the team, and that will have a positive effect on other games they play.
“This game is a big test for the players, the coaches and the country at large, but I believe we have what it takes to come out on top after 90 minutes.”