By Kate Obodo
Barely three months to the commencement of the first ever World Cup to be staged in Africa, former Super Eagles players, Bright Omokaro and Friday Ekpo haveÂ told the teamâ€™s technical adviser, Lars Lagerback not to jettison his decision to work withÂ Portsmouthâ€™s player Nwankwo Kanu.
Both players were reacting to the question raised by Saturday Vanguard sports on the possibility ofÂ Kanu being on the World Cup train.
According to Omokara who plied his trade for Bendel Insurance FC of Benin,Â Kanu should be at the World Cup because he has so much to offer the team especially his wealth of experience and knowledge on the game. He added that Kanu has this â€˜messianicâ€™Â presence each time the teamÂ is in trouble.
â€œKanu is one player any coach can rely on any day. This is because he has what it takes to turn the game around. He knows what to do any time he is called upon. HeÂ is much better than players like Mikel Obi.
Undoubtedly, he plays progressive football. For the coach to believe in him for the World Cup is a good idea and the best decision ever made, because World Cup is not for inexperienced players but those who know what to do and have played widely. For Ekpo, age has nothing to do with any competition.
â€œWhat is important is the fitness and firmness of a player. A player whoÂ is young and does not have skill and experience can never make any impact in any competition.
Age is only a number. In football, what matters most isÂ the fitness of the player and his experience. ThoughÂ age is important but not as important as experience. Kanu, if not injured and is fit, should be at the World Cup and assistÂ other playersâ€, he said.Â Ekpo sighted instances where foreign players who were in their earlyÂ 40sÂ played for their countries.