By Tony Ubani
FOR the umpteenth time yesterday, Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi said that he was not afraid of his Super Eagles confronting a-Lion-loaded team of Argentina at the World Cup in Brazil.
Keshi spoke yesterday in Ikeja as Peak, the official milk of the Super Eagles launched a campaign to galvanize support for the team ahead of the World Cup.
Nigeria and Argentina arguably remain the two teams to pick the tickets in a group that has debutantes Bosnia-Herzogovina and Iran.
But the Eagles meeting with Argentina has become the talk of the town in a seeming confrontation between the two sides, led by Lionel Messi and John Obi Mikel, who have faced off three times in major events at different age levels: the final of the FIFA U-20 World Cup- Netherlands 2005, the group phase at South Africa 2010 and the friendly between Argentina and Nigeria in Bangladesh. On all three occasions Argentina won. When Eagles won in Abuja, Messi did not play.
‘’Afraid? I’m not afraid of Argentina or any team in the World Cup’’, Keshi reacted to a question that his Argentine counterpart, Alejandro Sabella said that other teams in their group should be afraid of them. ‘’I’m not afraid of Argentina. I’m not afraid of any team’’, he said as many other questions were asked at the same time and photographers and TV camera men jostled for vintage positions.
Part of the fear factor that Keshi did not address yesterday remained that so many Nigerian players are not getting enough playing time in their various clubs while star-studded Argentine players play regularly in their own clubs.
Players like Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Fernando Gago, Di Maria etc are regulars in their clubs.
Top Nigerian players – Mikel Obi, Victor Moses, Elderson Echiejile, Victor Obinna have become bench warmers in their clubs thereby heightening the blood pressures of Nigerian fans.