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Kanu: I’ll rather save life than win World Cup

By John Egbokhan
Super Eagles’ captain, Nwankwo Kanu, has said that he prefers an hospital built in the name of the Kanu Heart Foundation,  to winnning a World Cup medal with the Nigerian team in South Africa.

HEART SAVER ••• Eagles captain, Nwankwo Kanu, teaching a South African opponent, the game of soccer. He prefers saving lives to playing at the World Cup in South Africa. Photo: AFP.

The 1996 Olympics gold medal winner, who has been in the eye of the storm following the fringe role he played at the 27th Africa Cup of Nations, has also responded to critics of his captaincy of the Nigerian team, insisting that it takes more than playing on the field to lead a team.

Speaking on BBC World News, the former Arsenal midfielder, said that he possesses the leadership qualities to steer the Eagles ship at the 2010 World Cup, kicking off on June 11 at the Soccer city in Soweto.

“Some people feel that captaining a team is all about what happens on the pitch. Being a captain extends beyond that. It is about being able to steer the ship at all times and maintaining a balance between the team, the coach and the football federation. It is about relationship with all these bodies and I feel privileged to be so saddle.

“As a captain, there are times that you have to take a tough action and also find a way of realigning people to that position, so that things would augur well for the team. Most people do not know the intricacies of what it takes to captain a team, but you pardon them because they do not know”, added the former Champions League winner with Ajax.

Commenting on his preference for an hospital to a World Cup trophy, the Portsmouth player said that “I would prefer to have an hospital built in the name of the Kanu Heart Foundation because it takes a lot to build such a thing and the impact that it would have on the lives of our youths would be there to see forever.

“Saving lives is something that one cannot quantify and if you know the number of people suffering from heart related diseases, you would appreciate why I prefer the hospital because I have won many trophies and more are on the way”, added Kanu.


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