By Fidelis Ebu
To perhaps ensure the players return with fat package from South Africa, the Eaglesâ€™ captain, Nwankwo Kanu after their first ever physical encounter with the teamâ€™s new Technical Adviser, Lars Lagerback inside the mainbowl of Abuja National Stadium Thursday evening posited that the playersâ€™ concentration on Argentina alone could be disastrous.
â€œThere are other teams in the group we would have to contend with. Anywhere you go, the issue being discussed is how the Super Eagles would survive Argentina as if the Argentines are the only team at the 2010 World Cup.
â€œIâ€™m bored and sick of people mentioning only Argentina; there are other teams in the group game. Surprisingly, no one is talking about North Korea and Greece. These are also tough sides. In the game of football today, there is nothing like minnow.
â€œWe should all be focused to survive the group games and advance to the next the stage. It would be a thing of joy to me if we play to the final at the World Cupâ€,Â Kanu stated in a chat after the teamâ€™s first assembly under the tutelage of Lagerback.
The lanky Eagles skipper, who featured for only 10 minutes in last weekâ€™s English FA Cup final against double champion Chelsea, his recent major game before joining the team he would lead to South Africa next month, predicted a bright chance for the Eagles at the World Cup finals.
â€œWe are going there like any other determined team. Just as other teams are wishing to lift the trophy, we are also capable of lifting it. Each game is 90 minutes and anything can happen within the stipulated period. Iâ€™m not praying for any of our players to make mistake that could ease us out in the early stage,â€ he said.
He however urged the players be steadfast in the games to realise the dollar rain promised as NFA has given the approval for the upwards review of the playersâ€™ package with the group games attracting 10,000 dollars as match bonus aside the 200 dollars daily allowance at the Mundial.
The players second round pay has however been raised to $15,000 while $20,000 would be in the playersâ€™ kitty should they advance to the quarter final.
The playersâ€™ pay would be further beefed up to an undisclosed figure, which the NFA said would be pleasant to all parties.