Super Eagles and Sunshine Stars’ defender, Godfrey Oboabona tells JACOB AJOM that he is not in a hurry to quit the Nigeria Premier League for the lucrative European league.
Congratulations on your victory over Ivory Coast. How did it go? Firstly, I have to give thanks to God for making it possible for us to defeat Ivory Coast with such a margin. It was not easy. It shows the commitment of the team and our attitude.
We were focused and knew the importance of the task before us. We know Nigeria has never qualified for CHAN before and so this time round we want to break the jinx and be in South Africa come January 2014.
From the body language of the Ivorians one could say that the second leg is not going to come easy despite the 4-1 margin you got here.
Yes, it is not going to be easy because they know what is at stake. They need to beat us to qualify and we are not going to let them do that because we are not going to let them get into our post in Abidjan. Thankfully, we are going to resume camp in the next one week where we will correct the few mistakes noticed during the first leg. I know the coaches will definitely work on them so that when we get there, we will come out perfect and make sure we qualify
You had a very outstanding match against the Ivorians in Kaduna, as always. A lot of us think you have overstayed in the domestic league. Has there been any offers from abroad?
For me, anybody that loves me should not expect me to be in a hurry to rush out. All I want everybody who loves me to keep doing for me is to pray for me because I believe God’s time is the best. Luckily, we are still in the transfer season, if anything comes then I will definitely move.
Is there anything in the pipeline?
Yes. By the Grace of God there is something like that. There is the World Cup qualifier against Malawi in September.
How are you going to approach the Malawians when they come?
I take matches gradually as they come. The immediate task now is how to qualify for CHAN. After the CHAN qualifier, we have a friendly against South Africa before Malawi. I don’t want us to talk about that now until when the time comes. You have been having one match too many. Last season you played the CAF Champions League with your club, the Nations Cup with the Super Eagles in January, club commitments and all that.
How do you cope?
Yes, I have a busy schedule, no doubt. One has to be focused and that is it. When you are in the national team, you have to be more focused that when you are in the club. But that is not to say the club is not important because it is the club that gives you the platform to be in the national team. If you don’t perform well for your club you may not be called to the national team. But what I do is, when I am in the national team I give it my one hundred percent and forget about the club. So it is too with when I am with the club, I am focused for the job at hand and give it my one hundred percent. I deal with each situation as it comes.
You have just come back from the Confederations Cup (at the mention of the Confederations Cup, Oboabona moved to walk away. But I persisted, and assured him there would be no question on the competition which the Eagles placed 5th. He stepped back and was ready to resume the interview.) FIFA just released the new world rankings and Nigeria is 35th. Does that reflect Nigeria’s true position?
No, I don’t believe that is where Nigeria belongs. Our aim now is to get to the World Cup. When we get there, at the end of the tournament, FIFA will chew their words and will congratulate us for making Africa proud. For now, we just have to forget about FIFA ranking and ensure we qualify for Brazil 2014
But you are going to meet the likes of Spain, Uruguay, Germany and others. Are you sure you can do better than what you did in Brazil?
Yea! It is unfortunate we crashed out of the Confederations Cup the way we did. Even against Spain, we played very well, except that we could not convert our chances. We played Spain to a standstill, should they cross our path again, I doubt if they can beat us. We could have wrapped up that match n the first half if we were able to convert our chances. If we qualify for the World Cup and we are able to play 30% of what we played at the Confederations Cup, we will beat anybody. We can win the world Cup.