By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Former Super Eagles winger Emmanuel Amuneke has admitted that the Super Eagles squad at the 1998 World Cup in France could have fared better than the Round of 16 the team reached.
Amuneke who guided Nigeria's U-17 national team, the Golden Eaglets, to win the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup also spoke on a wide range of issues including the need to support Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh in the interest of Nigerian football on Thursday at the Social Media Week Lagos.
"In 1998, we (Super Eagles) did not do enough. We were living on the glory of the 1996 Olympics gold without realising the game was changing," Amuneke said.
"The privilege of playing for Nigeria is the greatest joy in my life.
"When Clemens Westerhof told me I'd play in Tunisia 94 final, I didn't believe it. But I took my chance.
"We went to America (for the Olympics) unnoticed. But we came back noticed. It's all about determination."
Following his outstanding performance at the Atlanta 96 Olympics, Barcelona came calling for the former Eagles star.
Amuneke spoke of his joy playing for the Spanish giants.
"Sharing a dressing room with Pep Guardiola, Luis Enrique, Luis Figo and others is something I am proud of.
"I learnt a lot from all the coaches I played under, including Luis Van Gaal.
Then on the need to rally behind Oliseh whom he played with at the 1996 Olympics, Amuneke said:
"We have to support Sunday Oliseh to reach our objective."
On his job as coach of the Golden Eaglets that won the U-17 World Cup for a record fifth time, Amuneke revealed it was not an easy process.
"Selecting the U-17 team is complex. But it's not about where the player is from. And the MRI means cheating is out.
"We picked Kelechi Iheanacho and Taiwo Awoniyi from NFF U15s. They were very little but we saw their talent," Amuneke stressed.
The 1994 African Footballer of the Year rounded off by admonishing the young players talent is not enough to achieve their targets.
"We cannot depend solely on talent. But hardwork and teach the players the game
Amuneke said he is not on social media like Twitter and Facebook:
" I'm not on social media. But I'm sure I will learn," the former Zamalek forward assured.
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