Iwobi: Eagles Will Qualify For World Cup, Okocha My Role Model


Arsenal's Nigerian youngster, Alex Iwobi, has expressed confidence that the Super Eagles will qualify for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup despite being drawn in a very difficult qualifying group.


The Eagles must finish top of Group B that also has Cameroon, Algeria and Zambia to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.


They will kick off their qualifying campaign with an away trip to Zambia.


Iwobi who lamented the Eagles failure to be at next year's Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon, stated that early preparations will see the Eagles through.


“The Nations Cup is the biggest sporting tournament in Africa, so we were gutted," Iwobi told FIFA.com. "But as a team we have to look forward and focus on the World Cup and our qualification matches.


“It is a tough group for sure, but I don’t think there are any easy groups – it’s international level competition. I’m confident we can prevail, we definitely have the players to. If we prepare well, focus and play to the best of our ability I’m sure we will qualify.


“All the teams [in the group] are good teams that have been former AFCON winners, and have players playing at the highest level, so we know we’ll be up against well-prepared teams."


The 19-year-old, who has been in superb goal scoring form for Arsenal in their pre-season games, reflects on his two goals in the English Premier League and also playing in the UEFA Champions League.


“It was fantastic (On his goals and playing in the Champions League). It is every boy's dream, to score in the Premier League and play in the Champions League. I’m grateful to the manager for showing faith in me and giving me the chance.”


He also commented on the role former Eagles captain and uncle, Austin Okocha, has played in his rapid rise.


“He (Okocha)is my mums' younger brother and was and is still a great role model to me on and off the pitch, as he always guides me and advises me with what I need to do to become the best athlete possible. So yes, he has had a big part in my development as a player.


“He has given me so much information on how to better myself as a person, as well as a player.”


“The advice I will always remember from him is to always play with a smile on my face and enjoy my football.”


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