MOSES: WE CAN’T AFFORD TO MISS 2013 NATIONS CUP
Posted: Jun 15, 2012
Super Eagles winger Victor Moses confesses to DAVID MESHIOYE that failure to qualify for the Nations Cup in South Africa is not an option as he promises to do his utmost in the quest to play in Africa’s football showpiece.
How have you been coping with all the kicks and knocks coming from defenders in the African qualifiers?
Well, it’s been tough, but I’m doing my best for my country and I’m settling down to playing African football. There is no point running away from the fact that I need such tough games to get me ready for the main thing, which is playing at the next Nations Cup. The game here is tough and the defenders know me too well so they are doing a lot to stop me from playing. Playing for Nigeria is still the biggest decision I have ever taken in my career. I have played three games now and a lot of lessons have been learnt. All I can say is that football in Africa is improving by the minute and the smaller teams are ready to give it a go.
Would you say that foreign-based players get little or no protection from referees especially during qualifiers?
The referees are trying their best but like I said African football is all about power and stamina. You need to be strong to cope with it. Fine, the strikers should not expect the same protection they get in Europe because local players here must give their all to be recognized. Having said that, those kicks and knocks cannot stop me from playing for Nigeria. I think the English Premier League has toughened me up for the African task.
There is talk that playing in Africa is a tough experience for you…
I knew that playing in Africa would be a different kettle of fish but I was prepared for it. I weighed my options when I was making up my mind to play for Nigeria. I knew I would be the target of defenders and I knew it would take me time to settle in but I’m learning fast here and I don’t regret it a bit.
Playing for Nigeria has afforded me the opportunity of being to African countries I would not have ever dreamt of visiting. I am playing for my country and learning about the African continent in a new way. It is a new experience for me generally.
Three caps for Nigeria but you’re still waiting for your first goal. Should we expect it against Rwanda?
Hopefully, but I can’t promise you that. I’m not under pressure to score my debut goal for Nigeria. Of course I know lots of my fans out there might be wondering why I have not found the net, but I tell them to wait. Good things come to those who wait. What is important now is for the Super Eagles to keep winning. I’ll rather put the country before personal goals. Let Nigeria qualify for the 2013 Nations Cup first then other personal ambitions will begin to fall into place.
Rwanda is next on the cards. You featured for just 10 minutes in the first leg played in Kigali. Would you mind starting from the bench just like the first leg? How do you think Nigeria can beat the Amavubi?
It does not really matter whether I’m starting from the bench or not, what I think should be our focus is how we can collectively help Nigeria beat Rwanda irrespective of who is playing. Nigeria is bigger than Victor Moses; I will sacrifice anything to ensure Nigeria qualify for the Nations Cup. The Nations Cup is one competition I really want to feature in and I know we will be there. There are lots of great players in the team and whoever is playing will do what it takes to beat Rwanda. The Rwandan team is not a bad side too but we are ready to do Nigeria proud this time around.
Finally, you were recently linked to Leicester City and a number of Premier league sides…
Lots of transfer stories I read about myself are very funny because like I told you before some of these stories are mere speculations. I am still a Wigan player now but I’m weighing my options, but I’ll wait for Euro 2012 to end then we can be begin to get a clearer picture of where I will be playing next season. All I can say is that I will be playing in the Premier league next season.
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