By James Agberebi:
Former Nigeria international Emmanuel Amuneke has revealed that he still regrets his penalty miss against Mexico at the 1995 FIFA Confederations Cup in Saudi Arabia, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Amuneke spoke with FIFA.com as the world football governing get set to organise another Confederations Cup in Russia from 17 June to 2 July 2017.
In the third place match between the Super Eagles and Mexico at the 1995 Confederations Cup, known back then as the King Fahd Cup, Amuneke missed Nigeria's fourth kick as Mexico won 5-4 on penalties after regulation time ended 1-1.
“I’m like any other player; I’d like the game to end during the 90 minutes," Amuneke told FIFA.com.
“I felt bad about it, but you can’t predict penalties. Someone has to miss. That day it was me."
Despite his penalty miss, Amuneke who played for FC Barcelona and Sporting Lisbon during his playing career, described the Super Eagles squad to the 1995 Confederations Cup as exceptional.
“Sometimes a team, a generation, just comes out of the blue,” he said.
“This was our golden generation. We had great players who couldn’t even get in the team because the competition for places was so fierce.
“They loved us in Saudi Arabia,”
“The fans remembered the impact we made in USA in 1994 and we intrigued them. We were a big hit and, for us, it was a chance for that great generation to ride high again.”
And commenting on Nigeria's exploits a year later at the Atlanta Olympics which paraded talented players like Austin Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, Sunday Oliseh, Taribo West, Amuneke stated that winning the football gold never crossed their minds.
“I was a team leader by then. We didn’t go there expecting to win gold, but as the tournament went on we grew in confidence," he added.
“We had Kanu, Okocha, Amokachi, Ikpeba. We’re talking about Taribo West and Uche Okechukwu. There’s too many greats to even name!”
On his controversial goal against Argentina which secured the win, he said:“You have to accept the way you lose just like you accept the way you win.”