He may have scored 26 goals from the 26 games he has so far played for Barcelona this term including last weekend’s hat-trick which crowned him the Catalan giant’s all-time leading scorer but Super Eagles head coach Stephen Keshi insists he is not worried about facing Lionel Messi and Argentina on June 25 in the final group F game of the FIFA World Cup.
Keshi says he is relishing the prospect of his boys rendering the four-time world player of the year who is only two goals away from equaling Hugo Sánchez as the second highest ever goalscorer in the La Liga ineffective on the pitch of Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
“Messi is probably the best footballer in the world but we cannot lose sleep about him because there will be 10 others on the pitch that day,” Keshi told supersport.com.
Nigeria will be meeting Argentina for the fourth time in the World Cup group stages following earlier encounters in 1994, 2002 and 2010.
The Super Eagles lost all three previous encounters against the South Americans and Keshi is keen to end the trend.
“I didn’t feel bad about the fact that we will play against Argentina in the group stages because even if we didn’t draw them, we would have met teams like, Spain, Germany, Brazil or England.
“We have been drawn against Argentina. There’s nothing we can do about that. We just have to get ourselves ready,” he said.
Nigeria will open its World Cup campaign against Iran at the Arena da Baixada, Curitiba on June 16.
Five days later, the African champions will take on Bosnia-Herzegovina in their second game at the Arena Pantanal, Cuiabá befre rounding off their preliminary campain against the two-time World champions, Argentina.