Nigeria’s failure to qualify for Germany 2006 and a knee injury that forced him out of the South Africa edition four years ago mean the Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi has never previously appeared in the world’s biggest football tournament.
However, he is one of the senior players in a Nigeria side aiming to make a splash in Brazil having been drawn alongside Argentina, Bosnia-Aand Iran in Group F.
“This is my first World Cup,” he said. “I want to make sure we achieve something coming here. We don’t just want to come and make up the numbers; we want to do well.
“I have to make sure I lead by example. We are all driving in the same direction. We all know what we want and hopefully we will have a good tournament.”
While Mikel is set for his first taste of the showpiece, he is no stranger to big international tournaments having been part of the Nigeria side that won last year’s African Cup of Nations.
Mikel said: ‘’We know we’re the African champions and people expect us to do well, to represent the African continent.