–Super Eagles star confident of sweeping victories in remaining four games…
CSKA of Russia and Super Eagles forward, Ahmed Musa is not given up hopes on the Nigeria team qualifying for the AFCON 2015 Championship in Morocco amidst a feint hope occasioned by their poor start.
Musa, in this interview with Complete Sports Saturday assures the Eagles shall win their remaining four games to book the ticket to the tournament…
The road to AFCON 2015 has been rough looking at the results churned in by Super Eagles. Do you think a crack is beginning to appear in this team after the AFCON triumph?
No I don’t think so. I felt bad that Nigeria lost to Congo at home and i know how Nigerian felt about that loss but again we have to accept it in good fate and move on. It was shocking and I must admit we never saw it coming. We are still one happy family and it is our duty to qualify for Morocco and insha Allah we shall at the end of this qualifiers. The pitch was bumpy on that day and it was like everything just didn’t work according to plans. Like I said; it happens in football but I assure Nigerians that we will defend our trophy in Morocco.
Pundits feel Nigeria look jinxed and may not be in Morocco to defend the AFCON trophy just like it happened in South Africa 2006?
I don’t believe in such. We may have been having it rough in the qualifiers but we will fight hard to win our remaining games by the special grace of God. This is the time we need to stick together as a team and what we need now is the support of everyone and the ticket will be delivered. Nigeria is still in the race to qualify for Morocco.
CSKA Moscow seems to have developed so much faith in you, which must have taken you lots of hardwork and discipline to arrive at that level. What were the sacrifices put in?
Honestly the key to my success at CSKA remain my family because they are always there for me, giving me the right support even when things are not going on well. They stand by me and urge me to believe in myself each time I want to play a game.
You have been linked with a move to England but somewhere along the line the deal went up in flames. Is January move feasible anymore?
Honestly, I am willing to stay at CSKA for the rest of my life provided the club wants me. I am enjoying my game there now and I play in Europe almost every season. I am comfortable there and beside, I have achieved a lot there too, so why would I go to a club I won’t be guaranteed a starting shirt? I am very happy being a CSKA player.
You must have set your target at CSKA; our readers would like to know what those aspirations are this season?
My target for CSKA this season is to win the league for the third term and go ahead to do well in Europe this season. The club will get the best from me because they gave me all the necessary support. We have a good coach and president and the fans are really doing a lot to give us the right push to dominate the Russian league this season.
It has always been a tough one for Musa and CSKA when it comes to European football. What makes you think it is going to be a different story this time around? Pundits have said CSKA will be coming to UEFA Champions League to make up the numbers.
Yeah playing in the UEFA Champions League is a different ball game even though we always gave a good account of ourselves in every season we have featured. But this season, I am aware we have a very tough group that parade three European heavyweights in Roma, Bayern Munich and Manchester City. All I can say is that we will do our best to qualify from this tough group by the special grace of God.
CSKA’s chances of progressing here look slim according to the pedigree of your opponents. The general feelings are that CSKA might likely end up in the Europa League…
I know it won’t be easy but impossible is nothing. We are familiar with most of our group opponents having played them in the past; so we know what to expect. You don’t expect us to just throw in the towel without putting up a fight. Like I said, this year is going to be a lot different; these teams rolled over us but it is our turn to have our pound of flesh.
Manchester City is your next game, just like CSKA, they are still in search of their first win. Besides, Pallegrini has stated how important for his side to win in Moscow.
Yeah, they are one of the best clubs in the World and are blessed with lots of top players but they will meet a better CSKA when they come to Russia. We cannot afford to lose at home to Manchester City. We don’t want to play in Europa league; we will fight till the end.
How well have you coped with issue of racism in Russia?
I have never been racially abused by anyone in Russia. I walk on the street just like everyone but I have never experience any form of racism so far.
How would you describe how it feels like to play at the World Cup? Does the memory still linger?
Playing at the World Cup was dreams come true for me. I have never thought of playing at the World Cup even though I have always nursed the dream of playing at the highest level like the World Cup. Thank God it finally came to pass in my lifetime and I am grateful to God for that. I really achieved a lot that has been helpful to my career. I feel so proud playing alongside some of the best players in the World.
You became the first Nigerian to score twice against Argentina at the World Cup; that was awesome.
Honestly I felt so proud of myself and my country after that game. We may have lost the game but we were not disgraced. But bagging a brace against Argentina was the highest point of my World Cup. That was not my first time of breaking record; when I was in the Nigerian league I broke the highest goals scorer’s record. I really have to give great kudos to my teammates because I wouldn’t have been able to do anything without them. When I went to the internet and saw how I was compare with Messi on that day, I was very happy and it really made me want to do more for my country.
There is this speculations that you dad is from Edo State, can you please clarify that?
No my father is not from Edo State but my mother..