Flying Eagles skipper Musa Muhammed has declared the team are on track to be crowned U20 world champions after the bulk of the side conquered the world at U17 level two years ago.
QUESTION: You led Nigeria to win the FIFA U17 World Cup in UAE two years ago. Can you do same with the U20s in New Zealand?
Musa Muhammed: Yes, we can do it again. We will not disappoint the millions of fans back in Nigeria who have so much confidence in this team.
What gives you such confidence you could finally be the first Flying Eagles team to win the U20 World Cup after two near misses?
We have trained very hard, we are focused, we have the quality and we are ready to make history again. We will give everything to win the World Cup in New Zealand.
Has winning the 2015 African Youth Championship in Senegal in March boosted team confidence going into the World Cup?
It has helped a lot especially as we promised the whole nation that we will be going to the World Cup as African champions. We have done so and that has lifted our self-belief considerably.
The coach has less than a week now to name his final 21-man squad for the World Cup. What is like in the training camp here in Germany now?
Yes, there is a lot of tension in the team, every one of us is fighting to make the final squad. We are all putting our lives on the line to be on the flight to New Zealand. The coaches now have the chance to pick the best to represent Nigeria.
Will you make the final squad?
The coach picks the team and I will be very proud and happy to make the final squad. No one has an automatic shirt in the team, we all have to fight to be selected and the competition has been very fierce.
We have a couple of players who were not in Senegal like Kelechi Iheanacho, Isaac Success and Wilfred Ndidi who could now make it to the World Cup. Will we have a stronger team going to New Zealand?
The players you have mentioned we all started out at the U17 and so they know how we play and our formation. They have been very much part of the bigger team at some point in time. This means competition for places will be tougher.
What do you know about the Flying Eagles first round opponents Brazil, North Korea and Hungary?
Brazil is Brazil and Nigeria is Nigeria. Everyone is talking about Brazil, but they ought to also be talking about Nigeria. We respect all the teams in our group, but we will approach each game as a World Cup final. We are up to the challenge. We are driven to succeed.
If you were to pick one of your teammates who could make the big difference in New Zealand, who would it be?
We are a team, we play collectively, we play as a team and I believe each one of us who is selected will give his best for the country I believe.
In Senegal, who impressed you the most?
Taiwo Awoniyi and Ifeanyi Matthew because they gave us the confidence and goals and eventually we won the AYC.
Your team will play their first test game in Germany on Tuesday afternoon against the Hoffenheim U23 team. What should we expect?
This is not a friendly match for us. It is part of our preparation for the World Cup and we will take it very seriously because we want to win all the way to the final of the World Cup.
Culled from Thenff.com