If you watched World Cup live, there is a lot of excitement around it and you don’t even want it to end. If you now participate as an actor, I mean as a player now, you will really understand why all the noise about FIFA World Cup.
There are players you’ve been watching from afar and here you are playing with them on the same pitch. It was an awesome moment for me in USA 94 when we filed out against Bulgaria, I asked myself “Is this for real? How do you explain that? The feeling was amazing! Then, being on the same pitch with player I have always adored, Diego Armando Maradona
There were Cannigga and Redondo, who by all standards remains the best midfielder I have ever played against. It was another step ahead in my career. Mind you, the whole world was watching especially back home in Nigeria. Your friends and families are staying awake overnight to watch you play. What else can you ask for? I bet you don’t want to disappoint them.
It’s a pity; everyone cannot win the World Cup. I wish I won it but that one is gone as a player. The first target is to qualify, the second is play there and hopefully triumph, the third target is to win the cup itself. So, if you have the opportunity to attend, just make the best use of the opportunity.
Experience was our biggest undoing at USA 94. Both players and the officials lacked the much needed experience for such big stage. We were first timers in 1994 and a lot of experience is needed to really succeed because of what we were coming from.
It was a sad one but there nothing anyone can do about it. It is in the past and our focus now is how to do well in Russia.
The best World Cup match I ever watched was Germany versus Argentina in Mexico 86 finals.
Playing at the World Cup is once in a lifetime opportunity. You just have to be at your best if you really make a name of yourself and country. You can be lucky to feature once or twice, but it is a platform where your best is tested. If you attend once, you just have to make the best out of that opportunity. The World Cup remains the biggest global sporting event, after then it’s the UEFA Champions League.
It is a wonderful arena. Fortunately, you meet some of the best players in the world. It’s awesome and nothing can be compared to it, but you just have to play there to understand what it really means.
Former Super Eagles captain and coach Austin Eguavoen spoke with Bamidele Boluwaji and David Meshioye.