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Yobo - Why I Encouraged Victor To Play For Super Eagles


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I'm not sure if you've seen this but it's a decent read none the less.



Wearing the green-and-white colours of Nigeria’s national team is the dream of every Nigerian player, and Everton defender, Joseph Yobo, took his time to encourage fellow teammate, Victor Anichebe, to honour the Under-20 invitation.


Concerned about the way the player has been playing hide-and-seek with the Nigerian football officials, on the recent invitation extended to him, Yobo said it had been Anichebe’s dream to play for Nigeria.


"Nigeria is blessed with a lot of talents. Victor is a good player, I saw him graduate from the junior into the senior team of Everton. Also, our boys are playing in almost all the countries across the world.


Victor is a proper Nigerian because his two parents are Nigerians. I don’t have to influence his decision to play for Nigeria, it has been his dream before we met. He had made up his mind on that issue and when the opportunity came, he did not think of it twice.


“He was invited by England’s Under-19, when he started doing well. Later, Victor came to me and asked what to do because he didn’t know much about Nigeria...and I was very fair to him as a big brother. I told him the very truth. In my own opinion, I think it would be better for him to play for Nigeria, because he would do well at the youth level.


He has the potentials and ability to graduate to the senior national team, unlike the English team that’s noted for their ‘use-and-dump’ syndrome.


“I told him how the system works in Nigeria, that he’s going to enjoy playing for the country, and he would be honoured and respected. So, he had made up his mind ever before I spoke to him or gave him the advise," Yobo said.




Yobo also spoke about his dream to help Everton clinch the UEFA Championship ticket this season with the quality of players in the team at present; how it has been difficult for his coach, David Moyes, to release him for national assignments.


"It’s always very difficult when you are out of the team for one reason or the other,” he said. “It’s always difficult when a player is removed from the defence. Moyes is not always happy when I leave for national assignment or get injured. I believe the manager believes in me. I had a good relationship with the chairman of the club and I was happy to sign a new deal with them.


“At present, we have good players and we hope the season would be better and with the calibre of players in our kitty, I think we should finish at the top six position in the league.




Yobo and youthful Chinedu Ogbuke were said to be inspirational in the Super Eagles’ last duel against Lesotho in the Nations Cup qualifier.


The Everton star said he likes to play his best and to ensure that Nigeria move up in Africa and in world football.


"We just want to take each game as it comes. We know it’s not going to be easy, as other countries are already coming up in African football. And it would be good if the coach could make use of younger players, with the support of experienced players. It would help us a lot. There’s no reason for us not to qualify".




Yobo, however, made a strong case for the present technical crew, led by coach Austin Eguavoen, saying they could improve if allowed to continue.


"Eguavoen and Co. are capable of doing the job. They’ve got all it takes but they need the backing of all Nigerians, especially the people at the helm of sports in the country. They need the support of the players to succeed because without the players, they would not be able to make any tangible impact.


"In this business, the players are very important because they play active roles. If the players are not playing well, they blame the coach, but they forget that the coach can’t play the ball, so they (coaches) need the support of the players to succeed.”




Yobo has been opportuned to captain Super Eagles on many occasions but said that was not his priority for now.


Since the retirement of Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, the Eagles captaincy has been moving between him and Nwankwo Kanu. "I just want to play my game. For me, Eagles captaincy is a great responsbility, even when I’m not wearing the band, I just make sure all is well on the pitch. Everyone believes in me and my teammates have been so supportive,” he affirms.

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