Football matches aren’t won on the pages of newspapers but on the pitch of play, that’s according to Super Eagles skipper, Mikel Obi.
Nigeria face Zambia in a crunch FIFA World Cup qualifier on Saturday in Uyo, with a victory enough to seal the country’s place in Russia.
Ahead of the epic encounter, the Chipolopolo, who are three points adrift of their hosts, have seemingly resorted to mind games.
Fans, players and managers alike of the South African nation haven’t stopped talking of a possible upset on the road.
But none of these seems to bother Mikel, who prefers to concentrate on football rather than throwing banters.
“The talking will be done on the pitch,” an utterly confident Mikel told the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) media department.
“I have no doubt we have the quality to achieve victory, but we will not make the mistake of underrating the Zambians.
“We know how important the match is; that is enough motivation to go all out and give our very best.
“There are several players in this team who have not played at the FIFA World Cup. They want to be there in Russia next year.”
Should Nigeria ultimately see off the Zambians, it will be the first time Mikel will captain his country to World Cup final.