Video: Leon Balogun- We want to surprise everyone in Russia


By: Oma Akatugba

After the draws for the FIFA World Cup, Russia 2018 was made, on the 1st December 2017 In a ceremony held at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Nigeria was pitted against Argentina, Croatia and Iceland in group D.

Football fans, coaches, players and ex-players have been reacting to what promises to be an interesting world cup come June 2018 in Russia. One of such is Super Eagles and Mainz 05 solid defender, Leon Aderemi Balogun.

Balogun believes, the super eagles can surprise the world in Russia come 2018, because his team has been regarded one of the underdogs in the group.

Leon Balogun in action for Mainz at the weekend.

The German-born Nigerian, who just recovered from a left-hand fracture, while speaking on (RUSSIA WE DEY COME) an upcoming world cup TV show, focusing on Nigerian players, said: “I think our group describes what the world cup is all about. It’s about if you want to be the best you have to beat the best and I think in the group stage, we have this opportunity already. I am not saying we are the best, I am just saying we want to qualify for the next round. It would be a tough task, I am not going to lie. It would be very hard but that is the world cup and I am very excited. It is my first world cup and same applies to a lot of my teammates and yes, it is the biggest competition we have in the world and our group makes up to that name“.

Nigeria had met Argentina in four previous editions of the tournament and lost by the odd goal on each occasion, however, the Super Eagles defeated them in a recent friendly in Krasnodar, this victory sent shock waves across the football world, albeit it was a friendly game and Lionel Messi didn’t play.

But Leon Balogun does not want to be carried away by that win, maintaining that the Argentines are still a tough team to play.

When asked if he thinks after beating Argentina in a friendly, the Albaceleste would no longer be a problem for his team at the world cup, he says:

“No, If you look at the individual quality they have. They are at least supposed to be the toughest opponents in the group to play against, at the same time, it could be the easiest because nobody expects us to beat them, even though we beat them already in a friendly, if we beat them at the world cup, everybody will say “wao” again! If we beat them, I think it will be sensational. Already people see us and Iceland as the underdogs, but this is good for us because the pressure is not on us, we can just focus on our preparation and try to surprise everybody again.“

The Super Eagles will face Croatia in their first game on the 16th of June in Kaliningrad before taking on Iceland in their second match on the 22nd of June in Saint Petersburg. The Super Eagles will face the Argentines in their last game on the 26th of June 2017.


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