The Eagles get ready for their game against Uruguay.
African champions, Nigeria, arrived in Salvador, North-Eastern Brazil, in an upbeat mood on Tuesday afternoon ahead of their much-hyped clash with South American champions, Uruguay, on Thursday.
Salvador, the capital of Bahia State, is home to about 2.7 million people and is Brazil’s third most populous city. It was Brazil’s first capital city until 1763; and is regarded as the black capital of Latin America since more than 80 per cent of its inhabitants are of African descent.
Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, has been encouraging his boys who cruised into the Hotel De Ville, Tuesday afternoon.
“Nobody gave us the chance to triumph at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. We love the status of underdogs that we have here and it will help us to achieve our objective of making Nigeria and Africa proud,” he told the boys.
Keshi was in the Nigerian squad that spent close to three months training and playing friendly matches in Brazil before going ahead to win the Africa Cup of Nations on home soil in 1980.
He missed the final cut because Brazilian Coach, Otto Gloria, who took Portugal to third place at the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England, felt he was too young.
Keshi has been eager to prepare his team to showcase their wares, with the likes of Kenneth Omeruo, Ogenyi Onazi, Ahmed Musa, Nnamdi Oduamadi and Brown Ideye appearing to enjoy every moment of it.
“We are boarding now and we expect to land at 1.45pm (5.45pm Nigeria time). It is a flight of 80 minutes from Belo Horizonte. The team is in very high spirit. Everyone’s looking forward to Thursday’s match,” Enebi Achor, Team Administrator, said on telephone from the Belo Horizonte Airport.
After Thursday’s showdown with La Celeste, the Super Eagles’ train will move to Fortaleza for the much-anticipated clash with World and European champions, Spain, inside the Estadio Castelao on Sunday.