Former Olympics Eagles No 1, Emmanuel Babayaro has said without mincing words that the Super Eagles squad currently preparing for the next World Cup in Russia, slated for June this year cannot boast of a single world class goalkeeper.
He made his position known while fielding questions from Blueprint sport in Owerri.
The Atlanta ’96 gold medalist who said it was an issue of great concern to him, described the situation as very precarious and made it clear that goalkeepers Vincent Enyeama and Carl Ikeme would have easily passed as world class goalkeepers if they were in the squad.
He however, expressed optimism in the managerial skills of Eagles’ gaffer, Gernot Rohr whom he said would bring his experience to bear as he searched fervently for a world class keeper for the team.
Commenting on the Super Eagles’ opponents in the mundial, Babayaro who is currently the Special Adviser/State Coordinator of NEPAD in Imo State, said that the team should pay more attention to Croatia and Iceland and not necessarily, Argentina.
According to him, “It is when we regard some countries as teams that are very easy to beat that we face some problems along the line. However, we should take the teams one at a time.”
Babayaro opines that the Super Eagles had “what it takes to get to the quarter final stage of the tournament’, advised football administrators to strive and make it a reality. He regretted that corruption in football had dealt a big blow to Nigeria in the past, resulting in administrators preferring that the team crash out early to enable them share the remaining money meant for the team. “But if professionals are involved, this will not happen as professionalism will be brought to bear.”