- As Babatunde rues injury
The Super Eagles arrived the Brazilian capital city of Brasilia for Monday’s second round World Cup cracker against the Les Blues of France on Friday evening.
All the 23 players and technical officials led by Stephen Keshi were on the flight that landed at 4:07pm local time, which is 8:07 Nigerian time. Also on the flight with the Eagles were NFF Vice President, Chief Mike Umeh and Mallam Shehu Dikko.
Following the controversy over the team’s training schedule on Thursday, the team immediately checked into its abode at the serene Plaza Brasilia, which is a stone throw away from where the French side is quartered.
After light refreshment the team zoomed off to training to do catching up on missed time.
Youthful midfielder, Babatunde Michael, will however be the only player who will not taste action and he said he feels bad following the injury he sustained on the wrist, upon which surgery has since been carried out.
“I will be praying for the team and I am sure they will do the nation proud in this World Cup,” the soft spoken star declared.
The Nigeria squad had earlier missed a scheduled training session in a row over bonus money.
The players believe they are each $15,000 (£8,800) short of what they were expecting for reaching the last 16 in Brazil.
They refused to train in Campinas on Thursday and officials later confirmed the session had been cancelled.
Nigeria is scheduled to play France in the knockout stages on Monday having finished as runners-up in Group F.
Meanwhile, midfielder, John Mikel Obi, says they are already thinking about the clash against France in the Round of 16 at Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha in Brasilia on Monday.
Nigeria, who reached the last 16 despite the 3-2 loss to Argentina, played well and can take a lot of positives out of the game.
Mikel, who has had a rather quiet World Cup by his standards, says that they are all happy and are already thinking about Monday’s opponents, France.
“We are very happy and now we will see how the next phase goes.
“We played very well against Argentina and we are happy for that.
“Our thinking is very positive and we are already focusing on the next match against France,” Mikel told reporters.