Chelsea midfielder, John Obi Mikel believes the Super Eagles can punch above their weight at the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil.
The Super Eagles have failed to win a game since they booked their ticket for the World Cup with a 1-2 friendly loss to the United States on Saturday dampening expectations amongst the supporters but Mikel is keeping his chin up.
The 27-year-old believes the Super Eagles can spring a surprise in Brazil.
“Hopefully, we can see an African team getting to the semifinals or the final of this World Cup. It may take time.
“Yeah, Nigeria could just win the World Cup because in football, anything can happen,” Mikel told Fifa TV.
His teammate, Vincent Enyeama also believes Nigeria and two other African nations, Ghana and the Cote d’Ivoire can represent the continent creditably in Brazil, reports supersport.com.
“It (an African side winning the World Cup) can happen. It can happen. We (Nigeria) have a good team; Ghana has a great team. Cote d’Ivoire has a great, amazing team.
“I believe an African team can win the World Cup. It can happen.
“I don’t believe in negativity. I am a very positive person so I believe it can happen in Brazil,” Enyeama said.
Speaking further on Nigeria’s preparations for the World Cup, Mikel took the time to praise national team coach, Stephen Keshi for his work with the players.
“Anyone that knows him (Keshi) knows how much he demands from his players. He always wants you to work 110 per cent everyday in training and in games.
“He never wants you to stop so I think we’ve responded to that. We’ve taken that on board and every player is enjoying the challenge.
“I can only see a bright future for the national team with Stephen Keshi in charge,” he said.
Nigeria will face Iran, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Argentina in the preliminary round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.