Nigeria striker Shola Ameobi has said that the pride of putting on the green and white jersey in Addis Ababa would fire up the players to victory in Sunday’s first leg play-off 2014 World Cup qualifier.
Ameobi, who made his competitive debut in September's game against Malawi, confessed that it took him long to finally get the opportunity to play for his fatherland, and he considers it a rare privilege and would risk anything to ensure the Super Eagles emerge victorious against the Walya Antelopes if he is fielded by coach Stephen Keshi.
While reacting to President Goodluck Jonathan’s approval of funds to ferry 200 supporters of the team to Ethiopia, Ameobi said they will repay Nigerians’ faith by getting victory against Ethiopia.
"We don't need any extra motivation whatsoever to beat Ethiopia. Every player in this squad knows the importance of being at the World Cup and I think that is the motivation we need to do our country proud," Ameobi told reporters in Abuja on Wednesday.
"Everybody has tipped us to win the game but we must remember that Ethiopia are not pushovers. They topped their group like we topped ours and they want to be at the World Cup like we want. But we would go there and give our best for our country to ensure that the result is favourable."
Ameobi has also dismissed speculations regarding his fitness ahead of this showdown. "I worked really hard to ensure that I’m fit for this game and I can tell you that I’m fully fit for the encounter. I am happy to be here," he said.