Nigeria can reach World Cup quarter-finals - Babangida

The former Ajax player is confident his country can emerge from their group which consists of Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran and reach the last-eight

By Shemmy Sholabomi 

Former Nigeria international Tijani Babangida has tipped the Super Eagles to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup this year.

The African side have been drawn in Group F alongside Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran and begin their campaign against the latter on June 16. 

Babangida was a part of the team that reached the second round at the 1998 World Cup in France and he believes the country can reach the last-eight of the competition this time around.

"I have absolute confidence in the ability of the Super Eagles to qualify to the second round and go as far as the quarter-final of this World Cup," he told Goal.

"Don’t forget that we are the African champions and we are expected to do well in this competition."

The former Ajax player added that the surprise exclusion of midfielder Sunday Mba was due to indiscipline.

"As regards to Mba’s case, last week I was in Lagos and I told a friend of mine that, if it is the Keshi I knew very well, Mba won’t make that list as a result of coming late to camp, especially coming to camp when the coach was already rounding up as regards to the players he wanted to pick for the World Cup.

"So I think Mba should be blamed for not making the list that ordinarily he ought to have, based on his previous heartwarming performances at the Africa Cup of Nations, where he emerged as the tournament revelation from Nigeria.

"I was very disappointed to hear that Mba did not make the final cut for the World Cup.

"I am also happy that players like the team captain Joseph Yobo and Osaze Odemwingie made the list while I also felt disappointed that we couldn’t take the seven players dropped to the World Cup because they are all good players.

"Right now I believe that we are set for the competition and the Eagles will definitely do well in Brazil."