Nigeria’s Brian Idowu devastated after World Cup exit, hails 'best player' Lionel Messi

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Alex Livesey
Defeat to Jorge Sampaoli's side dashed the Super Eagles’ hopes of qualifying to the second round of the biggest football fiesta in Russia

Brian Idowu revealed that he is devastated following Nigeria's elimination from the 2018 Fifa World Cup.

The three-time African champions fell to a 2-1 loss to Argentina on Tuesday to finish as the third best team in Group D. Marcos Rojo’s effort in the 86th minute left the Super Eagles heartbroken after Victor Moses had cancelled out Lionel Messi’s opener for the Albiceleste.

And the Saint Petersburg-born player disclosed his state of mind after the loss at his place of birth.

Brian PS

“I'm devastated but my family is right here with me so I'm feeling okay but physically, I'm tired and have pain in my legs and some small bruises and injuries but that's the price you pay,” Idowu told Goal.

“Four minutes away from qualifying from the group and it is devastating. I think this will still be an experience to remember and even though it was sad, for sure I will remember it with time.”

The Amkar Perm left-back who was in a constant face-off with Messi relived his experience with the Barcelona star and described him as ‘the best player in the world’.

“It will still be a memory that I'll cherish forever. Messi is on that side so they're going to be looking for him. You have to expect the unexpected because you know that he is a good player, he's a good dribbler, one-on-one he can go anyway,” he continued.

“The first goal - just a little bit of space one time we didn't get the man on him at the right time at the right spot, he just opened up, got through, got the ball - finished it. A world-class finisher, that's why he's the best player in the world.”

Although impressed by the Super Eagles’ performance in the defence, the 26-year-old could still not fathom how defender Rojo got into their box to volley in Gabriel Mercado's inch-perfect cross that sealed a last-16 spot for Jorge Sampaoli’s side.

“I think defensively everything was going well and I saw that the Argentines were frustrated a little bit,” he added.

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“They were trying to rush stuff and we had some good opportunities, some good counter-attacks, we had the space, unfortunately, we could maybe have sealed the deal before.

“But then still there was no doubt in my mind and when Mercado got the ball and crossed, I was in shock because I saw that Rojo scored and how the hell did he get there?

“That's football for you, I think the fans got emotional and enjoyed the emotion of this game. It was a thriller to the end and for the football fans out there, I think they have enjoyed it.”

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