Nigeria international Victor Osimhen has apologised to the country's fans after missing out on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The Super Eagles were paired with their regional rivals Ghana in the final round of qualifiers. In the first leg in Kumasi, the two teams played out a goalless draw. In Abuja, the Black Stars held their hosts to a one-all draw and as a result qualified for the prestigious global competition on the away-goal rule.
The Napoli striker has appreciated the support received by the fans in the play-offs.
"Firstly, I need to say a very big thank you to the fans, even when we were in Ghana, the way the fans turned up and everything," Osimhen told FootballRepublik.
"Abuja was massive. The support was overwhelming - we could feel the adrenaline pop out. I need to say thank you again and again.
"Of course, it's not what we expected to happen, [but] with the turn-up and support we got, it was overwhelming."
The 23-year-old attacker went on to apologise to the fans and expressed optimism that under new coach Jose Peseiro, the team will rise to the top again.
"Sometimes in football, it's like this. First, as the Ghanaians had the ambition to go to the World Cup, we wanted to go there, too," Osimhen continued.
"But it [not qualifying] has happened. We need to first say sorry to Nigerians. A lot of people still support us but what we need to do is to try to get all our supporters back 100%. We are on the right path, doing things well with the new coach [Peseiro] and technical staff.
"But everyone is sad, nobody is happy even now the pain lingers and forever it will. I would have advanced in age before the next World Cup but we have to move past it. We first need to look forward to what the future brings and with the quality we possess, from here, all I see [in the Super Eagles] is greatness.
The Super Eagles are now focused on qualifying for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Ivory Coast.
Nigeria are in Group A alongside Sierra Leone, Sao Tome & Principe and Guinea-Bissau.
They started their campaign at home with a 2-1 win over the Leone Stars before a historic 10-0 win over the Falcons and True Parrots Team.
Nigeria lead their group with six points, with Guinea-Bissau coming in second with four points. Leone Stars are third with a point with Sao Tome at the bottom with no point.