Liberia President and former Ballon d'Or winner George Weah is rooting for Nigeria to become the first African country to win the World Cup, but insists they must be prepared early enough.
And the former AC Milan star who paid a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja wants the country’s bigwigs to support Gernot Rohr’s side so that they can focus on making the continent proud at the showpiece.
“I think Nigerian team is a model, we all followed them. I have played with great Nigerian players. Now you have a new generation, the fact that they qualified is a good thing for Nigeria,” Weah told media.
“But I hope that they will prepare very early because they are going to represent Africa and we will be there to watch them, for them to bring the trophy for the first time if it is possible.
“But I think the seriousness to go to World Cup is not to pay players to go, I want every African government to know, if you win World Cup is a pride to Africa, it is not just to Nigeria, so we must do everything to ensure that the players are not stressed, make sure they concentrate, make sure their incentives are given to them to motivate them.
“Some of the things you see at the World Cup, you will see an entire team go to represent a whole country and you will hear that one minister took the money, they did not pay these players and the players are causing problem," he continued
"When players are going to camp, it is to relax and focus. And for them to be in camp they must have everything there for them not to worry.
“Remember I played in European setting when we go camp we have nothing to do. The only thing we have to do is to take a shower and prepare for the game, everything is laid down here and so you have no excuse.
“So let the players not have an excuse, support them and let them go and bring back that cup."
The three-time African champions’ best outings were in 1994, 1998 and 2014 where they reached the round of 16.