2014 World Cup is next target, says Efe
Efe Ambrose has said Nigeria will now shift focus to qualifying for next year’s World Cup after they won the AFCON. Nigeria are top of a qualifying group that has Malawi, Namibia and Kenya with four points. They host bottom team Kenya on March 22 in continuation of the qualifying series and the utility defender said the Eagles were fired to win the AFCON after they were not given a chance. The Glasgow Celtic defender, who was named as the best right back of the tournament, said in an interview that unity, determination and zeal to make history galvanised them to be crowned African champions.
How does it feel being an African champion?
It is a great feeling. I am on top of the world and give God the glory for making it happen. We are worthy champions because we worked for it.
Nobody gave the Super Eagles any chance to win the trophy, what did that do to the team?
Honestly, we were seen as underdogs before the competition started. Many believed Cote d’Ivoire or Ghana will win the title and I believe that is one of the reasons why we are now champions of Africa.
How do you mean?
You know we were not under pressure as people were not expecting us to win, that made us to be determined to write our name in gold, work harder and make Nigeria proud. I thank God he made it happen for us. We worked hard and believe in God.
Who would you dedicate the victory in South Africa to?
I dedicate the victory to God who has crowned my efforts and that of the team. I also dedicate it to my family and all Nigerians who stood by us while the competition lasted.
Who influenced you the most in the team?
Everybody did his best to achieve this. We are one big family. We talked to ourselves and played for ourselves on the pitch.
You were named the best right back at the tournament, how do you feel about this?
I give God all the glory for giving me the strength to do well. It is not only me, but it happened due to the contributions of my teammates who did well on the field to make my job easier. The coach too did a great job on me and the team. Above all, I thank all the fans and supporters who prayed for me and the team while the tournament lasted.
After winning the AFCON, what is your next target?
That is the Brazil 2014 World Cup. We have qualifiers by next month and so I want to do my best and help Nigeria qualify for that.
What of the FIFA Confederations Cup, which will take place in Brazil in June?
It will be a big tournament too where we will fly Africa’s flag. I am looking forward to that too, but the World Cup is the main target for me. That is the biggest stage.