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Published On: Tue, May 13th, 2014

World Cup: Orleans invest chairman tips Nigeria, Italy for final

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Mr Gabriele VolpiBy Albert Akota

The Chairman of Orleans Invest West Africa Limited, Mr. Gabriele Volpi has tipped former world champions, Italy and current Africa champions, Nigeria for the final of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The Super Eagles best outing at the quadrennial global football showpiece were at USA’94 and France’98 World Cups where the side exited at the second round stage of the competition.

But Volpi, in a chat with sports reporters in Abuja, expressed confident that Coach Stephen Keshi and his boys will emulate the Nigeria’s U-17 team, Golden Eaglets who won the FIFA U-17 World Cup last year in UEA and do country proud in Brazil.

“I hope Nigeria will do exactly what the U-17 team achieved last year in Dubai, though; it is difficult to say because you have Brazil, Argentina, Spain and too many big teams, but Nigeria would get to the final.

“Nigeria won the Africa Cup of Nations last year and also in Brazil for the Confederation Cup.

“I am tipping Nigeria and Italy to play final. Italy is one of the best team in Europe and I believe they will reach the final.

“I hope the Super Eagles will do the same as the U-17 team that won the FIFA U-17 World Cup last year, but I can predict because Brazil, Argentina, Spain can’t overrun the Eagles but Nigeria is doing very well as well as others Africa teams in general,” Volpi said.

Volpi said that it was possible to perform well in the 2014 World Cup and exceed the expectations of the fans if preparations could start early.

With the caliber of players in the squad, I believe they can do very well. It is achievable, if they put in necessary work from now until next month.

“I want the players to listen to the coach and follow his orders because I know Stephen Keshi knows what to do,’’ he advised.

Nigeria is placed in Group F along with Bosnia-Herzegovina, Argentina and Iran and the Eagles will take on Iran in their first match on June 19 while Italy grouped among two former world champions, Uruguay, England and Costa Rica to contest with in group D.

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