Super Eagles captain Ahmed Musa has revealed that former President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, helped to ensure his name was included in Nigeria’s 2018 FIFA World Cup squad.
According to Musa, Pinnick had to call Gernot Rohr, who was the Super Eagles coach at the time to ensure the German tactician included his name in the World Cup squad even though the forward was not playing at Leicester City.
The 31-year-old spoke in Lagos on Friday during a ceremony to unveil the team’s ‘Let’s Do It Again’ mantra in their bid to win a fourth AFCON title in Ivory Coast next year.
Musa said, “For the former President of the Nigerian Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, I can remember when I was at Leicester City and I was not playing. He called the Eagles coach (Gernot Rohr) and said, ‘no matter what, Ahmed Musa must be invited to the team.’ And I went to the (2018) World Cup and was one of the best players at the tournament. Why? Because he (Pinnick) believed in me.
“When I was playing for JUTH FC, he was the first person that wanted to sign me for Warri Wolves back then because he knew what he saw in me when I was playing in Nigeria. I will say thank you very much sir.”
He added, “Also, Aisha Falode always supported us, she’s not just about women’s football. She always encourages me and gives the team the moral support that we need.”
Most Nigerian fans interested in betting, not Eagles – Ahmed Musa
“Nowadays I understand what football is and the anger of the fans. Most of us don’t support Super Eagles because we like them, they will say, ‘hey dem don cut my ticket, give me my money’ (hey they’ve spoilt my ticket, refund my money). You’ll see on most of our DMs ‘you cut my ticket, you no sabi play’ (you spoilt my ticket, you don’t know how to play), it’s because they are bettors. “Before, you’ll see the love and passion for the team but nowadays, betting has spoilt everything. “So, please I am begging the media to please take it easy with these young boys, they can’t take too much pressure. That is why whenever they go onto the pitch to play they panic because they are thinking about what they are going to see on their accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. “What do you think forced Odion Ighalo out of Eagles? They threatened to kill his family and he had to quit. Why will you threaten to kill my family just because I play for my country. When you go outside you see how they worship us, but when you come back home they treat you like nobody. “Look at most of our ex-footballers, how they are doing. We understand we live big lives, but some of us don’t have that money to support them and this is why I’m going to plead with my father, the sports minister.” “We need something from you (sports minister) that is going to take care of our old players because we always see a lot of people complaining. Please, look into this matter because we understand what is going on. “That is why most of us now think of a business to invest in after football because that is when life starts. So, if you don’t plan well, we understand what happens. You need to enjoy, but some of us don’t have that privilege to play for big clubs and earn that big money.”