Nations’ Cup is immediate target- Ayila

Super Eagles midfielder, Yussuf Ayila says qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2012 is the immediate target of the team.

Ayila told that they must take the games one after the other and first look towards qualifying for the Nations Cup before any other thing.

“This team is young and though we have a lot ahead of us I believe our immediate target is to first qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations next year before any other thing.”

No comparison with US94

With the Eagles probably the highest scoring team since the class of 1994 that played in the World Cup, comparisons have begun to make the rounds but Ayila says it is too early for that.

“You can’t do that. That ‘94 team is still Nigeria’s best ever and I won’t compare them with us.

“Don’t get me wrong, I still believe this team is much better than we have had in a long time and maybe we will soon be able to compare them with the US 94 team but for now, I do not agree with that comparison.

European sojourn

Ayila has played in Ukraine for 8 years with Dinamo Kyiv but says he may not be in a hurry to leave.

“It is not like I cannot or do not want to leave but I need to move to a club that will have the same standards

“Eastern Europe is difficult but I’ve been there for eight years and it is now like home to me and I am comfortable with it,”

He added that he does not want to leave for a club with less standards than his current one just in a bid to move out.

“You know one thing? I am almost always sure of Champions League football every year so it won’t make sense to join an average team that does not play Champions League football.

Role model

Ayila believes he plays his football like retired France player, Patrick Vieira
who also inspired him to play and is his role model.

“I believe I play like him and I remember meeting him twice before; the last being at the Champions League last year and we spoke, hugged and did a picture together,

“I also want to end my career with something great for people to remember me by.
“You know like Austin Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu and Stephen Keshi; I wish I can end my career like any of them so Nigerians remember me for a long time.”

Born in 1984, Yussuf Ayila played for Union Bank, Enyimba and Julius Berger before moving to Ukraine to play for Dynamo Kyiv in 2003.

He has played 29 times for Nigeria and scored twice.
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