President General of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Rafiu Ladipo has challenged Nigerian players to do more in order to bring back glory not only for the country, but also for themselves as individuals.
Speaking on the occasion of the Joseph Yobo testimonial played in Port Harcourt, Nigeria’s number one football supporter, Ladipo said the current crop of players who wear the national colors would have to be more committed if they are to win accolades like national team players of old.
Ladipo without mincing words said majority of players who have played recently for the National team have not been as dedicated as players of the past.
“For us you can see it. In the last ten years how many Nigerians have won the African footballer of the year award?
“In the past we had Kanu Nwankwo, Rashidi Yekini, Emmanuel Amunike, and Victor Ikpeba. Those were the days when Nigerian players were giving their best.
Today how many of them can we say deserve to win the African player of the year? So the Nigerian player must come up and start doing well,” said Ladipo.
Nice words for Joseph Yobo
Ladipo however hailed Joseph Yobo as a dependable player in his playing days, a trait he said which saw him become the Super Eagles captain and also the first player to make a hundred appearances for the Super Eagles.
“For me and for members of the supporters club, Joseph Yobo has been a big person.
“A very fantastic and dependable player as well as a good captain who has given all his best in the service of the nation having done over a hundred caps.
There was nothing more befitting than what happened today, playing a ceremonial match and everybody came to honor him. I think the celebration was necessary.
“For my members we are all happy with him and we continue to remember him for all the good jobs he did for this country.”
The Supporters Club boss went on to advice, that current national team players would have to do as well as Yobo or even better, if the country would be ranked once again as one of the best footballing nations in the world.
“My advice is to ask other players to emulate him and probably do better than Yobo.
“Nigeria is a country, football is a continuous thing and our name should be high up there, we should be one of the best footballing nations in the world.
“So if in 1994 we were rated the 5th best and we are 62nd today, we are saying that we should move up, because that is not encouraging.
“So we are asking the Nigerian players to put in more effort and let’s start seeing them put in more effort than what they are doing.”