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Just at a time, some football fans are calling on Jude Odion Ighalo to quit the Super Eagles on account of his poor performance at the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament, the China-based forward asked all requesting for his retirement from the national team to do a rethink as he is not done yet with international football.
Yes, the former Watford striker is still motivated to play on for the Super Eagles since he is yet to win any major laurel with the national team. Perhaps he has his eyes on Cameroun 2019 AFCON. If he helps Eagles with enough goals, who knows, that tournament could just be his. His goals may propel Eagles to soar highest in Cameroun to win the AFCON which would be his desire and then, he could be considering retirement after the next World Cup since his eyes would be on Qatar. But if the team fails to land in Qatar then, he could as well bid the national team farewell.
In the last two AFCON qualification fixtures, Ighalo has netted five goals. Of course, every football loving Nigerian would have loved to see these goals rain in Russia. Five goals from a striker or from Ighalo would have mathematically taken Super Eagles to the second round if not quarter final of the mundial because the goals would have aided the team to beat its group opponents roundly. Again, the goals would have inspired Ighalo to move closer to the top scorer hunt…. after all the Golden Boot winner at the World Cup, Harry Kane had six goals. Again, five goals for Ighalo in Russia would have pulled him out of China as top European clubs would have been attracted to his services. So where did Ighalo kerp these goals? Or better still why hide the goals when they mattered most? Or was Ighalo overwhelmed by the big stage in Russia, talking about the World Cup?
Many who are angered by the sitter missed by Ighalo against Argentina at the World Cup which he later apologised for are yet to forgive him even as they compare him with ex-Eagles forward, Yakubu Aiyegbeni who missed what FIFA rated as the “Greatest miss of all time” at the 2010 World Cup against South Korea.
Ighalo who failed to register his name in the scorers’ sheet at the World Cup could be attempting to make up to his fans by banging in the goals that will not only shoot Super Eagles to Cameroun but should also help to win the 2019 AFCON. He surely has rediscovered his goal scoring prowess and magic after firing blanks in Russia. He has found the tonic that attracts the goals. He has revived his weak talismanic spirit and now set to run down defences and become goalkeepers’ nightmare. He is now the leading scorer of AFCON qualifiers.
Ighalo’s fans can only ask, wish or desire that the goals continue to rain. He almost lost his lead striker’s shirt prior to the World Cup following his goals drought before and during the World Cup. It was on account of the goals famine he experienced that led Gernot Rohr to search for forwards which brought in Simeon “Simmy” Nwankwo of Crotone of Italy and almost opened doors for Obafemi Martins recall to the team But now that the goals drought seems over, Super Eagles fans can only hope for the best as they set their eyes and minds on Cameroun 2019 AFCON which could be Ighalo’s tournament.