Tuesday Oct 10, 2017. 12:00
Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel says he is grateful to God after helping the Super Eagles qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals which will be host by Russia.
The experienced midfielder led Nigeria during their successful World Cup qualifying campaign which saw them reach the finals as Group B winners.
Mikel was instrumetal in helping the Super Eagles beat Zambia 1-0 in a crucial Group B match in Uyo, Nigeria on Saturday and they became the first African side to qualify.
“This is really a dream come true," Mikel told the official Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) website.
"The team and myself, we worked very hard for this believing we could do it, and we are over the moon that our aspiration has been met.
“I want to commend everyone who has been involved in this: the players, the coaches, the backroom staff, the NFF," the Tianjin TEDA midfielder continued.
"It was not easy but we knew from the beginning that we would have to fight hard for every point and we did.”
The 30-year-old, who missed the 2010 finals in South Africa due to an injury, is now looking forward to next year's tournament having represented Nigeria at the last World Cup in Brazil.
“There is nothing one can do about that; everything comes in God’s time. I am grateful to God for this ticket and we will go to Russia and give our very best," he concluded.
Nigeria are scheduled to face Algeria away in their last Group B match next month.