Leon Balogun hopes Super Eagles avoid injury ahead of FIFA World Cup
Super Eagles defender Leon Balogun has revealed that he hopes his teammates avoid injury to enhance the chances Nigeria doing well at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The Super Eagles are drawn in group D of the World Cup alongside Argentina, Croatia and Iceland.
The 29-year-old has been a key fixture for the Super Eagles during the World Cup qualification series forming a solid partnership with William Troost-Ekong.
In a report by the BBC, Balogun is optimistic about the chance of the Eagles doing well at the World Cup if he and his teammates can stay clear of injury.
Speaking about the Eagles chances Balogun is quoted to say Nigeria can perform well at the football fiesta.
“We have a team capable of doing well in Russia and this team can perform to expectations if we have everyone in great shape.”
Balogun then went on to express his fear that injury to the tea may be detrimental to the hopes of doing well.
He said, “As a professional, you don’t think so much about getting injured or avoiding it, you just give everything on the pitch for club and country.
“I know injuries come with football and if we are very lucky not have it, then all the players in Nigerian colours have the spirit to fight for success until the end.”
Balogun who made his debut for the Super Eagles in 2014 narrowly missed out on the squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup but stated that he is still motivated going into the tournament in Russia.
“I was very unlucky to miss the last tournament in Brazil and we’ve seen changes since then (managers and players), but we now have a good spirit going into the World Cup,” the Germany-born player added.
“Many players will be going for the first time and ready to shine on the biggest stage for football. It’s the dedication and passion that drives us as a team.”
Balogun also explained that the favourites for the tournament may suffer injuries which could hamper their chances.
“Some so-called big teams will also miss players due to injuries but we can only hope for the best and go to Russia with the same spirit we have now.”
Speaking on the Super Eagles upcoming friendlies against Congo, England, and the Czech Republic.
Balogun stated that the preparatory games were necessary going into the World Cup.
Balogun said, “We’ve enjoyed a good preparation so far and learning from our mistakes as well.”
“These last three matches will give us a chance to get in the right place for the World Cup.”
The new Brighton & Hove Albion defender is expected to be in action when Nigeria take on DR Congo in their first friendly match scheduled for Monday, 28 May in Port Harcourt.