Nigeria are going to World Cup to win it, says Ikechukwu Ezenwa
Nigeria goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa says that the Super Eagles are targeting the trophy when they travel to Russia for the World Cup in three months.
The West African giants have never before advanced past the Round of 16 on world football's grandest stage, but the stopper has revealed that Nigeria are aiming to better Africa's best ever performance at the tournament and secure at last a last-four finish.
"We're looking to go forward as far as the semi final or final," the Enyimba man told Goal, "and I think that's every player's dream.
"When you go to a competition, you have the ambition [that you] want to lift the trophy, and that's the zeal we're going there with," he added. "I think with God, all things are possible."
Nigeria are set to embark on their seventh World Cup campaign, having fallen at the first hurdle on three occasions, but making the Round of 16 in their other three outings.
They ended a hat-trick of consecutive first-round eliminations when they advanced from a group containing Iran, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Argentina in Brazil four years ago, and Ezenwa is exciting about the prospect of meeting the Albiceleste again.
Remarkably, the Super Eagles have faced the South American giants in five of their six World Cup outings to date, although while the two nations typically meet early on in the tournament, on this occasion they'll contest the final group game.
"I think it is a twist," Ezenwa added. "Normally in other World Cups we play Argentina in the first games, but it's turned around this time.
"It's not about playing them in the last game, but [about] winning our first and second games to qualify for the next round," he concluded. "The most important thing still remains winning our first two games against Croatia and Iceland to qualify before playing Argentina."
Ezenwa will be part of the Nigeria squad that face Poland in an international friendly in Wroclaw on Friday before squaring up against Serbia in London four days later.