Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan has demanded the 'Super Eagles' return from the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa this July with the biggest prize in international football.
Jonathan, who said Friday he will attend the opening ceremony on 11 June when South Africa face Mexico, will also watch Nigeria's tournament opener against Argentina on 12 June at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg. Nigeria are drawn in Group B along with Argentina, Korea Republic and Greece and the country's president expects the Super Eagles to soar into the next round and on to the Final.
Speaking at a special dinner to send the Super Eagles off to the World Cup on Friday, Jonathan referenced Nigeria's independence, which will be celebrated on 1 October after 50 years. "This is a call to national duty and I expect the Eagles to prepare well and win this trophy. That will be a birthday gift for our country and set the stage for a golden jubilee celebration of our independence as a nation," added Jonathan, who shook hands with the entire Nigeria squad led by coach Lars Lagerback. "Play, win and we will make you smile."
The team departed Saturday morning from the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport Abuja for London, where they will continue their preparation for the World Cup. On Tuesday, they tackle Saudi Arabia in a warm-up game in Austria. Nigeria's biggest achievement at the World Cup so far was reaching the second round in both 1994 and 1998.