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2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Kanu delivers emotional Super Eagles pep talk before Ghana showdown

9:03 PM GMT+4 25/03/2022
Nwankwo Kanu
The two-time African Player of the Year is pumped ahead of Friday night’s World Cup qualification game between the Black Stars and Super Eagles

Nigeria legend Nwankwo Kanu is pumped up ahead of the Super Eagles’ 2022 Fifa World Cup play-off against Ghana, and has issued an emotional pep talk ahead of the fixture. 

Augustine Eguavoen’s men reached this stage after seeing off Cape Verde, Central African Republic and Liberia in the second round group stages, but know they have their destiny in their own hands as they visit Otto Addo’s men in Friday’s first leg.

"My country people! Yea, you know what it is. Nigeria versus Ghana - the battle - yes, World Cup qualifying,” Kanu said in a video posted on his Twitter handle, while bedecked in a Super Eagles kit. 

"We have to support our dear Super Eagles, we have to pray for them. 

Come on boys, you know you can do this home and away. No matter what happens, we have to be there [in Qatar]. 

Victory all the way, I wish you all the best. Good luck! You can do this. Can you believe? Believe, and we are going to be in the World Cup. 

Make Nigerians proud, make us proud, give everything and get us the result. We go in there, we win, we come out and finish it up in Nigeria. World Cup here we come!”

The two-time African Player of the Year knows what it takes to play in the global football showpiece, having participated in three editions (France 1998, South Korea & Japan 2002 and South Africa 2010).

In those tournaments, the lanky striker played in six matches - with his best outing a Round of 16 finish at the 1998 edition in France. 

Augustine Eguavoen’s men stuttered at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, and they know anything short of a place in Qatar 2022 will not be acceptable to Nigerian fans.

Nigeria will be without Wilfred Ndidi and Maduka Okoye due to contrasting reasons - however, Ademola Lookman and Calvin Bassey could be considered for the starting XI.

The hosts, on the other hand, will be missing the services of their inspirational captain Andre Ayew and Kamaldeen Sulemana, Baba Rahman and Edmund Addo through injury.

Kanu is one of the most decorated African players in history having won a Champions League winner’s medal with Ajax, a Uefa Cup medal with Inter Milan, two Premier League titles and an Olympic gold medal.