Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo sends message to Portugal ahead of clash with Morocco

Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo sends message to Portugal ahead of clash with Morocco

  • Odion Ighalo has sent his wishes to Morocco as the Atlas Lions remain the only African side in the World Cup
  • The North Africans will take on Portugal on Saturday evening in a highly-anticipating quarter-final clash
  • Ighalo has warned that big names do not matter in football any longer, adding that hard work is key

Super Eagles forward Odion Ighalo has suggested that it is possible for Morocco to pull strings of surprises to beat Portugal in the quarter-final of the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The Atlas Lions became the fourth African team to reach the last eight of the World Cup after Cameroon (1990), Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010).

The North African side reached the stage by defeating one of the tournament favourites Spain via a penalty shoot-out.

Odion Ighalo, Morocco, Portugal, Qatar, World Cup
Odion Ighalo has thrown his weight of support behind Morrocco. Photo: Ian MacNicol
Source: Getty Images

Morocco held Spain to a goalless draw for the full 90 minutes and there were no goals in extra time as the tie was decided by spot kicks.

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Spain failed to convert any of their takes as Morocco won the tie 3-0 after the shoot-out to set up a tantalising clash with Spain in the quarter-final.

And Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia striker Odion Ighalo believes nothing is impossible but admitted that it will be a herculean task for the North Africans.

He told The Athletic:

“Names don’t play football — if you work hard and give everything on the field you have every chance to get through, so one mistake could cost any team. So I wish
“Morocco all the best, but as an African, I hope the best side wins.”

Mikel Obi rooting for Argentina

Sports Brief earlier reported that former Nigerian international Mikel Obi has minced no words in saying he wants Lionel Messi to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Argentina are through to the semi-final stage of the competition, following a win over the Netherlands on Friday night.

Many have tipped the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner to win the World Cup before he retires, but at age 35, his last attempt could be in Qatar.