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EXCLUSIVE | Amunike: All African countries not doing well, not just Nigeria
Nigeria Super Eagles assistant coach responded to criticism regarding the nation’s failure to do well in international competitions, youth development and his time at Zamalek.
The Super Eagles have come under criticism of late for their failure to do well in international competitions such as the World Cup, despite having players who are contracted at some of Europe’s top clubs.
With footballers such as Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel and Ahmed Musa of CSCA Moscow, one could only wonder why some of the Super Eagles’ players have failed to replicate their scintillating club form for their national team.
Regarding the matter, Emmanuel Amunike dismissed all criticism.
“We are doing everything we can. You can’t just single out Nigeria for not doing well at international competitions,” Amunike told KingFut.
“All African countries have failed to do well, even Egypt. It’s a general question for all African countries. We can not single out Nigeria when all African countries are not doing well or qualifying. It is a problem for all of Africa.
Amunike is known for his good care of youth players, especially after he had won the U-17 FIFA World Cup with Nigeria last year beating African counterparts Mali, with many seeing that the generation of Victor Osimhen, Kelechi Nwakali and co. will guide Nigeria going forward.
Regarding youth development, the 45-year-old assured that everything is going to plan.
“We are working hard on it. Hopefully we give our best for the youth. Youth development is going really well,” Amunike referred to Nigeria’s U-17 World Cup triumph.
“Preparation is going great, there is definitely no problem with that.
Amunike himself had participated in the big competitions, being part of the Super Eagles’ squad that qualified to the World Cup in the USA, with Nigeria being the first ever African country to qualify to the World Cup. The former FC Barcelona player also won gold at the 1996 summer Olympics with his national team.
Before his international success, Amunike played for a few years at Cairo giants Zamalek. The coach remembers his time at the club till this very day.
“I spent a few years at Zamalek of course, and played several matches. I had a great time there to be honest,” Amunike said.
“I want to thank them, everyone that made this possible. I want to thank the fans in Egypt, not just Zamalek fans but everyone in Egypt for my time there.
“Everyone appreciated me in my playing days in Egypt with Zamalek. It was a real privilege to play in Egypt,” Amunike concluded.
The Nigeria assistant coach is set to return to Egypt as the Super Eagles face the Pharaohs in a couple of crucial back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in a few days, on the 25th in Kaduna, Nigeria and on the 29th in Alexandria’s Borg El-Arab stadium.