Super Eagles captain Ahmed Musa, has blamed the passionate Nigerian fans for the exit of the trio Mikel Obi, Victor Moses, and Odion Ighalo from the national team, SUNDAY PUNCH reports.
Speaking ahead of Nigeria’s clash against Zimbabwe in a matchday two World Cup qualifier at Stade Huye in Butare, Rwanda, Musa addressing the circumstances surrounding the retirement of these experienced players.
“We have a lot of players who should not have retired from the team when they did but it was what the media reported that forced them out,” Musa lamented.
“As you can see, we still need someone like Mikel Obi in the team, we still need Victor Moses. “It’s not all about young players in the team because you need players to take them along, but right now we don’t have that.”
Mikel retired from the Super Eagles team in 2019 after Nigeria finished third at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt while Moses bowed out of the team after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Musa however, urged the media to ease the pressure on the younger players in the team, acknowledging the strain they endure from fans.
“Please, I am begging the media to please take it easy with these young boys, they can’t take too much pressure.
“That is why whenever they go onto the pitch to play they panic because they are thinking about what they are going to see on their accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.”
Musa also revealed the troubling circumstances behind Ighalo’s exit after the striker and his family recieved death threats on social media.
“What do you think forced Odion Ighalo out of Eagles? They threatened to kill his family, and he had to quit.
“Why will you threaten to kill my family just because I play for my country. When you go outside, you see how they worship us, but when you come back home they treat you like nobody,” he said.
Ighalo announced his retirement from the international scene after the 2019 AFCON tournament but was recalled to the Nigeria team for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. However, his club, Al Shabab, blocked him from taking part.
Musa made his debut for the Super Eagles at the age of 17 on August 2, 2010 against Madagascar and was a part of the team that won the AFCON 2013 in South Africa. The 31-year-old holds the record for the most appearances for the national team with 108 games played.