Former Super Eagles captain Joseph Yobo on Wednesday said that he had tipped in-form CD Leganes FC player, Kenneth Omeruo, to step into his shoes as a regular centre-back.
The retired footballer made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at his unveiling as brand ambassador of the inaugural Trophy 5-A-Side “Join the Field of Honour” competition.
NAN reports that Yobo capped 101 for Nigeria after he had starred for the country in three FIFA World Cup and Six African Cup of Nations (AFCON) after he made his debut against Zambia in 2002.
Yobo captained the senior national team in 2010 after the retirement of Kanu Nwankwo and went on to win the AFCON as a captain in 2013 with a 1-0 win over Burkina Faso in South Africa.
The 38-year-old also scored seven goals during his international career after his first goal against Madagascar in the 2012 AFCON qualifiers on Sept. 4.
Looking back at his successful years in the Green White Green jersey and a possible successor to the shoes he left behind, Yobo said that Omeruo was capable of taking over from him.
“I am happy for Omeruo because he played along with me. I am happy that he is fulfilling his potential because he is a good defender.
“Omeruo is someone I have hoped to take over from me and I am happy that he is in Spain and doing fantastically well.
“I am also happy other defenders such as Leon Balogun and other players are performing as well. It is always good that we have our defenders fit and at the moment doing well.
“Super Eagles team is presently doing well now and they need the support of all Nigerians to do well at the AFCON 2019,” he said.
Yobo, who once cut his teeth as Standard Liege of Belgium, Everton FC and Norwich FC of England and Fenerbache FC of Turkey as a player called for inclusion of fringe players for the Super Eagles qualifiers.
“The Super Eagles have now qualified for AFCON, so the game against Seychelles is not so important. It is important to give the upcoming and fringe players a chance.
“The Super Eagles can as well win the AFCON. It is possible because I was fascinated about the way they qualified for the tournament with a game in hand.
“We should note that qualifiers are always tough for Nigeria but it happened because the team build on the success from the World Cup.
“The future is bright for the team and I believe in them. In football you go into the tournament with the mind of winning but the team should take it one game after other,” he said.