Ahmed Musa, the captain of the Super Eagles, has discussed the reasons behind the departures of Mikel Obi, Victor Moses, and Odion Ighalo from the Nigerian national team.
He attributes their decision to retire to the intense scrutiny they faced from Nigerian fans.
Prior to Nigeria’s game against Zimbabwe, Musa sheds light on the role of media reports in influencing the retirements of these experienced players.
“We lost crucial players due to media pressure,” lamented Musa, expressing the team’s ongoing need for players like Mikel Obi and Victor Moses.
Despite the introduction of young talent, Musa stresses the importance of having experienced players to guide them, as their absence is currently being felt within the team.
Mikel said goodbye to the Super Eagles in 2019 after the Africa Cup of Nations, while Moses left following the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Musa appeals to the media for more leniency towards young players, acknowledging the pressure they endure from fans’ expectations.
“I implore the media to ease the pressure on these young talents. They can’t perform under constant scrutiny,” pleaded Musa.
Additionally, Musa disclosed the distressing circumstances surrounding Ighalo’s departure, citing death threats on social media directed at the striker and his family.
“Why force Ighalo out with threats against his family? It’s disheartening to be treated this way after representing our country,” expressed Musa.
Ighalo initially retired after the 2019 AFCON but faced obstacles returning for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations due to club restrictions imposed by Al Shabab.