kanu believe it, man

ABUJA, NIGERIA - 1 June 2008, Nwankwo Kanu during the AFCON and 2010 World Cup Qualifier match between Nigeria and South Africa held at Abuja Stadium in Abuja in Nigeria.\nPhoto by Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images\n\nEVERGREEN: Nigeria captain Nkwankwo Kanu. page 33, sow 04/06/08.
ABUJA, NIGERIA - 1 June 2008, Nwankwo Kanu during the AFCON and 2010 World Cup Qualifier match between Nigeria and South Africa held at Abuja Stadium in Abuja in Nigeria.\nPhoto by Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images\n\nEVERGREEN: Nigeria captain Nkwankwo Kanu. page 33, sow 04/06/08.

Nkwankwo Kanu, captain of Nigeria's Super Eagles, has achieved many accolades globally but reckons playing in the 2010 World Cup finals will be a dream come true for him.

Nkwankwo Kanu, captain of Nigeria's Super Eagles, has achieved many accolades globally but reckons playing in the 2010 World Cup finals will be a dream come true for him.

"The World Cup coming to South Africa will be a historic event, it's coming here for the first time," said the big man popularly known as "Papilo" in Nigeria.

"It is the dream of every player to be in South Africa in 2010. I believe in God, that He will also give me the strength to be there too."

The veteran Portsmouth player told Sowetan he was delighted that the coming of the World Cup has generated a lot of interest globally.

"People all over the world are excited and looking forward to coming to our beloved continent and being part of the historic occasion."

On the playing field, Kanu said the big challenge facing African countries was to ensure that they do well in the 32-nation tournament.

"There will be no excuses. African teams will be under pressure to perform during the World Cup. We have to get our acts together so that we present solid teams.

"We have a tremendous amount of talent on the continent. There are many Africans who are doing well in the various leagues globally and we are proud of them.

"One or two African countries will reach the World Cup semifinals or final," said Kanu, who did not want to make a prediction about his favoured African countries.

Asked if he had plans retire after the World Cup, Kanu replied jokingly: "Are you saying you want to me to retire after the World Cup?

"I have been part of the Nigerian senior national team for quite sometime now, many great players have come and gone.

"I can only thank God that I'm still here. It's an honour to be part of the new team that coach Shaibu Amodu is building for the 2010 World Cup.

"I have no plans to retire anytime now."

John Obi Mikel, another Nigerian soccer star, said it was important for African countries to get players in the leagues abroad.

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