Players of the Super Eagles have been reacting to their ouster from the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The Super Eagles were narrowly beaten 2-1 by Argentina on Tuesday.
Team captain John Mikel Obi said the defeat was very painful, considering the fight they put up against the Albiceleste.
“We fought until the end and we are all hurting with you. Your support has driven us throughout the World Cup and we cannot thank you enough,” Mikel said via his tweeted.
Many Nigerians have commended the midfield duo of Oghenekaro Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi for putting up a battling performance throughout the tournament.
But for Etebo, the match against Argentina was not an easy one.
“This was one of the toughest games of my career. The result didn’t go our way however I am truly honored and blessed to have this experience,”Etebo noted.
“To represent my country at a World Cup competing with the best players in the world at my age was a dream come true.”
Ndidi was no doubt crestfallen, but insisted it was a privilege representing Nigeria in Russia.
William Troost-Ekong was at the heart of defence fending-off the attacking forays of the desperate South Americans led by Lionel Messi.
He said it was sad that the Eagles conceded a goal so late into the game despite a “back-to-the-wall” effort by the whole team – particularly the defence.
“Hard to describe in words how that felt. It was an emotional roller coaster. We gave everything against Argentina. I’m grateful and proud to have represented Nigeria and all Nigerians at this World Cup,” he said.
“But most of all I am humbled and thank God for bringing me this far.”
Super Eagles goal keeper Carl Ikeme may not have been in Russia, but he kept tabs on his colleagues in Russia.
The Wolverhampton Wandrers keeper has been down with leukemia, and is just recovering from a rigorous surgery.
Ikeme captured the mood of the country and indeed the nation with these words.
“We are all naturally disappointed, but I’m so proud of the team. The heart and effort shown was immense, in time our young team will learn from this and be stronger . But I’m proud.“
Nigeria’s Eagles may be out, but this young team has plenty of time to regroup and make a statement in four years time.
They came, saw and conquered the heart of a nation.