Super Eagles Yobo: I want to play

Joseph Yobo

Nigeria skipper Joseph Yobo has declared his willingness to feature in Wednesday’s AFCON semi-final against Mali in Durban.

According  to,  the experienced 32-year-old Fenerbache centre-back has only played a bit role since he twisted his ankle in the Eagles opening group game against Burkina Faso as Godfrey Oboabona and Kenneth Omeruo have formed a fantastic understanding in the heart of the back four.

Unconfirmed reports have suggested that Yobo is unhappy with his limited game time even when he has fully recovered from injury and even threatened to walk out on the team.

“I’m hungry, I want to play. I want to give what I have got and after the World Cup, I would retire,” Yobo said.

Yobo and Mali skipper Seydou Keita clashed at the quarterfinal of the 1999 FIFA U20 World Cup, which Nigeria hosted, and both captains could again come face-to-face on Wednesday at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

“I wish to be on the pitch so I could answer this question better,” replied Yobo when asked how he would feel facing Keita again 14 years after they first clashed.

Yobo dismissed fears that Nigeria may struggle to motivate themselves against a less fancied Mali after their fired-up display against tournament favourites Cote d’Ivoire on Sunday.

“Every team is motivated at this stage of the competition because we all want to reach the final and hopefully win the cup,” he explained.

“We’re highly motivated because we want to get to the final. That’s a big motivation.

“This is a special game and it’s important we win it.

“There is no big difference how we play as we are both physically and tactically strong.

“We have more confidence, self belief, after our game against Cote d’Ivoire but it won’t be easy.”