By Emmanuel Afonne
Highly rated Flying Eagles young star Success Makanjuola has vowed to score and win the Man of the Match as a birthday gift for himself when Nigeria take on Qatar on Friday in Tychy, at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.
The Water FC of Abuja skillful Winger who is already attracting interests from top football clubs in Europe will turn 18 years on May 24, the same day the Flying Eagles are playing their first match at the World Cup.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria is drawn in Group D alongside Qatar, Ukraine and the U.S., but Makanjuola is optimistic the Flying would emerge as the best team from the group.
“It’s going to be a special day for me because Friday is my birthday and the only birthday gift I am praying to get is to score a goal in the game against Qatar and help my country pick up all three points in the game.
“We know it’s not going to be easy but with the kind of preparations we have been making, the squad is confident that we can start the tournament on a winning note, and that will be the best birthday gift I can ever ask for,” Makanjuola said.
The 18-year-old player is one of the hottest and much talked about player in the current Flying Eagles squad following his impressive display in the team’s build up to the World Cup.
NAN reports that Nigeria is hoping to win the FIFA U-20 World Cup for the first time in Poland and Flying Eagles Coach Paul Aigbogun has emphasised the need for his boys to begin their campaign on a winning note against Qatar.
Nigeria last appeared at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand, four years ago, where Coach Manu Garba’s wards were ousted in the Round of 16 by Germany in Christchurch.
The best the Flying Eagles have gone was when they won bronze medal 34 years ago in the former Soviet Union, seven-time champions of the African continent. The team finished as runners-up on two occasions in 1989 and 1995.