George Weah, Liberia’s president, says the Super Eagles of Nigeria have the potential to win the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Weah said this on Monday while speaking with state house correspondents after being hosted by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“But I hope that they will prepare very early because they are going to represent Africa and we will be there to watch them, for them to bring the trophy for the first time if it is possible,” he said.
“Now you have a new generation, the fact that they qualified is a good thing for Nigeria. I must first say, Your Excellency, thank you very much because it’s not an easy task to qualify for the World Cup.”
He advised Nigeria to ensure early commencement of preparation for the World Cup and prompt payment of players’ remuneration for them to perform optimally.
“I want every African government to know, if you win the World Cup, it’s a pride to Africa, not just to Nigeria. So we must do everything to ensure that the players are not stressed, make sure they concentrate, make sure their incentives are given to them to motivate them,” he said.
“When players are going to camp, it is to relax and focus. And for them to be in camp, they must have everything there for them not to worry.”
Despite a glittering career during which he won many laurels, Weah laments being unable to play at the World Cup.
He said: “I have been fighting for so long for my national team to qualify. Imagine, I am the world best here in Africa, the only world best.
“And I said to President Macron[of France], that FIFA built one stadium in Liberia and we have one Ballon d’Or, so if you build 10 stadia in Liberia, you will have 10 Ballon d’Ors.”
The Liberian president remains the only African footballer in history to emerge as the best footballer in the world.