The Telegraph
Wednesday , February 13 , 2013
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Nigeria rose from the ashes: Chima

Calcutta: Nigeria’s long wait finally ended on Sunday when they defeated Burkina Faso in the final of African Nations Cup. It was their first major title after 19 years.

No wonder the entire Nigeria is elated and proud of the Super Eagles. And so are those like Chima Okerie, Edeh Chidi and Ranty Martins. They lavished praise on the Super Eagles.

The following are excerpts

Edeh Chidi: We’re really happy. As Nigerians, we’re certainly proud of what our players have achieved.

It’s a different feeling altogether for me and others who are far away from our native place. Celebrations must be full throttle there. We hadn’t won the trophy for a long period.

So I’m glad that it has finally come back to us. The present squad is an extremely balanced one and it reaped dividends having put in a superb effort. For me, the man who made the difference was Sunday Mba. Scoring the winner in the final is something a footballer dreams of.

And I would say Mba lived his dream. He’s got this capability of changing the complexion of a game single-handedly.

I believe Sunday may turn out as Nigeria’s man for the future. If he continues to be his consistency, he could be the next best thing.

Ranty Martins: I’m really glad and delighted. We had to wait for 19 years! I’m relieved that the occasion finally arrived. I watched the match on Sunday and had goose bumps when our captain Joseph Lobo lifted the trophy.

Chima Okerie: It was unbelievable… For me, Nigeria’s triumph in is more like coming back to life after death. I would say it’s like rising from the ashes.

Honestly speaking, I’m thrilled. Credit goes to coach Stephen Keshi who’s organised the side so well.

He’s now won it both as a footballer and as coach, which is truly a remarkable achievement. Take a bow, Keshi. He’s certainly given a balanced look to the team.

Also, Sunday is one of the players to watch out for. He looks set to go a long way.