The Junior Selecao of Brazil flaunt an intimidating credential going into this year’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup. Aside being five-time winners of the competition, the Brazilians had always proved hard nuts to crack for Nigeria, but Flying Eagles’ striker Kelechi Iheanacho says the Brazil riddle would be solved this time around.
Nigeria and Brazil are nestled in the same first round group along with North Korea and Hungary at the competition, which starts tomorrow in New Zealand, with the Flying Eagles set to play the Junior Selecao in the group’s opening game on June 1. Iheanacho, who joined the team in Auckland enroute to match venue New Plymouth, said they would go for broke against the team who finished fourth in the South American qualifiers.
“We hope to scale through in our first game against Brazil and go on from there,” said the Manchester City starlet. “Yes, they have won five times, but that time is past.
This is a new generation and a new competition. It will be determined in 90 minutes. “We have to do well as a team, put in our best for us to beat them because they are also a very good team.
And then take it on from there and face the other teams in our group. “It will be a very good experience for me and the team as well.
We hope we will do much better than we did with the Under-17s because we have grown up now and this is another level of football so we have to perfect many things we did not do with the Under- 17s and play more professionally.”
The 18-year-old, who missed Flying Eagles’ three-week training tour of Germany, expects his past experience (gained at the Under-17 level) with the squad to come in handy at the World Cup.
“I would have loved to be in Germany with the team, but I encountered visa issues and coupled with my injury, it was not possible to come down,” he said. “I am fit now and I’m ready to go at the World Cup.”