Ikepba : Fans Described Us As Being Useless Before We Won Gold

Former Super Eagles winger, Victor Ikpeba talks about the Dream Team’s route to winning Nigeria’s first ever gold at Olympics; npflupdates.com reports.

Victor was part of the Dream Team that won gold in men’s football category at the 1996 Summer Olympics games in Atlanta Georgia, USA.

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Initially, it doesn’t seem to be a journey to remember for the Dream Team, then tutored by Bonfere Jo, especially after performing badly in their warm-up games.

Nwankwo Kanu, Super Eagles legend and former Captain was in the same squad as Victor Ikpeba

“Our preparations before arriving in the United States weren’t particularly good. We lost to Togo in Lagos, and our supporters kept on saying we were useless,” Ikpeba told FIFA.com

“We landed in Tallahassee in Florida, where we faced some logistical problems. It wasn’t easy, but we kept believing thanks to the fact that we had a squad filled with top players like Jay‑Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu and Taribo West.

“I’d say that we only started to think about winning after our semi‑final victory over a Brazil side featuring the likes of Bebeto, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo and Rivaldo. We were 3‑1 down in that match, but managed to draw level at 3‑3 before going on to win 4‑3 in extra time.

“God was on our side.”

Speaking further, the former CAF African Player of the Year revealed that winning an Olympic Gold was a remarkable achievement which he’d cherish for a long time.

“It was a truly unforgettable tournament. I was thrilled to take part in it, represent Nigeria and, in particular, to emerge victorious,” he said.

Victor Ikpeba celebrate his goal against Brazil in Atlanta

“When I look back on it, I realise just what an amazing achievement it was.

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“We went on an extraordinary run by beating Mexico 2‑0 in the quarter‑finals, Brazil 4‑3 in the semis and Argentina 3‑2 in the final.

“I can picture myself 28 years ago with that gold medal dangling around my neck. I was ever so proud of that feat and to be a member of the very first African side to be crowned Olympic champions.”

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