Arsenal training boosts Iwobi

Alex Iwobi has says that training with talented players at Arsenal should stand him in good stead for Nigeria’s World Cup campaign.

The Super Eagles face Croatia in their opening group game in Kaliningrad on June 16, before taking on tournament debutants Iceland and Lionel Messi’s Argentina, who lost in the final four years ago.

Nigeria have been drawn in the same group as the Albiceleste in each of their last three World Cup appearances, narrowly losing 1-0 in 2002 and 2010, before going down 3-2 in Brazil last time out.

But Iwobi in an interview with FourFourTwo said he believes his experience working with stars such as Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan can help Nigeria finally upset the odds when they meet the South American giants in St Petersburg.

Speaking in the June 2018 issue of FourFourTwo, he says: “The fact I’ve been training with world-class players every day has given me a bit of experience, so I’ll know what to expect in Russia. The intensity I train at with Arsenal is very high, so I’m preparing in a good way. I feel like I can do well.”

Iwobi proved the hero for Nigeria last October, when his goal against Zambia secured a 1-0 win for the Super Eagles and booked their berth at a third consecutive finals. The 21-year-old, who has earned 15 caps, admits he couldn’t hold back the tears when he spotted his parents celebrating.

“It’s difficult to describe, as the feeling was crazy,” he says. “I remember looking at the crowd and seeing my parents jumping – I almost cried, it was emotional. It was always my dream as a kid so I can't wait to be involved. I'm looking forward to the atmosphere and wearing the colours of Nigeria.

“I would never have guessed I’d do something like that so early in my career. I had dreams about it, but the fact that my dreams came true – I can’t put into words how I felt. After the game I went to the hotel and my mum and dad were both there. Just seeing them, I almost burst into tears again.”

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