Glasgow Rangers of Scotland midfielder, Joe Aribo has put aside worries over the head cut he got during action with his club on Wednesday to talk about his expectations from starring for the Super Eagles in the upcoming international friendly against Brazil, which he says will be a massive game for the Nigerian national side.
Aribo went on to declare that top notch matches cannot come bigger than a clash with Brazil, either friendly or competitive, hence his determination to be part of the Eagles’ arsenal for the October 13 fixture in Singapore.
After netting on his Eagles’ debut in a 2-2 draw with Ukraine at the start of this month, Aribo is eager to get another outing in green-and-white, as he continues living the long held dream of being a national team player, just four years after toiling with English non-league side, Staines.
After cutting his teeth with Staines, the 23-year-old London-born midfielder enjoyed a meteoric rise at former English Premier League campaigners, Charlton Athletic, and his summer move to Ibrox earned him appearances in the UEFA Europa League and subsequent recognition with the Nigerian national team, which Aribo says he cherishes more than gold.
After making a scoring debut for Nigeria in a 2-2 friendly draw with Ukraine in Dnipro, Aribo is now eager to consolidate on his national team bow, hence his determination to be part of the squad that will battle Brazil, with a verdict that no other match could be as big as battling the South American giants and their vast array of superstars..
Aribo declared: “Games don’t come much bigger than Brazil and we know they’ve got a lot of stars like Neymar. That’s the type of opponents I want to be playing against and it would be good to swap a jersey with one of those superstars.
“I’ll see so many stars. I’ll take a moment to realise that’s what I’ve been dreaming of. Everyone in my generation loved players like Ronaldinho and he played with some of the players in this team now so it’s like ‘wow.’
“I didn’t think international recognition would come so soon but it shows the stature of Rangers and why it was a good decision to come here. The manager watched the game and congratulated me on my debut goal against Ukraine. It was good to play against opponents like that, because Ukraine have a lot of top players.
“It was very good news to be called up to the Nigeria squad again. I’m happy I was able to do enough in the last game to earn a recall. I knew a few of the lads such as Ola Aina and Alex Iwobi and they all welcomed me and made me feel at home.
“I read the headline where a journalist compared me to Okocha after the Ukraine game and that’s putting a lot of pressure on me! I could have played for England but my parents are from Nigeria and I always watched players like Jay-Jay Okocha and Nwankwo Kanu as a kid.”