WE ARE NOT SCARED OF MESSI, MILITO â€“ ETUHU
Fulham midfielder Dickson Etuhu says the Super Eagles are not scared of Argentina's megastars as the country prepares to face the South Americans in their South Africa 2010 World Cup Group B opener in Johannesburg on June 12.
Etuhu, who helped Fulham reach the final of the Europa League last season, is one of the players that made coach Lars Lagerback's final 23-man squad for the tournament.
'We are very optimistic that the South Africa 2010 World Cup will be the country's best outing at the World Cup. A lot of people might not agree with because of the threat Argentina pose to our chances but I wish to say that Argentina with all their stars cannot intimidate us,' Etuhu told our correspondent on the telephone on Sunday.
'Nobody believes we can shock Argentina but we can. Though they parade the best players in the world like Lionel Messi, Diego Milito, Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and other stars, they should not hope to claim all three points when we meet.
'We know the task ahead of us is tough and that is why we must show strong character to prove to the world that we did not just qualify for the World Cup but are out to make a statement in South Africa .'
The former Manchester City player said coach Lagerback's experience would play a big role for the Eagles at the World Cup.
Etuhu said, 'I think the coach has a lot to give us. That is why we need to support him to achieve his aim. He has a lot to offer but he has been very careful making comments about his opponents which I think is good for a coach that has a mission.'
Etuhu, who was at the 2010 Africa Nations Cup in Angola in January, added that President Goodluck Jonathan's parting message to the team would serve as a morale booster for the Eagles.
'Yes, the President has shown us what he has for us and we have taken the responsibility to deliver for the country and the President for their support and motivation. I pray we won't let the country down in South Africa,' he said.