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EAGLES DEFENDERS'LL EXCEL – SODJE

By NBF News
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Efe Sodje
Ex-international Efe Sodje has expressed confidence in the Super Eagles' backline to give adequate cover for their goalkeeper at the World Cup in South Africa.

Despite concerns for the ability of the defenders to withstand top-class opposition, Sodje, who was at the 2002 World Cup Korea/Japan, insisted that the defenders selected for the tournament by coach Lars Lagerback could stop Argentine, Greek and Korean strikers in their group games.

'They are the best because if you are representing your country in an event like the World Cup, you have to be the best in your position.

'I am not the coach but Nigerians have spoken and the coach has done his job. What remains now is for us to give him the desired support to succeed in South Africa,' Sodje, who now plays for Bury in the English second division, said.

The hard-as-nails defender however refused to comment on the exclusion of his younger brother, Sam, from the World Cup squad.

The Charlton central defender was initially in coach Lars Lagerback's 44-man list but like 13 other players on the list, he was dropped when the list was reduced to 30 without being tested by the Swede manager.

If Sam had made the squad, the Sodje family would have entered the history books as the first brothers to play at the World Cup for Nigeria at the senior level.

'I believe the defenders that were selected for the trip to South Africa can handle anybody but I am not going to comment on the exclusion of Sam from the team,' he added.

Although born in England, Sodje, like his brother, Sam, chose to represent Nigeria at international level. He was part of the squad that finished second to Cameroon in the 2000 African Cup of Nations and went on to make two appearances against Argentina and England at the 2002 World Cup.

Sodje scored once in nine appearances for Nigeria between 2000 and 2002.