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UCHE DENIES MEETING WITH LAGERBACK

By NBF NEWS
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Ifeanyi Ibeh
March 24, 2010 01:30AM
Super Eagles striker Ikechukwu Uche has disclosed that he did not have an audience with Lars Lagerback while the latter was in Spain but insists that he is optimistic about his chances of making the Nigerian team to the World Cup in South Africa.

The new Super Eagles coach was reportedly in Spain last weekend to meet with Super Eagles players based in the European country like Real Zaragoza's Uche, his elder brother Kalu of Almeria, and Victor Obinna who plays for another Spanish top division side Malaga.

Some reports in the Nigerian media have it that the Swede met up with Uche but the 25-year-old said that wasn't the case adding that the only Nigerian official that had physically been in touch with him in recent times was the president of the Nigeria Football Federation, Sani Lulu.

'I heard the coach was scheduled to be in Spain this past weekend but I didn't get to meet him,' disclosed Uche.

'There was no contact between him and I; not even a phone call. The only person I got to meet was the president (Lulu) who came around to see me a few weeks ago.'

Step by step recovery
Uche has made considerable improvement on his recovery from a career threatening injury and there had been reports in the media that he will be returning to action for Zaragoza by the middle of May. The former Getafe striker however insists he will be back well ahead of that date as he is in the final stage of his rehabilitation process and looking ahead to playing once again for both Zaragoza and the Super Eagles.

'Those reports are incorrect because I will definitely be back before then. My doctor has assured me of that,' continued Uche. 'I have been doing a lot of things in the gym and on the field. I have even started playing (with a ball) and hopefully it won't be long before I start playing again for my club and country.

'I want to help my club and I want to go to the World Cup but I can't rush it as everything has to be done step by step.'

Merciless Messi
Zaragoza have been struggling in the La Liga and were last weekend on the receiving end of a 4-2 home defeat at the hands of Barcelona. Lionel Messi grabbed a hat trick for the league champions in that tie and Uche insists the Argentinian forward is in a class of his own.

'We tried to come back into the game from three-nil down but Messi had other ideas. He is an exceptional player and he won the game for Barcelona,' added Uche.