Weah Believes African Nation Can Lift 2018 World Cup
George Weah Believes African Nation Can Lift 2018 World Cup
George Weah, Africa's only Ballon d'Or winner to date, believes a certain African nation could lift the FIFA World Cup in Russia if they can avoid off-pitch distractions such as bonus payment rows.
No African team has ever gone further than the quarter-finals of the World Cup, but there is excitement around the continent's representatives for 2018, namely Nigeria, Egypt, Senegal, Tunisia and Morocco.
The new president of Liberia, who starred for AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain in the 1990s, has insisted the Super Eagles could go all the way at Russia 2018.
"I have played with great Nigerian players, I played against them. Now you have a new generation, the fact that they qualified is a good thing for Nigeria," Weah said during a state visit with Nigeria president Muhammadu Buhari, as quoted by AS.
"But I hope they'll prepare very early because they're going to represent Africa and we'll be there to watch them, for them to bring the trophy for the first time if it’s possible."
Nigeria's most recent World Cup appearance, in Brazil in 2014, was overshadowed by a bonus payment row, with players deliberately missing training in order to force the Nigeria Football Federation to pay outstanding bonuses.
However, Weah has insisted the officials need to get their act in order so that players can focus fully on football.
"So, let the players not have an excuse, support them and bring back the cup," Weah added.
Nigeria have been drawn in Group D alongside Argentina, whom they beat 4-2 in a friendly in November, Iceland and Croatia.
Do you think any of the African teams has what it takes to lift the trophy in Russia? Have your say in the comments section below.