9th December, 2013
Iran captain Javad Nekounam says his team is not afraid of facing Argentina and Nigeria’s Super Eagles in the 2014 FIFA World Cup group stage.
Iran has been grouped with Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Nigeria in Group F.
“Iran has been grouped with three strong teams. Argentina, Nigeria and Bosnia and Herzegovina are powerful but we are going to do our best and defend our dignity,” Nekounam said in an interview with Tehran Times.
“We are not afraid of facing Argentina. They are one the best teams in the world and we will likely lose to them but we are not scared of anyone.
“The Nigerian team and Bosnia and Herzegovina are strong too. Argentina have good players and I think they are one of the favourites, but we are highly motivated too,” the 34-year-old midfielder added.
Meanwhile, Celtic and Nigeria defender Efe Ambrose has said the Eagles will go to the World Cup with no fear.
“To be the best, you have to beat the best. In football everything is possible, and it’s time for Africa to step up. Nobody knows – maybe it’s time for Africa to win the World Cup,” Efe told his club’s official website.
“Our group is fair; We’ll respect every country that we play in the World Cup. Everybody could qualify from that group. It’s football so you can’t write anybody off.
“Now we’ll just make sure that we’re prepared for the tournament so that we know our game-plan and are focused for when it begins.”
On the prospect of facing Lionel Messi during the Mundial, the Africa Cup of Nations winner believes Argentina are not all about the Barcelona star and insisted Nigeria will compete well with other countries in the group.