Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr, has admitted that the team is not the favourite, to clinch the sole ticket to the 2018 World Cup, from Group B of Africa’s qualifying series.
Although the German said that Algeria and Cameroon are stronger teams, he promised to do everything possible, to ensure Nigeria make it to Russia.
According to the former coach of Gabon and Burkina Faso national teams: “It is a very big challenge and I accept it, I know that it will be difficult but I believe that we can succeed.
“The challenge is to go to Russia. We did a step with the first match which was like a training game and the victory was good. It shows that they can do it. We have seen other good teams in our group like Algeria and Cameroon.
“Actually Nigeria is no longer ranked top in Africa. I don’t know why, they are not even in the top 10 but ranked 16 in Africa. So they are not the favourite.
“The favourites are Algeria and Cameroon. Nigeria was not at the last AFCON and will not still be going to the next one, but we will go to the World Cup.”
Chelsea midfielder, Mikel John Obi, has lifted the lid on what really went on, as Nigeria’s U-23 team prepared for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil.
The 29-year-old captained the Dream Team VI to bronze in men’s football, despite the many challenges they were faced with before the competition.
“It wasn’t a great experience in the build-up in Atlanta (training camp). There was no food for the guys, no bus to go to training, no pitch to train on,” he told Chelsea’s official website.
“Coming into the team I tried to help as much as I can. The boys had suffered for two years, working very hard trying to play in Rio. I wanted to help as much as I could and they all say they owe me. It’s a great achievement that we managed to go there and win a medal (a bronze).”
Mikel Obi also compared his roles at Chelsea and his country, where he tends to score more.
“I always do (score) when I play for the national team! I tend to push a bit further forward and express myself a little bit more, so there is more responsibility to create chances, and if I can get one or two goals here and there it’s great.”
Bigger is always best – especially in Dubai. The city is always changing with new architectural masterpieces, marinas and canals appearing almost overnight. Apart from world famous landmarks, Dubai is also known for its shopping. The 2016 Global Retail Destination Index from Savills ranked Dubai higher than Fifth Avenue in New York, Regent Street in London and Champs-Elysees in Paris in terms of overall retail facility and amenities quality.
Dubai is not only a top global retail destination; it also offers an array of contrasting cultures, stunning beaches and rolling desert sand dunes. VIP Express Tourism Limited compiled this list of the Top 10 Dubai attractions to ensure the first time visitor and seasoned traveller can experience all the best Dubai has to offer.
1. Burj Khalifa
Standing at over 828 metres high, the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa is hard to miss. It dominates the Dubai city skyline from 2010 but the true grandeur of the building is best appreciated up close. Make sure you experience the stunning unobstructed 360-degree view from the At the Top observation deck on level 124 or, even better, from the world’s highest outdoor observation deck on the 148th floor.
2. The Dubai Mall
Next stop shopping! Known as the largest mall in the world by total area, the Dubai Mall is right next to the Burj Khalifa. This sprawling mall features over 1200 shops and 150 restaurants. The venue is home to an indoor theme park, an ice rink, a huge indoor waterfall, as well as a giant aquarium and underwater zoo. Even an entire day spent here isn’t enough to see it all so make sure you dedicate a whole day for this visit!
3. Palm Jumeirah
Palm Jumeirah is one of the largest artificial islands in the world. With a monorail running down the two kilometre long ‘trunk’ that connects to the mainland’s tram system, getting there is easy. This stunning feat of human ingenuity features a crown made up of 17 fronds and a surrounding crescent. Locals and tourists alike enjoy the Palm’s vast array of high-end hotels, including the Waldorf Astoria, Fairmont, One & Only, and the iconic Atlantis, The Palm. Apart from the beautiful villas and hotels that will blow your mind, a visit to Palm Jumeirah also offer an excellent view of Dubai from some distance plus access to a range of water sports.
4. Burj Al Arab
With its distinctive sail-shaped silhouette, Burj Al Arab is one of the symbols of modern Dubai. Overlooking the Persian Gulf from its perch between Palm Islands and the Jumeirah Beach, this stunning building has been admired for its architectural design and construction accomplishment since it opened in 1999. Built on sand, not rock, the 280meter tall structure has an ultra-lavish interior and has been voted as the world’s most luxurious hotel on numerous occasions. There are various viewpoints but one of the best is from the public beach next to Burj Al Arab, for the ultimate Dubai photograph.
5. Al Fahidi Historical District
The Al Fahidi historical district in Bur Dubai is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city. Formerly known as the Bastakia Quarter, this area is best enjoyed on foot. Here you will find a nostalgic view of a bygone era that showcase sand coloured houses with traditional wind towers and a maze of winding alleyways. Built in the early 1900’s, this charming neighbourhood features museums, craft shops, cultural exhibits, courtyard cafes and art galleries. Include a visit to the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) where guests can take part in Arabic classes, heritage tours and guided mosque visits to better appreciate the local culture.
6. Dubai fountains
Situated outside the Dubai Mall and surrounded by a lively hub of restaurants, the Dubai fountains is both spectacular and exciting. It is the world’s largest fountain and consists of a 275 meter long central arc of jets joined to a smaller arc and five circles of jets. This choreographed fountain is the most popular free tourist attraction in the city and has a musical repertoire that includes Thriller by the late Michael Jackson, Sama Dubai, Baba Yetu (an award-winning song in Swahili), the Arab world’s top-selling dance number Shik Shak Shok, and Time to Say Goodbye, by the world-renowned Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli. An incredible light show makes viewing the Dubai fountains at night definitely worth your while.
7. The desert
Less than 20 minutes from Downtown Dubai, you can experience the marvels of the Arabian Desert. The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is the UAE’s first national park and a must for every visit to Dubai. Enjoy a desert safari with your choice of dune bashing, quad biking, camel rides or a hot-air balloon flight over the sand at sunrise. Make sure you wear comfortable clothes and have your camera ready to capture the breath-taking views.
8. Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina is an artificial canal city, built along a three kilometres stretch of Persian Gulf shoreline. Another big one for Dubai, this is the world’s largest man-made marina and features a dramatic skyline especially when illuminated at night. Marvel at some of the world’s tallest apartment buildings as you stroll along Dubai Marina Walk or see it from the water as you set sail from the Dubai Marina Yacht Club.
9. The Gold Souk
If you are ready to haggle for it, you will find your share of some of the world’s cheapest bling in the dazzling Gold Souk. The myriad of stores offer a massive selection of fine gold, platinum, diamond and occasionally silver jewellery. With tight government enforced quality control, you can be sure your purchases here will be genuine. Even if you do not intent to make any purchases, strolling through the labyrinth of covered walk ways is a unique experience not to be missed.
10. More shopping at Khan Murjan
The Khan Murjan souk brings the authentic splendour of a 14th century souk to the heart of 21st century modern Dubai. The underground shopping maze is based on an ancient subterranean market in Baghdad and features four sections inspired by Turkish, Egyptian, Moroccan and Syrian architecture. Throughout the four quarters of Khan Murjan you’ll find various shops and vendors from across the Arab world. Leave enough time for yourself to browse all the fascinating stores at the Khan Murjan souk