SUPER EAGLES

Maduka Okoye is not bothered about Nigeria's World Cup failure

The three-time African champions will not play in Qatar, but the team's shot-stopper is not too concerned.

Maduka Okoye is less concerned about Nigeria's failure to qualify for the World Cup

Super Eagles goalkeeper Maduka Okoye says it is a shame that Nigeria will not be at the World Cup this year, but he is not too bothered over the miss.

The Super Eagles missed out on a place in Qatar after they lost to Ghana in the playoff via the away goals rule. The three-time African champions played out a 0-0 draw against the Black Stars at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi before playing a 1-1 draw at the Moshood Abiola Stadium.

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Okoye was absent from both games due to an illness, but he would have been on the plane to Qatar if Nigeria had beaten Ghana for the ticket.

Nonetheless, despite the disappointment of missing out on World Cup qualification, the new Watford goalkeeper is not too bothered.

"Unfortunately, the World Cup dream has burst for now, Okoye told Transfer Markt.

"But, if I calculate correctly, I can still qualify for at least three world championships with the team given my age.

"That's why I don't stress about it at all. It's a shame, of course, because it's a huge opportunity that you're missing out on.

Okoye, who was heavily criticised after Nigeria's crashed out at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, believes the team's World Cup failure will fuel him to work harder.

"But I don't see that as a problem, but as a reason to work even harder because it wasn't enough now.

"I am very sure that we will do it again," Okoye added.

The 22-year-old has represented Nigeria at one major international tournament but could make it two if Nigeria qualify for next year's AFCON in Ivory Coast.

However, Okoye's immediate attention will turn to Watford, where he is set to play next season after signing a five-year deal at the club.

The Super Eagles star will hope to help the Hornets back into the Premier League after they were relegated this season.

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