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‘I will spend retirement away from football’

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Nigeria’s forward Ahmed Musa attends a press conference at the Alexandria stadium in Alexandria, northern Egypt, on June 29, 2019, on the eve of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Group B football match between Madagascar and Nigeria. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)

Super Eagles striker, Ahmed Musa has ruled himself out of the coaching profession when he retires from active football. He also will not go into scouting as football agent.
 
Musa became Nigeria’s first player to score more than once in a FIFA World Cup match, after scoring twice against Argentina at Brazil 2014 World Cup. He also scored a brace against Iceland in Nigeria’s second group match at Russia 2018 World Cup.
 
Speaking with The Guardian at the famous Helnan Palestine Hotel in Alexandria, the team’s camp at the on-going Egypt 2019 African Nations Cup, Musa vowed never to go near the coaching job at the end of his football career.
 
“I won’t go into coaching, no matter the offer,” Musa told The Guardian. “I won’t also become a football agent. It won’t make any sense for me to do so because after spending such a long period playing football, the proper thing to do is to spend the rest of my life with my family. That is exactly what I will do at the end of my playing career.”
 
In 2013, Musa was in the Super Eagles squad that won the African Nations Cup in South Africa under the tutelage of late coach Stephen Keshi. Nigeria failed to qualify for the next edition in 2015 thereby denying Musa and his group the opportunity of defending the title. It was the same scenario in 2017, when the Eagles failed to qualify for the Afcon.

Madagascar’s forward Charles Andriamahitsinoro (L) vies for the ball with Nigeria’s forward Ahmed Musa during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Group B football match between Madagascar and Nigeria at the Alexandria Stadium on June 30, 2019. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)

 
Now in Egypt, Musa is dreaming big. He wants to make history by winning the title. “It is my dream to win the Afcon title here in Egypt,” he said. “I won it in 2013 in South Africa and winning it here in Egypt will be fantastic. No other player has such record in Nigerian football, and I am sure only a few players have it in Africa. I want to join the group. It will be interesting to celebrate with the trophy once again.”
 
Ahmed Musa became captain of the Super Eagles under coach Sunday Oliseh. As a young leader, Musa knew the task ahead of him. His cool headedness and respect for his teammates, NFF board members and journalists covering Eagles matches put Musa in full command until Samson Siasia took over as coach of the Super Eagles.
 
On the eve of their crucial 2015 Afcon qualifier against the Pharaohs of Egypt in Kaduna, Siasia staged a ‘coup’ by withdrawing the captain’s band from Musa. The manner the captain’s band was taken from Musa in front of his kinsmen in Kaduna did not go down well with some Nigerians, but the footballer was able to maintain his calmness. John Obi Mikel became the new captain, while Musa was named his assistant.
 
Today, Musa and Mikel remain the best of friends in the Super Eagles camp. “We grew up together on the streets of Jos and our relationship has come a long way,” Musa told The Guardian. I have great respect for Mikel. We have lived as big brothers in and outside the Super Eagles camp. Whenever he assigns a role to me, I carry it out.

“Mikel has demonstrated qualify of a good leader and I have to give him the respect he deserves. We have to work together for the result to come because any division in the team will affect us on the field of play. I don’t see any reason why we should not work as a team.”
 
Apart from setting his eyes on the Afcon title here in Egypt, Musa who plies his football trades with Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia, revealed that his biggest target as a footballer is to win the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

“The World Cup in Qatar is my target, and by the Grace of Almighty Allah, it will come to pass. I want to win the FIFA World Cup as a senior player, and 2022 is the last opportunity I have to do so because I won’t play football forever. I will quit active football after the World Cup in 2022 to stay with my family,” Musa stated.


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