Mikel celebrating his goal against Denmark        Image:

Having gone through a lot of unpalatable situations that brought Nigeria nothing but embarrassment to reach the semifinals of the Rio Olympics football competition, the Sports Ministry has commended the team for their patriotism. reports that the ministry met with the Dream Team VI after their 2 – 0 victory over Denmark in the quarterfinal and Chinyeaka Ohaa who addressed the boys on behalf of the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, praised their commitment to do the nation proud against all odds.

Chinyeaka said: “I am happy to be a Nigerian, because in spite of all the challenges, you have taken the world by storm; you have by your performance given happiness to more than 160 million Nigerians.

“Your sacrifices will not be in vain. Aside whatever the NFF have for you, we will as much as possible make you happy, if only you will be patient with us.”

The team captain, John Mikel Obi who spoke on behalf of the team said: “we want to thank you for your fatherly support.

“In truth, there have been a lot of challenges, but every time we go onto the field, we forget about everything and make sure our fatherland comes first.

“We have done that so far and we will continue to do that, but we need more motivation.”

The team sure needs more motivation if they are going to see off the challenge posed by the German side that has scored the most goals in the competition.

Germany defeated Portugal – the first team to qualify for the second round – four-nil in the quarterfinal to set up the clash with Nigeria on Wednesday.

Mikel has so far led by example in Rio even as he scored the first goal against Denmark before creating the second to ensure the Europeans were condemned to a two-nil defeat.

According to report, Mikel bailed the team out at the team’s hotel in Sao Paulo after they were held by the hotel’s management over unpaid bills amounting to $4,600. He has since been reimbursed by the sports ministry.

Author: Yemi Olarinre