‘I don’t listen to what people say about me’ – Ighalo says criticism now part of him

Super Eagles forward, Odion Ighalo has shrugged off criticisms coming from various quarters concerning his performance at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Ighalo, who finished the Qualifiers as the highest goalscorer, has now scored three goals at the tournament in Egypt, but many are not satisfied with how he misses a lot of chances.

The China-based striker however says he is used to being criticised, that it has become a part of him as he also gets same at club level.

Ighalo is likely to lead the Super Eagles attack when they face Bafana Bafana of South Africa in the quarter-finals, and speaking to the press on Tuesday, he said:

“I don’t pay attention to criticisms. I don’t listen to what people say about me, as long the coach is satisfied with my performance, then I am okay. I take everything in the chin and focus on my game.

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“I have experienced same at my club and it’s now part of me. As a footballer, it’s something I have had to deal with up till now and it has made me stronger,” he added.

Recall that Ighalo was arguably the main subject of discussion as some fans spewed a lot of hate on the striker after the Eagles crashed out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

The team began their AFCON campaign with a 1-0 win over Burundi and defeated Guinea 1-0 in the second game before losing 2-0 to Madagascar in their final group match.

The Gernot Rohr men then secured their spot in the last eight after seeing off defending champions Cameroon 3-2 in the second round last weekend, with Ighalo winning the Man of the Match award after scoring twice.

They face South Africa on Wednesday, and Ighalo is more concerned about the team’s victory than he is about winning an individual goalscoring title.

“I put the team ahead in everything I do,” he said.

“For me, it won’t be nice to win the top scorer award and we end up not winning the trophy. Honestly, it is something that interests me, but the team comes first in everything.”

Nigeria will take on rivals South Africa on Wednesday by 8:00p.m, as they seek to advance to the semifinals of the AFCON tournament.

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Ben Ugbana

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