Soccer News of Sat, 14 Jun 20147
Mikel: Netherlands showed us that anything is possible
John Obi Mikel believes Nigeria can learn from Netherlands' destruction of Spain and show they can compete at the World Cup ahead of their Group F opener with Iran on Monday.
The Super Eagles have featured in five of the previous six World Cups, though have had a poor record in competition of late and have taken only two points from their last six games in the finals.
However, Mikel believes that the weight of expectation coming from being Africa Cup of Nations holders can drive on Stephen Keshi's side to a successful campaign, and pointed to Netherlands' 5-1 thrashing of world and European champions Spain on Friday as proof of how far belief can help.
"This is my first World Cup," the 27-year-old told Fifa.com.
"I want to make sure we achieve something coming here. We don't just want to come and make up the numbers, we want to do well.
"I have to make sure I lead by example. We are all driving in the same direction. We all know what we want and hopefully we will have a good tournament.
"We know we're the African champions and people expect us to do well, to represent the African continent.
"That's a bit more extra pressure but it's pressure that we love. We love to be African champions.
"We're doing well, we're doing everything we can. We're preparing well. The result in Spain against the Netherlands shows anything is possible so we have to make sure we approach games seriously and play well."
As well as Iran, Nigeria will also face Argentina and Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of their World Cup Group F campaign.