Nigeria begin their AFCON campaign against seven-time champions Egypt at the Stade Omnisport Roumdé Adjia on Tuesday.
The Eagles last won the prestigious trophy in 2013, when a solitary Sunday Mba goal helped Stephen Keshi’s side lift the trophy for the third time in history, having earlier won it in 1980 and 1994.
Speaking ahead of their opening game against the Pharaohs, Nwakali, who is yet to earn his first senior cap, admitted there was pressure playing for the Eagles.
“We are from a country where everyone believes that because we’re Nigeria, we’re supposed to win every competition we enter for but mind you, every team that comes to this tournament also have the mindset of winning. As a team we’re here to make a statement, we’re here to write history, make our country and family proud as well as make ourselves proud,” he said in an interview with the NFF media
“It’s all about representing Nigeria in the best way we can. If it happens that we win the competition, fine, but the most important thing is to represent Nigeria in flying colours.
“Winning is what is in the mind of every player here, that is the first goal. It is football, we can’t predict what will happen but we’ll work as a team to achieve one goal, which is winning the competition.”
On training under interim Eagles boss, Austin Eguavoen, the former Golden Eaglets captain said, “This is my first time meeting with him as a coach.
“I think the style he’s introduced to the team is good. He wants the team to be more compact and when we have the ball, we have to be quick when we attack and make use of the available spaces quickly, play in numbers when we attack which is very good. I think the more you outplay your opponent in numbers, the more opportunities you have in scoring go