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LAGOS: Chelsea winger Victor Moses, who fled to England after his parents were killed in sectarian riots, hopes to crown his debut at the Africa Cup of Nations by helping Nigeria win the trophy.
Moses has come a long way since his father and mother were slain in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna, forcing him to abandon his homeland at the age of 11.
“Wherever they are at the moment, they should be proud of me, looking down being proud,” Moses told British media last year when he remembered his parents, Austin, a Christian pastor in Kaduna, and mother Josephine.
On the tournament in South Africa, he said: “I am confident of a good outing in South Africa.
“We have prepared well and, having missed the last tournament, wish to make Nigerians proud by the end of it,” said Moses.
“This is my first Africa Cup of Nations and I want to make it a memorable one. I want to play in every match, score when the opportunity presents itself and help players in good positions to also score. When all these (things) happen, they (supporters) can be sure that we are going to bring back the trophy.”
Nigeria have won the tournament twice with their last triumph being in Tunisia 19 years ago and few would argue against a third victory with the 22-year-old in their ranks.
He is fast, armed with a great dribble and, besides weighing in with his fair share of goals, creates goals for others. His manager at former club Wigan Athletic, Roberto Martinez, says Moses is a player he would pay to watch.
Interestingly, it had looked like Nigeria would lose him after he represented England at age-group levels, but he made his long-awaited debut as a late substitute in a 2013 Nations Cup qualifier away to Rwanda last February.
He underlined his class last October with two well-taken goals for the Eagles in another Nations Cup qualifier at home to Liberia.
Since his move from Wigan to Chelsea in August, he has scored five goals for the London club, including a last-ditch winner against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League. – Sapa-AFP