Hapoel Be’er Sheva and Super Eagles’ striker Anthony Nwakaeme, has said his club is set to make an impact in the UEFA Europa League which begins on Thursday.
Nwakaeme spoke exclusively with AOIFootball.com ahead of the club’s Group G tie against Swiss side Lugano.
The Israeli club lost out on a place in the Champions League after losing to NK Maribor in the final round of playoffs, but the striker is optimistic of greater achievements with the club this season.
“We are very much prepared for Thursday’s clash; we need to keep our head up as we are no newcomers to the Europa League. We know what it takes to do well in the competition,” Nwakaeme enthused.
He also added that Be’er Sheva are looking to even perform better than last season where they suffered a second-round exit in the hands of Turkish club, Besiktas.
“We are looking forward to our first match; we have some very good sides in this year’s Europa League and our group is a bit fairer, compared to last season where we had Inter Milan, Southampton and Sparta Prague. So, I believe we can match the teams in our group, but u know in football anything can happen. We are ready for the competition,” Nwakaeme added.
Nwakeame will not be the only Nigerian on parade in this season’s Europa League as nine other Nigerians will also be in contention for the trophy.
The players are: Nwakaeme’s teammate, Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi, Samuel Adegbenro of Rosenborg, Imoh Ezekiel and Patrick Eze of Konyaspor, Alhaji Gero of Osterunds FK, Ubong Ekpai of FC Fastav Zlin and the trio of Peter Olayinka, Kingsley Madu and Aliko Bala of Zulte Waregem.