Super Eagles forward Brown Ideye left his birthday celebration on ice as the team’s preparation for Sunday’s crunch tie in Ethiopia intensifies.
Ideye turned 25 on Thursday and some of his relatives were in hand to mark the the day with him, arriving as early as 8am with cakes and birthday cards.
Interestingly, the Dynamo Kyiv player was more concerned about the job at hand than birthday wishes, but was in for another surprise package during lunch. His national teammates bathed him with water and sang the happy birthday song for him in what came as a surprise to head coach Stephen Keshi and other officials as well.
The player told Eagles’ Media Officer, Ben Olaiya, that the celebration will be more meaningful by the time Nigeria would have grabbed victory in Addis on Sunday, promising he would score if given a shirt.
Ideye’s prospect of getting on the scorer(s’) sheet in the 2014 World Cup playoff first-leg tie against Ethiopia would later suffer a knock and he had to pull out of Thursday evening’s training so as to avoid aggravating the injury.
He says he’s fine, adding it was only a muscle contraption and not nothing serious.
“I’m okay and well,” said Ideye while smiling.
The Nigeria party to Ethiopia will arrive in Addis Ababa on Saturday morning.
About 263 persons, the team inclusive, are expected to board a chartered Boeing 787 jetliner to the Ethiopia capital.