Ali: High expectations don’t give me pressure

Nigeria midfielder Rabiu Ali insists he is not under pressure to put in another solid display against Mali on Thursday.

The Kano Pillars playmaker has been one of the best performers for the Black Stars at the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations.

Ali’s sweet deliveries proved a constant threat in the 2-0 win over Sierra Leone in the Super Eagles’ round of 16 fixture on Monday.

The player has through his sterling performances raised expectations of many who are looking forward to yet another inspired display in the group A game against Mali on Thursday.

There are however concerns that the heightened expectations on the player to excel could work against him as it turns into pressure on his shoulders.

But Ali says his work at the Nations Cup is to deliver constantly for Nigeria and that he has been dealing with this kind of pressure ever since he decided to play football.

“I am not under pressure at all because football is my job,” Ali told

I started playing football many years ago so I don’t have to be under pressure this time, it is rather the time to show myself.

‘I am here for that so I have to do more than what people are expecting.

Nigeria needs a win against Mali in the Group A opening game.

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