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FORTALEZA, Brazil (AFP) – Nigeria captain Vincent Enyeama said on Saturday that his side will take to the field with no fear when they tackle world and European champions Spain in their make-or-break match at the Confederations Cup.
Nigeria go into Sunday's game level on points with Uruguay in Group B, but with the South American champions expected to comfortably beat minnows Tahiti, Nigeria will probably have to overcome the group leaders to stand any chance of reaching the semi-finals.
Spain have not lost at a tournament since a shock defeat by Switzerland in the opening game of the 2010 World Cup, but despite the glittering array of players in their line-up, Enyeama says Nigeria will not be afraid.
"I don't think there's any Nigerian player here who is scared," the goalkeeper said during the pre-game media conference at Fortaleza's Estadio Castelao.
"We're so proud of our teams in Nigeria. The teams in Spain are much bigger than the teams in Nigeria, but we're very proud of our league and we're proud of our country.
"We're here to represent our colours and we'll stake everything for our colours. We respect Spain, they're a great side, but we're not afraid of them."
Coach Stephen Keshi bristled at the suggestion that victory for Nigeria would represent a famous upset.
"Would it be a rare result? I don't think so. There are two teams that are playing and one has to win," he said.
"We have a lot of respect for Spain -- they're the world and European champions -- but we're African champions, and Africa is a great continent.
"So a little bit of respect for us, please. If we go out there and beat Spain tomorrow (Sunday), it's because we're good to win the game."
Keshi has concerns over the fitness of Nnamdi Oduamadi and Ahmed Musa, both of whom sustained injuries in Thursday's 2-1 loss to Uruguay, and said a decision would be made on their availability on the morning of the game.
The Confederations Cup has been overshadowed by the huge protests that have swept Brazil, with demonstrators denouncing poor public services and government corruption, but Enyeama believes the country is almost ready to host next year's World Cup.
"I think Brazil should be ready in one year's time," he said.
"From what I've seen, the hotels are OK, the food is nice, the pitches are amazing, the organisation, logistics for me is perfect.
"You get to training when you should, you get to meetings when you should. You've got security. For me, it's fine. I don't know what more might be necessary to be added. I think Brazil will be ready."