Super Eagles goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi, is no longer bothered about the barrage of criticisms from fans and teammates.
Akpeyi, who plays for Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa, told ESPN that his mental strength keeps him insulated in the face of constant criticism.
He said: “What helps me is my mental strength.”
“I really don’t follow the news about what is going on, especially when it comes to soccer from Africa and this part of the world.”
“Thank God I grew up with a mentor who taught me how to be mentally strong. With all I have learnt from my mentor, I can’t give up on myself.”
“I am not going to prove a point to anybody, I only have to prove a point to myself that whatever I have been trained with actually works.”
Akpeyi has been the subject of criticism from Nigerians due to many mistakes he made while manning the post for the Super Eagles.
It will be recalled that Riyad Mahrez scored a free-kick for Algeria in a semi-final match at the Africa Cup Of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt because Akpeyi was not in the proper position.
He also committed a blunder in a game with Argentina and according to Akpeyi, he felt terrible when one of his teammates predicted the end of his career after the Argentina game.
He said: “When we got to the hotel, I overheard one of my teammates in the other room telling somebody on the phone ‘I don’t think he should be invited to the national team again; how can he concede that kind of goal.”
“My own teammate!”
“He was just outside the room next to mine and talking. This is a professional footballer who plays in Europe.”
“However, despite all this, the goalkeeper remains focused and give God thanks for everything. I thank God, because it is by His Grace that I am here”.