Nigerian Sunday Mba determined to do well in France

Nigeria midfielder Sunday Mba has sets his sights on playing at the World Cup after making his debut for struggling French Ligue 2 side CA Bastia in their 3-0 home loss to Niort on Friday.

The 25-year-old, who scored the winning goal for the Super Eagles at the Africa Cup of Nations in February last year, endured a frustrating time while seeking a move away from his native Nigeria.

After almost a year of negotiations Mba completed his switch from Warri Wolves to the Corsican outfit in December.

"It was a very frustrating time after the Nations Cup, training hard but not getting the chance to play competitively," he told BBC Sport.

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My dream is to play in the World Cup with Nigeria and to fulfil that desire I have to keep playing

Sunday Mba

"I feel so much relieved now knowing everything has been sorted and despite a lot of catching up to do.

"Hopefully now I can get back on track and get my career going again and just be happy to be playing."

Mba has been criticised by local media and fans for rejecting the chance to represent Nigeria at the African Nations Championship (CHAN) to sign for a struggling French side.

CA Bastia are bottom of the Ligue 2 table with only nine points from 19 matches and they could be relegated at the end of the season.

"I know what is at stake here and that the club could go down but I'm prepared to give my best to help them stay up," said Mba.

"It's a challenge for which I'm prepared for and no matter what decision you make in life people are going to find a way to criticise you.

"My immediate target is to start playing as soon as possible and to make important contributions that will help our league position."

He also added that he desperately wants regular football to boost his chances of playing at the World Cup in Brazil.

"My dream is to play in the World Cup with Nigeria and to fulfil that desire I have to keep playing and regain my confidence, " he added.

"Playing here will help me to stay in a good shape psychologically, mentally and physically to prepare and fight a World Cup place."

As well as scoring the only goal of the Nations Cup final against Burkina Faso, Mba also grabbed the winner in Nigeria's 2-1 quarter-final win over Ivory Coast in South Africa.