Rio will not drive Celtic stalwart Ambrose to distraction

EFE AMBROSE says he will snap the green and white blinkers on to avoid his appearance at the World Cup this summer disrupting his Celtic resolve.

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Celtic quartet Efe Ambrose, Fraser Forster, Georgios Samaras and Emilio Izaguirre are on hand to promote Project Fair Play
Celtic quartet Efe Ambrose, Fraser Forster, Georgios Samaras and Emilio Izaguirre are on hand to promote Project Fair Play

Nigeria will battle it out in Group F with Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran for a place in the knockout stages in Brazil.

Ambrose admits he grew up supporting the host nation and his participation in the Confederations Cup last summer in the land of Pele left his mouth watering for the main event.

But the centre-back, who was helping to promote Project Fair Play, which has seen the Parkhead club send 1000 football shirts to disadvantaged kids in Brazil, has refused to let his anticipation of the greatest football tournament of the lot get the better of him.

Ambrose said: "I should be but I'm not. Not yet. There are three or four months to go and to work on and right now I am only thinking about Celtic.

"I don't have time to be thinking about anything apart from Celtic. So I am just concentrating on the league at the moment and being in the best shape I can be.

"It is not going to be a difficult thing for me to concentrate on that. It is just the way I am. I just like working."

The Hoops stopper did admit his appearances for Nigeria in the Confederations Cup brought childhood memories flooding back.

Ambrose said: "When I was a kid I used to support Brazil because of the way they played football.

"I didn't have the kit because I always wanted to get a real one and I hope I will if we play them in the World Cup!

"It is the best place to play football, I think. It was a pleasure for me to go to Brazil to play in that tournament. I never thought I'd get the chance to play there, but things happen for a reason and I enjoyed every minute of every game.

"It is perfect for playing football and for the World Cup. It is a great football nation - the best.

"Everyone in Brazil speaks about football and for them to have the World Cup is such a big thing."

But while Ambrose is a certainty to make it all the way to Brazil, his central defensive partner Virgil van Dijk's hopes of taking a place in the Holland party for the finals have been dealt a massive blow after he missed out on the Dutch 33-man squad for their forthcoming World Cup warm-up games.

It is something that Ambrose admits he finds hard to understand. The Celtic star said; "For the way he's playing, I think it is unimaginable that he could not make a squad of that number.

"I think he should be there because he's a great player. I am certain that Holland really needs the talent he's got. Virgil has good feet and has every quality to play in the World Cup.

"I have seen Holland play and I think he still has a chance, but it is up to the manager.I believe that everything is possible in football and that before the World Cup Virgil can play for Holland.He is still young and will work even harder."

Football

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