Nigeria

Nigeria

Appearances at World Cups

The national team of Nigeria started to perform in WC qualifying rounds in 1962. One had to wait for the first appearance of Nigerians in the final tournament for 32 years. And they lived up to the expectations of their fans to advance from the uneasy group with Argentina, Bulgaria and Greece. After this, the national team of Nigeria reached the 1/8 finals two times more but got hurtful defeats in all cases. Nigeria is the first African country whose football players managed to bring a gold from the 1996 Olympic Games for successful performance in the tournament.

Despite reaching the final part of the World Cup, the team from Nigeria is in its infancy. It's curious that the Nigerians have been failing to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations for the second year in a row. However, the performance of almost the whole team at the Olympic Games in Brazil united the collective and strengthened game links. In the end, Nigeria could progress from the group by leaving Cameroon, Algeria and Zambia behind.

year

G

W

D

L

М

total

1994

4

2

0

2

7-4

1/8

1998

4

2

0

2

6-9

1/8

2002

3

0

1

2

1-3

4 th in group

2010

3

0

1

2

3-5

4 th in group

2014

4

1

1

2

3-5

1/8

Total

18

5

3

10

20-26

-

Head coach and best player

The Nigerians have changed their coaching staff on the road to Russia. A draw against the Kingdom of Swaziland shocked almost everybody, not only in Nigeria. This is why the cleaning began from the top of the federation. Gernot Rohr was invited instead of legendary Sunday Oliseh, and the national team took a turn for the better. This WC can become decisive for the German coach, it means we should wait for surprises from the Nigerians.

All players invited to the World Cup should express leadership in this trip. But more is, undoubtedly, expected from John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses. It's the two players who play a very important role in a final result. And in this case, the WC shouldn't be an exception.

  • Preliminary squad: Akpeyi – Shehu, Troost-Ekong, Balogun, Elderson (Aina) – Ndidi, Onazi – Moses, Obi Mikel, Simeon – Ighalo

Base camp and cities

The Nigerians decided to stay away from the prying eyes by choosing warm Yessentuki as a base camp. Rohr's team will play against Argentina, Croatia and Iceland. The matches with the Nigerians will be in Kaliningrad, Volgograd and Saint Petersburg.

By Zulfat Shafigullin. Photo: fifa.com