Four days to the world cup, we would take a look at Nigeria’s chances at the mundial, her qualification process, ranking and the likes.
Nigeria were the first team from Africa to qualify for the world cup after seeing off teams like Algeria, Cameroon and Zambia.
Current FIFA Ranking: 48
Previous World Cup appearances: 5 – 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010, 2014
Best World Cup result: Last 16 – 1994, 1998, 2014
Group fixtures: June 16 vs Croatia, June 22 vs Iceland, June 26 vs Argentina
Captain: John Obi Mikel
Star Player: Victor Moses
Head coach: Gernot Rohr
Nigeria’s Super Eagles were the first African team to qualify for the World Cup in Russia in emphatic fashion; pulling off an unbeaten run against strong competition from Cameroon, Zambia and Algeria. Winning four games and drawing two, scoring 12 goals and conceding just 4, the Nigerian side, which is highly rated by its fans at home, qualified with a game to spare. Nigeria started the group stage matches with a 2–1 win over Zambia in Ndola and defeated Algeria 3–1 in their second match at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.
Nigeria have appeared in the finals of the FIFA World Cup on five occasions, the first being in 1994 where they reached the second round. They are three time Africa Cup of Nations winners, with their last title in 2013, after defeating Burkina Faso in the final. In April 1994, the Super Eagles was ranked 5th in the FIFA rankings, the highest FIFA ranking position ever achieved by an African football team. Throughout history, the team has qualified for six of the last seven FIFA World Cups (as of 2018), missing only the 2006 World Cup hosted in Germany, and have reached the round of 16 three times. They were the only African team to qualify for both the 2014 and 2018 tournaments.
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi, Francis Uzoho
Defenders: William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Kenneth Omeruo, Bryan Idowu, Chidozie Awaziem, Abdullahi Shehu, Elderson Echiejile, Tyronne Ebueh
Midfielders: John Obi Mikel, Ogenyi Onazi, John Ogu, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo, Joel Obi
Forwards: Odion Ighalo, Ahmed Musa, Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Simeon Nwankwo