Articlebio

Nigeria - National Football Team, World Cup 2018

Sports by Published on Updated on 05 Jun, 2018

Synopsis

The Nigeria National Football Team, also the Super Eagles represents Nigeria in international football association and is controlled by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). The team has won Africa Cup of Nations for times. They won their last title in 2013, after defeating Burkina Faso.

FIFA has ranked the team in 50th position. The team was ranked 5th in the FIFA World Rankings in April 1994. It was the highest FIFA ranking ever achieved by an African football team.

Nigeria has qualified for six of the last seven World Cups throughout the history, missing the 2006 FIFA World Cup that was hosted in Germany. They were the only African team to qualify both the 2014 and 2018 tournaments.

Nigeria played their first World Cup match in 1994, hosted by the United States. Nigeria returned to the World Cup alongside Cameroon, Morocco, Tunisia, and South Africa in 1998.

Nigeria made their debut in the Africa Cup of Nations in 1963. Nigeria hosted the Africa Cup of Nations in 1980 and won their first Cup of Nations Title. They won the title in 1994.

The team is active since the 1930s playing other colonies in unofficial games. They played their first official game in 1949.

Gernot Rohr

The team is currently managed by Gernot Rohr, one of the most experienced coaches in Africa. Rohr is a former football player and German manager, currently working as the technical adviser of the Super Eagles under the control of the NFF.

CAPTION: Gernot Rohr, The Coach SOURCE: goal.com

Rohr became the manager of the Super Eagles of Nigeria in August 2016. He was named the manager of the team by Amaju Pinnick, the chief of the NFF. He won his first match as the manager of the Nigerian national team, defeating Tanzania by a lone goal in Uyo, Nigeria.

The team became the first African side to qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2018 after a 1-0 victory against Zambia on October 7, 2017.

John Obi Mikel, The Star

John Michael Nchekwube Obinna aka John Obi Mikel is a Nigerian professional footballer. He plays as a midfielder for Chinese club called Tianjin TEDA in the Chinese Super League. He joined the club in 2017.

CAPTION: John Obi Mikel, The Star Player SOURCE: Talk Chelsea

Born in Jos, Nigeria, Mikel made his career debut at the age of 12. He played for the Chelsea Club from 2006-2017. He is a UEFA Champions League winner with Chelsea. His experience, strength, and composure will be vital to the Super Eagles in Russia.

Mikel represented the Nigeria U20 team at the FIFA World Youth Championship in 2005 winning the Silver Ball for the second-best player at the tournament (behind Lionel Messi). He was a key player for Nigeria, as they won their fifth continental title at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

Here's the final list of Nigeria's 23-man squad who will play at the 2018 World Cup.

Goalkeepers Defenders Midfielders Forwards
Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi, Francis Uzoho William Ekong, Leon Balogun, Bryan Idowu, Chidozie, Awaziem, Abdullahi Shehu, Elderson Echiejile, Tyronne Ebuehi John Obi Mikel, Ogenyi Onazi, John Ogu, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo, Joel Obi Odion Ighalo, Ahmed Musa, Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Simeon Nwankwo

FIFA World Cup 2018

Mikel made his debut in FIFA World Cup during the 2014 tournament hosted by Brazil, where he earned a man of the match title in the Super Eagles' opening game against Iran.

Mikel scored a goal in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Algeria and assisted his Chelsea teammate Victor Moses in a 3-1 victory.

Nigeria will be playing the matches against Croatia, Iceland, and Argentina in the second edition of the tournament. Take a look at this World Cup Schedule for more details.