The Super Eagles were the first African side to qualify for the World Cup – going through the qualifying series unbeaten, but Garba Lawal claims the players don’t play like they want to leave a legacy behind.

 

The 44-year-old was part of the team that represented Nigeria at the 1998 edition of the World Cup in France. He scored one and provided another one in the historic 3-2 win comeback against Spain.

 

The Former Nigerian international talking to completesports about the Eagles’ chances going into the World Cup said the current Eagles’ team are short of quality compared to the 1998 set that quality in abundance.

 

“The 1994 and 1998 squads never depended on any player to get going when it got tough, Garba said.”

 

“But now when a player is out of the team due to one reason or the other, there’s problem, Nigeria start panicking. Then we had two quality players in every position and you can call on any player to fill in the void, but now, we will start thinking. Same cannot be said of this current squad.

 

“It baffles me most times - I wonder if the current crop of players ask themselves why many people still rate the 1994, 1996 and 1998 squad as the best Super Eagles team ever?

 

“They don’t show in their game that they want to leave a legacy behind with the way they play. There’s a problem already and they are comfortable dropping it at the feet of the coach.”

 

The Super Eagles will kick-start their World Cup campaign in Russia on June 16 against Croatia, before facing Iceland and Argentina on June 22 and 26 respectively.

Read Also: Nigeria will make the Semi Final

 

Garba Lawal warned that Nigeria would find the group very difficult.

 

The 57 capped international believes Nigeria being clinical and winning the opening game against Croatia is expedient if the team is to stand a chance of making it pass the group stage in Russia.

 

It’s not going to be easy for the Super Eagles, but we must be clinical.

 

“We must win games to go far in the tournament which is important. Our opening game against Croatia is a must win if we are to stand a chance of making it to the next round, Garba Lawal added.

 

 

 

 

Published in Awa Football

The former Nigerian international believes Nigeria will need the service of Brown Ideye at the World Cup.

Yakubu Aiyegbeni has said that Malaga of Spain forward Brown Ideye will be needed to do dirty works for the Eagles in Russia.

According to the former Everton striker, ‘hardworking Brown Ideye should be the one to pair Odion Ighalo in Russia.

“I strongly believe (Odion)Ighalo is a good striker but he needs support from top strikers like Brown Ideye,” Aiyegbeni told Completesports.

“The strength of any good side is its ability to convert scoring chances, but we would need a good and hardworking supporting striker like Ideye to play behind Ighalo.

“Ideye is strong and can do the dirty work well. This will pave way for Ighalo to bang in the goals.”

The third highest scoring Nigerian international also advised Nigerians not to put pressure on Gernot Rohr and his team going into the World Cup.

He added, “I don’t think Nigerians need to pile pressure on this team because the World Cup is no child’s play.

“They should just support the team and let the players express themselves.

“They do not need the pressure now, let’s not set any target for the team if really we want to get the best from them.”

Nigeria has been drawn in the Group D of the 2018 World Cup alongside Croatia, Iceland and Argentina.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Super Eagles and FSV Mainz 05 of Germany defender has revealed there was no pressure on him bearing his family burden.

Estimated to be raking within the region of $1.5 million annually, Leon Balogun has said his parents are not entitled to his earnings.

The 29-year-old who was born to a Nigerian father and German mother was said by pulse ng to have made the statement in an interview on Oma Sports TV.

My parents for example, even if I give them something, they would not accept it, because they say ‘that’s the money you work for” The 15 capped Nigerian international said.

Even my father, sometimes, of course, he’s shy to ask, because he knows I work for the money.

“I sacrifice things for this money, if I give him or buy him something, he’s always very grateful.

“And of course sometimes he asks me but not for money, he asks me if I could help him out on something.”


 

Published in Awa Football

The 1994 African Footballer of the Year claims he missed winning the FIFA World Player of the Year because he is an African.

Emmanuel Amuneke has revealed that he was denied of winning football most covetous award because he started his football career in Africa.

The 47-year-old who played for Barcelona from 1996-2000 made the statement during the unveiling of LaLiga Nigerian office in Lagos last weekend.

Amuneke, as quoted by Guardian.ng, “I usually tell some of my friends that if I had started my football career as a European player, maybe, I would have won the World Footballer of the year award.

“Unfortunately, I started from Nigeria and only God knows why.”

Spotkick reported last year that former South Africa and Blackburn Rovers forward claimed several African legends were snubbed for the FIFA World Player of the Year award because African players are not good for marketing.

McCarthy claimed that FIFA view African players as unmarketable – making the World Football Governing Body preferring European players for the award.

“We are not (African players) eye catching in Europe” Mcarthy, said. “We are players that they look past because they look for the more lucrative, worthy players that will sell more newspapers sell more magazines and be more of an attraction.

“If an African player wins it there is not a lot of attraction but, if Gareth Bale wins it, if Rooney wins it – it is World news, breaking news.

“Yaya Toure has been there but never been recognized, Didier Drogba has been there; never recognized, Samuel Eto’o has been there; never recognized, Jay Jay Okocha has been there; never recognized, Nwankwo Kanu … I could go on, the list can go on but we’ve not been recognized,” McCarthy concluded.

George Weah is the only African player to have won the FIFA Player of the Year Award.

The Liberian President achieved the feat in 1995 for his goal scoring and individual brilliance for both Paris Saint-German and AC Milan.

 

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Rohr may invite new players - Agali

Saturday, 07 April 2018 08:28

Gernot Rohr may include new players into his 35-man provisional World Cup list, says Victor Agali.

According to chief scout of the Super Eagles, Rohr is opened to give any Nigerian player in top form a chance in the squad to the World Cup

Agali also urged Nigerians to be patience with the Franco-German coach – saying the coach is a blessing to Nigeria.

 “I believe we all must be patient with Rohr because after the likes of Clemens Westerhof and Bonfrere Jo, I believe Gernot is another blessing to Nigerian football,” Agali, as quoted by Vanguard.

“He tries his best to carry everybody along and gives players equal opportunity to be selected and listens to all is scouting and technical team.

“I know Gernot Rohr is fair to all and is committed to developing the image of our football."

He concluded, “He will decide on that. I can’t comment on if he will stick with the ones he has tested and know or not, but may be one or two new faces, just maybe. I strongly believe we should scout more and know more of about opponents.”

 

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George Weah, the only African player to have won the FIFA World best though never played at the FIFA World Cup, had given Nigeria a template on how they could have a successful World Cup campaign later this year in Russia.

The Liberian President who paid the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari earlier this week at the Presidential Villa, Abuja as parts of his recommendations for the Super Eagles to have a successful World Cup campaign warned the Nigerian ministers not to swallow funds meant for World Cup preparation.

The 1995 World Player of the Year also charged the Super Eagles to be the first African country to lift the World Cup – saying “they {Nigeria} are going to represent Africa.

“I think Nigerian team is a model, we all followed them,” Weah said. “I have played with great Nigerian players, I played against them. Now you have a new generation, the fact that they qualified is a good thing for Nigeria.

“But I hope that they will prepare very early because they are going to represent Africa and we will be there to watch them, for them to bring the trophy for the first time if it is possible."

READ ALSO

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Rohr Super Eagles’ are the best in history

Weah added, “But I think the seriousness to go to World Cup is not to pay players to go, I want every African government to know, if you win World Cup is a pride to Africa, it is not just to Nigeria, so we must do everything to ensure that the players are not stressed, make sure they concentrate, make sure their incentives are given to them to motivate them.

“Some of the things you see at the World Cup, you will see an entire team go to represent a whole country and you will hear that one minister took the money, they did not pay these players and the players are causing problem. When players are going to camp, it is to relax and focus.

“And for them to be in camp they must have everything there for them not to worry.

“Remember I played in European setting, when we go camp we have nothing to do. The only thing we have to do is to take a shower and prepare for the game, everything is laid down here and so you have no excuse. “So let the players not have excuse, support them and let them go and bring back that cup.”

All these advices from the legendary George Weah - we at spotkick hope the relevant authorities would take note. But it is suffice to state that animals are the only ones that swallow money in Nigeria and not human beings.

And if human beings do swallow money, we’ve not heard any so far in 2018.

Nigeria have been drawn in Group D alongside Croatia, Iceland and Argentina – and they will kick-start their World Cup campaign against Croatia on June 16 at the Kaliningrad Stadium before facing Iceland and Argentina on June 22 and 26 respectively.

 

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Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr has listed captain Mikel John Obi, midfielder Ogenyi Onazi and playmaker Victor Moses in his 28 –man squad to battle Poland’s fellow Eagles and Serbia in pre-FIFA World Cup friendly matches this month.
 
Home –based goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa, who stood between the pipes for the very crucial last four World Cup qualifying games (home-and-away to Cameroon, home to Zambia and away to Algeria), leads the goalkeeping section and will be joined by new boy Francis Uzoho and Daniel Akpeyi.
 
Former junior international Kenneth Omeruo is back among the defenders, as Joel Obi among the midfielders, while Eagles’ B stalwarts, defender Stephen Eze and forward Gabriel Okechukwu, are also handed opportunities.
 
Russia –based Brian Idowu, who scored against Argentina on his debut in a friendly in Krasnodar in November last year, and Al Ahly of Egypt’s Junior Ajayi, who earned an Olympic bronze in Brazil in 2016, are also called.
 
Three –time African champions Nigeria will trade tackles with the Bialo-Czerwoni (White and Red) or Eagles, as the Senior National Team of Poland is known, at the 43,000 –capacity Stadium Wroclaw on Friday, 23rd March 2018.
 
Four days later, the Eagles will take to the pitch against the Senior National Team of Serbia at The Hive, London - home ground of Barnet FC and London Bees.
 
These are the first two in a list of six friendly encounters planned for the Super Eagles by the Nigeria Football Federation ahead of the 21st FIFA World Cup finals in the Russian Federation this summer.
 
THE FULL LIST
Goalkeepers : Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC); Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa)
 
Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Tyronne Ebuehi (Ado Den Haag, The Netherlands); Olaoluwa Aina (Hull City, England); Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugge KSV, Belgium); Brian Idowu (Amkar Perm, Russia); Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes FC, France); William Ekong (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey); Stephen Eze (Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Bulgaria)
 
Midfielders : Mikel John Obi (Tianjin Teda, China); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Las Palmas, Spain); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Uche Agbo (Standard Liege, Belgium); Joel Obi (Torino FC, Italy)
 
Forwards : Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England); Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai, China); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Junior Ajayi (Al Ahly, Egypt); Gabriel Okechukwu (Akwa United
 
(Thenff.com)
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Former Super Eagles forward Julius Aghahowa has branded the current set of Super Eagles’ players as the best Nigeria has ever produced.

Nigeria became the first African Nation to qualify for the Nations Cup – going through their qualifying phase without tasting any defeat – in a group that housed African Champion Cameroon, Algeria and Zambia.

And with the Eagles booking the World Cup ticket in style, Aghahowa who represented Nigeria from 2000 to 2007 in an interview with Vanguard posits that the current set of players in the national team now are the best in history.

On the Eagles’ World Cup campaign, Aghahowa said: “I think they have assembled the best set of players ever for the national team going by their qualification.

"I think they can go far. From what I have seen, we have a solid team. If you want to add one or two players to the team, no problem. On the whole, I think they can go far in Russia.”

The Super Eagles have been drawn in Group D alongside Croatia, Iceland and Argentina – and Aghahowa has said the 2013 African Champions had all it takes to go pass the group stage.

According to the 32-capped Nigerian international, Nigerian players featuring consistently for their respective club sides would put them in good shape going into the World Cup.

“I am very optimistic we can go past that group and even beyond.

“My optimism is based on the fact that these players are active for their various clubs; they play week in, week out and they are in top form.

“The ones that are strikers are scoring goals, the midfielders are consistent, while the defenders have been playing well. With their present form, they will come out of that group and even go beyond,” the former Shakhtar Donetsk striker added.

Aghahowa, who featured for Bendel Insurance of Benin, Esperance of Tunisia, Wigan Athletic, Shakhtar Donetsk amongst others represented Nigeria at the 2002 World Cup that was co-hosted by Korea and Japan.

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Bolton Wanderers have secured the signing of Nigerian international Chinedu Obasi on a deal until the end of the season.

The English Championship side confirmed that the deal would be subjected to an international clearance.

In confirming the signing of the 31-year-old forward, The Trotters wrote on their official website: “Bolton Wanderers are pleased to confirm the signing of Chinedu Obasi on a short-term deal until the end of the season, subject to international clearance.”

Obasi was dubbed as one of the more promising players to be emerging from Africa after the Youth U-20 World Cup in 2005, but his career has been halted by various degrees of injuries.

The 17-capped Nigerian international has represented the likes of Lyn, TSG Hoffenheim, Schalke 04, AIK and Shenzhen in the past.

Obasi who last played for AIK of Sweden joins Jay-Jay Okocha, Blessing Kaku and Sammy Ameobi on the list of Nigerians to have worn the jersey of the Trotters.

 

 

 

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Vincent Enyeama has been mooted for a return to the Super Eagles for the World Cup, but Gernot Rohr has said the veteran shot-stopper would not make the squad to Russia due to his lack of game time

Enyeama retired abruptly from the national team in 2015 but discourse on him returning to the team has been on the table for months, but Rohr has adduced that the Lille goalkeeper lack of game time at his club meant he was out of the team for Russia.

The 101 capped Nigerian international last featured for the first team of Lille in the game against Rennes last April.

And speaking to reporters at Aiteo/Nigeria Football Federation Awards, Rohr as quoted by Vanguard said Enyeama would not be part of his team for the World Cup.

“He {Enyeama} is not playing anywhere, so we cannot take players who are not playing,” Rohr said.

“We are working hard to have the best of our legs taken to Russia and we don’t have the best luxury of naming a player that has not been playing in recent time.

“Each time we have a problem, there is always a good answer and I hope it will be the same for the World Cup.

“We currently have so many players in camp and we want to continue monitoring them. The most important thing is for them to be in best shape for the Mundial.”

Read Also

Two African teams will be at the semis, and Nigeria will win the World Cup – Amokachi

With Rohr ruling Enyeama out of the World Cup, The Franco-German would be left to pick three amongst Francis Uzuoho, Daniel Akpeyi, Dele Ajiboye, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Dele Ajiboye that would represent the country at the World Cup.

All the available options for Rohr are deemed inexperienced at the highest level.

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