Current Fifa Ranking : 37th with 710 points
World Cup Appearances : 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010
Best Achievement : Last Round of 16 in 1994 and 1998
Head Coach : Stephen Keshi
Captain : Vincent Enyeama
Having won their first African title since 1994, an air of optimism currently circulates the Super Eagles camp. When head coach Stephen Keshi was appointed, several changes were made in the squad, including lowering the squad’s average age, which needless to say worked wonders in qualification.
They’ve been placed in a tough group which includes Argentina, one of the tournament favourites. Nigeria would do well to analyse their weaknesses, whilst hoping that Messi will have an improbable off day. Dzeko and his countrymen will certainly be no pushover, whilst a sturdy Iran side may help in being the Nigerian’s easiest opposition in this group stage.
In Vincent Enyeama, Nigeria possesses one of Europe’s most promising goalkeepers who is currently enjoying a great campaign with Lille. Their defence has a good mixture of youth and experience with Celtic’s Ambrose involved, whilst the midfield includes Chelsea’s Jon Obi Mikel, Lazio’s Onazi and Liverpool’s Moses. Newcastle United’s Ameobi and Villareal’s Uche are some of Keshi’s options at front.
It won’t be easy, yet Nigeria do have the potential to proceed to the knockout stages, keeping in mind that they shall face tougher opposition than what they have already faced and preparing appropriately for each team. They’re certainly a stronger side under Enyeama, as his squad will surely be put to the test in the sweltering heat of Brazil.