YES, NIGERIA QUALIFIED FOR THE 2018 WORLD CUP, WHICH PLAYERS DO WE LOOK OUT FOR?
Nigeria qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 1994, under CLEMENS WESTERHOF. After that we went on to qualify for the 1998,2002,2010,2014 and recently the 2018 World Cup under GERNOT ROHR.
In recent World Cups, some of the players that have impressed include : Emmanuel Amunike, Kalu Uche, Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Emmanuel Emenike.
Under GERNOT ROHR, Nigeria made a huge statement to the world by qualifying first in their group. Having qualified for this year’s World Cup tournament, no doubt there are some exciting players we hope to see perform in Russia.
IKECHUKWU EZENWA: After the departure of Vincent Enyeama from our National team, a big shoe was left unfilled. Different goal keepers have been tested ever since then but this IFEANYI UBAH FC goal keeper has made a name for himself. His goal keeping prowess became more assuring during our qualification for the FIFA 2018 World Cup, where he showed some class of keeping during Nigeria’s back to back matches against the Indomitable lions of Cameroon. His confidence and focus in the defense would be useful for the team.
WILLIAM TROOST EKONG AND LEON BALOGUN: After the retirement of Joseph Yobo, Nigerians were worried about the defensive nature of the team. Well these two players have stepped up on several occasions to prove that they are an effective defensive mechanism. Thereby providing almost a perfect solution to the search of a proper defensive wall for the team. Their link up, ability to read the run of attackers would be one to look out for. Also their height and physique would also play important roles in their defensive duties.
JOHN OBI MIKEL: He represented the Nigeria under 20 team at the FIFA World Cup Youth Championship and won the silver ball for the 2nd best player at the tournament. Though he currently plays for TIANJIN TEDA, His experience in playing for a big club like Chelsea would be vital. His versatility, passes, crosses, vision would be one to look out for in this tournament. Also, as the captain, he is most likely to act as a figure head and command respect in the team. I believe with his experience he would be the strength and creative mind of the midfield.
VICTOR MOSES: Can play both as a winger and wing back. As a regular starter for the current champions of the ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE. (CHELSEA). He has grown into being a vital force and constantly oppresses defenders with his space and skills. Upon Gernot Rohr assumption as Nigeria’s head coach, he featured regularly in the FIFA 2018 qualifying matches, even scoring a brace against Algeria. His versatility, skills, hold up play, passes, shots and eye for goals should be one to look out for in Russia.
ALEX IWOBI: You have to agree with me, that Iwobi is an exciting young star to watch out for. Plays for the Arsenal senior team and has shown promising signs as a good attacker. His dominating presence on the left wing of the attack, can help spur this Nigerian team. He also scored for Nigeria in a 1-0 win over Zambia to secure a spot in the 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP in Russia. Though he’s quite young, his pace, skills, techniques and confidence would light up the World Cup tournament.
WILFRED NDIDI: I call him the `NGOLO KANTE ‘ of the Nigerian National team. I can say that this is one of the underhyped players in the premier league. In the 2017/2018 season Ndidi has recorded 125 tackles 24 more than any individual in the premier league. I believe this alone is a major reason to look out for him. The strength, versatility and power runs he would offer in the Nigerian midfield is one to definitely anticipate.
Writer: Faithfulness Albert