In less than three months, the world’s most popular sporting activity, the captivating madness involving ‘the beautiful leather game’ known as the FIFA World Cup, will begin in Russia. To this end, most of the 32 teams heading to Russia in June, have lined up tone-up matches this weekend. The Nigerian senior soccer team, the Super Eagles, has begun its final round of training. The team is currently in Poland for its own friendly match.
Reports said the arrival of 22 players of the squad for the beginning of training sessions last Tuesday in Wroclaw, turned the team’s camp into a beehive of activities in preparation for the friendly match against Poland, Friday (that is, today).
Goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, defenders Kenneth Omeruo, Elderson Echiejile, Stephen Eze, Abdullahi Shehu and Chidozie Awaziem, midfielders Joel Obi, John Ogu, Ogenyi Onazi, Uche Agbo and Wilfred Ndidi, and forwards Ahmed Musa, Moses Simon, Odion Ighalo, Kelechi Iheanacho and Victor Moses arrived the camp on Tuesday.
Nigerian captain, Mikel Obi, who plays for the Chinese club, Tianjin Teda, had earlier said he would have to finish on-going engagements with his side before joining the Nigerian team in training.
The German coach admitted that the current squad is not as strong as the 1990 and 1994 teams, which qualified for the second round of the World Cup in Italy and in the USA; defeated Spain and was close to eliminating Italy in 1994.
Reflecting on those years, Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr, has said that, “We do not have such great players as Kanu or Okocha, who shone so brightly, but the strength of this team is the team work. Our captain, Obi Mikel, or Victor Moses are not the players who will decide the fate of the game themselves, like the stars of the 1990s.’’
He said, “We really do not have an effective striker, but we have other good players like – Iwobi, Kelechi, Obi Mikel, Ighalo – they are also able to score goals.’’ Meanwhile, Coach Rohr has admitted that Super Eagles defenders will find it tough to stop Bayern Munich goal machine, Robert Lewandowski from scoring during the Nigeria- Poland friendly today.