Friday, June 04, 2010

Nigeria.... Africa's Heart

In my opinion, Nigeria produced the best African team to ever compete in a world cup, and that was the 1994 Yekini-Okocha-you name it team. They were very close to routing Italy out and perhaps make it to the final if it wasn't for the brilliance of Roberto Baggio.

Nigeria's competitiveness took a little hit in the past decade. Except for the brilliant Tawio of Marseille and Mikel Obi who plays for Chelsea, their current players do not play for any major European club. This comes mostly as other African nations have produced their own Yekinis and Amunekes in the past decade, playing for elite European teams.

This Nigeria is different from the 1994 Nigeria. They have changed their coaches nine times in the past 9 years, and they miraculously qualified to this world cup instead of Tunisia. However, they can always start a new era of magic, and we will be watching.

By the way:
1994 group D: Argentina, Nigeria, Greece, Bulgaria
2010 group B: Argentina, Nigeria, Greece, S.Korea

Conclusion: Korea will make it to the semi-finals.

Clip For Memory

In 1998, Nigeria was trailing 2-1 down to Spain. Lawal equalized then Sunday Olisseh scored this marvelous shot, shot recorded at a speed of 120 kph. Nigeria won 3-2.


In the picture above: Rashidi Yekini literally tearing apart the Bulgarian net after he literally tore it apart in Nigeria's 3-0 victory in 1994.


batir said...

Korea will need another Jamal Ghandour to carry them to the semi-final after the scandel of 2002. Nigeria are less powerful than in 1994 but I think the second place is very likely this time as both Greece and Korea suck, nore than Nigeria.
It is peculiar how many times Argentina and Nigeria face each other in World Cup (also in 2002), Olympics and FIFA youth competitions.

Hareega said...

Batir, sometimes that's how teams advance in the World Cup or even the semi-finals, they are the least to suck.

Hopefully we won't see a lot of Jamal Ghandours in the World Cup ! I want to see more Ali Bin Nassirs !)