The Nigerian National Football Team

Tunde FolawiyoThe Nigerian National Football Team, nicknamed the Super Eagles, is controlled by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). The Super Eagles ranked 5th in the FIFA World Rankings in 1994, the highest ranking ever for an African football team – a significant accomplishment for this thriving organisation. With millions of supporting fans, including Tunde Folawiyo, the Super Eagles continue to make waves in the sport of football.

The Super Eagles, formally nicknamed the Green Eagles, are the current Africa Cup of Nations champions, a title they’ve won three times. In one Africa Cup of Nations final, they competed against Algeria and won by three goals in 1980. They also triumphed over Zambia 2-1 in 1994. Twice qualifying for the FIFA World Cup round of 16, the Nigerian National Football team has played in five of the past six World Cups. The Super Eagles became the first African football team to win gold medals at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, an accomplishment of vast significance in sport in Nigeria. The team later went on to win a Silver Medal in Beijing, second to Argentina with a score of 0-1. Under the management of Clemens Westerhof, the Nigerian National Football Team advanced to the World Cup in 1994, before returning to the cup in 1998 managed by new manager Bora Milutinović.

While still a British colony, Nigeria’s football team played their first game in October 1949. The team won a gold medal in the second All-Africa games and further went on to win third place in the 1976 and 1978 African Cup of Nations. Currently ranked 33nd in the FIFA World Rankings, the Nigerian National Football Team has seen its share of controversy in its rich history. During the final of the 2000 African Cup of Nations, a goal scored by Super Eagle Victor Ikpeba during a penalty shootout was challenged and rejected by the referee.

The Nigerian National Football team has long boasted players of extreme talent. Defender Taye Taiwo, for instance, is famed throughout football for his powerful long-range shooting and free kicks of which have speed capabilities up to 130kph. Additionally, player Rashidi Yekin, the country’s top scorer with 37 goals, was awarded the African Footballer of the Year title in 1993 – a first for a Nigerian player. As Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria’s football team has a huge fan base, including the likes of  Tunde Folawiyo. It’s the ongoing support of their millions of fans that will inevitably drive the Super Eagles toward many years of continued victories.