WC 2018: Nigeria

Group D

The first African team to qualify for the greatest football tournament in the world, Nigeria is also notable for qualifying for 5 of the past 6 tournaments. Their debut was in 1994 in the USA, and in 2014 the Super Eagles reached the final 16 in Brazil. The squad is also full of young team members and has been newly improved following embarrassing losses in the qualifiers for the 2017 and 2019 African Nations Cups. The group they are in is tough, and includes Argentina, Croatia and Iceland.

Team Members

  • Ikechukwu Ezenwa - GK
  • Daniel Akpeyi - GK
  • Francis Uzoho - GK
  • Dele Aiiboye - GK
  • William Ekong - Defender
  • Leon Balogun - Defender
  • Olaoluwa Aina - Defender
  • Kenneth Omeruo - Defender
  • Bryan Idowu - Defender
  • Chidozie Awaziem - Defender
  • Abdullahi Shehu - Defender
  • Elderson Echiejile - Defender
  • Tyronne Ebuehi - Defender
  • Stephen Eze - Defender
  • `Mikel John Obi - Midfielder
  • Ogenyi Onazi - Midfielder
  • Wilfred Ndidi - Midfielder
  • Oghenekaro Etebo - Midfielder
  • John Ogu - Midfielder
  • Uche Agbo - Midfielder
  • Joel Obi - Midfielder
  • Mikel Agu - Midfielder
  • Ahmed Musa - Forward
  • Kelechi Ihenacho - Forward
  • Moses Simon - Forward
  • Victor Moses - Forward
  • Odion Ighalo - Forward
  • Alex Iwobi - Forward
  • Junior Lokosa - Forward
  • Simeon Nwankwo - Forward

Coach

Gernot Rohr

Rohr’s senior Football career began at Bayern Munich, and he went on to play for SV Waldhof Mannheim, Kickers Offenbach and Bordeaux. After 12 years of playing as defender for the Navy-and-Whites, he became their manager. This lasted until 1996, when he went on to other European teams and then started his African coaching career in 2008 at Etoile Sahil. He then coached Gabon’s, Niger’s and Burkina Faso’s national teams until his surprise Nigeria appointment in 2016, which was part of the reinvigoration of the side.

Past WC History

Nigeria’s first Cup campaign was in 1994, after decades of almost qualifying. They made it to the second round, and with the exception of 2006, the team has since competed in the event every time it has been held. Their first 2 Cups, in the United States and then in France, saw promising starts and fighting performances although they did not make it past the last 16 in either case. Korea and Japan followed in 2002, and then the side qualified for the 2010 Cup in South Africa. Both of these performances were disappointing, but they managed to get to the final 16 again in Brazil in 2014, before losing to France.

Stats

  • Made their first WC appearance in 1994
  • 5 first-round appearances
  • 0 Semi-Finals
  • 0 Finals
  • 0 Championship titles
  • Best Achievement – Round of 16 in 1994, 1998 and 2014

Kit

Designed by Nike, the Green-and-Whites’ home jersey for WC 2018 is meant to reflect the vibrant culture of Nigeria with its bold pattern of eagle wings, and the exciting talent of the new generation of players. At the same time it pays subtle homage to the kit that was worn in their Cup debut in 1994. Bright green socks and white shorts complete the look, while when the team plays away they will be entirely clothed in their familiar dark green for a more traditional look.