Eagles can make Africa proud

Nigeria are representing the African region at the biggest sporting event on the planet, the FIFA World Cup.

The world may be underestimating Team Nigeria but that can only be good news for coach Gernot Rohr and his men. They can make Africa proud.

It is not a surprise that few rate Nigeria’s chances on the pitch when what happens off it seems more interesting.

And to be honest, there has not been much action on the pitch to give writers something to write about since the impressive friendly victory over Argentina last November.

The Super Eagles haven’t been Super in their last five games, with one win, one draw and three defeats.

Yet, despite all the troubles, the jokey headlines in the international media and the expectations that Lionel Messi, Mario Mandzukic and Gyfle Sigurdsson will run riot this June, Nigeria can surprise.

This is a team that will be as well-drilled and well-organised as any in Russia, all led by a coach with extensive international experience and an ability to make teams hard to beat. If the opposition see Nigeria as an easy three points then all the better for a team that likes to sit very deep and hit on the counter-attack.

The players know that their chance of immortality lies with Rohr. Only by following his instructions to the letter can help the Eagles perform in Russia.

Rohr demands a lot of his players in training, with drills practiced again and again.

It is rare for an interview to go by without the boss praising the passion of the fans and their support for the team. He is never slow to remind the players of their responsibility to one of the most football-loving nations around.

Nigeria know the world expects failure. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain. Nigeria may surprise a few in the next few days.

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