The FIFA World Cup is kicking off tomorrow, and since Nigeria is playing its first game on Saturday, we bring you the overview of the Nigerian team’s strengths, weaknesses, doubts and the atmosphere surrounding the team.
Football lovers are eagerly waiting as the opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2018 will kick off with the Russia – Saudi Arabia match after the opening ceremony.
Nigeria will play its first game against Croatia on Saturday, and here is our overview of the Nigerian team for the Mundial.
Individual quality of the players is unquestionable. Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel are football stars on a global scale. They are experienced players, in their very best years playing top quality football, and yet young enough to have the will, drive and power to play at the highest level. They are joined by young forces, as Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Wilfred Ndidi, William Troost Ekong and Oghenekaro Etebo are eager to show their capabilities on the big stage. Also, the experience of Odion Ighalo, Leon Balogun and John Ogu can add some extra quality to the team.
Individual quality has to be set up in the team effort. The national coach Gernot Rohr is inexperienced when it comes to these sorts of tournaments and has never handled this amount of top quality players in his previous teams. It can turn around, and the role of the national coach is often overrated anyway, but we see this as a weakness of the team.
The question of the physical state of the team’s biggest stars is doubtful, as Moses and Iwobi, the key men have played a tough and a long season. Also, there is a question of the right side in the Nigerian defensive line, and lack of wing attackers, as there are only two in the team.
While the influential media outlets in Nigeria are trying to prove that everything is “business as usual” within the team, one cannot avoid the point that there is nothing “usual” about the atmosphere surrounding the team when we think of the public’s reaction prior to other big football tournaments.
Everything is possible, and yours truly will not be surprised by any result. There is simply too many unknown variables in the team, and around it.