There is so much excitement in the air for football lovers around the globe, as this year’s most prestigious soccer fiesta just started.
The World Cup is played every four years and usually have 32 teams participating for the world’s biggest price in football. This year’s competition will not fall short of excitement with world class players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr, Robert Lewandowski, Antoine Griezmann, David DeGea, Romelu Lukaku, Eden Harzard, Sergio Aguero, Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi, Gabriel Jesus,Sadio Mane, Mo Sallah and many more – all representing their respective countries, fighting for the gold.
Africa as a continent has five countries represented in this year’s World Cup, which is being hosted by Russia. The Nigerian team, which is also known as the Super Eagles, will be playing in Group D alongside South America giants Argentina, as well as Croatia and this year’s debutantes: Iceland. The tournament kick-started yesterday, on the 14th June 2018, with Russia who won over Saudi Arabia with 5 – 0.
The Super Eagles have already been identified as the best-dressed team for the World Cup 2018. Nigeria Kits are manufactured by international brand Nike that confirmed that the kits were sold out 3 hours after being launched in London.
How prepared is Nigeria for the World Cup?
Nigeria has played some friendly matches in preparation to this year’s World Cup, with disappointing performances and results. The loss against Serbia, the 1-1 draw against Congo DR, the 2-1 loss to England and a 2-0 loss to the Czech Republic. With these preparatory games played, we have to dig deeper and analyze the 23 men strong team and how they played and where we believe they must improve.
What we have seen so far, from the Nigeria Coach Gernot Rohr, is that the Super Eagles been playing a 4-3-3 formation during the qualifying stages of the tournament and did not lose a single game. As a matter of fact, the team swept aside their opponents with wide goal margins. However, this formation has not worked for in the last few games due to the fact of lack of balance in the midfield. A typical example was the friendly match against England. Ogenyi Onazi, Joel Obi, and John Mikel Obi started the game, but it wasn’t until the Coach made numbers of substitution and switched to 3-5-2 formation that the Super Eagles came back to draw the game during the second half. Alex Iwobi scored Nigeria’s only goal in the match and we could clearly see that the coach must find balance in the midfield because it is the link between the defense and the attackers.
The team also has to work on several other areas, such as defending set pieces. It is important that Nigeria doesn’t leave any stones unturned if we want to go far and even win this year Mundial event.
Over 180 million Nigerians are counting and trusting that our Super Eagles will soar – and possibly even be the first African team to win the World Cup.
Go Super Eagles!
Writer: Aniukwu jr Tochukwu Aniukwu
Contact details: whyteaniukwu (@) gmail.com