Nigeria is currently ranked at number 15 on the FIFA rankings. Nigeria is the 2nd highest ranked African team in the world behind Egypt (who are ranked 10th by FIFA). The Nigerian national football team is nicknamed the “Super Eagles”. Nigeria will play in their 4th FIFA World Cup tournament in South Africa this year. The Nigerian national football team played in its first FIFA World Cup tournament in 1994 in the United States. They were knocked out in the round of 16 in the tournament that year. They also competed in the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. They were knocked out in the round of 16 again. At the 2002 FIFA World Cup (which was hosted by South Korea & Japan) Nigeria were knocked out in the first round.
Nigeria have also played in 1 FIFA Confederations Cup tournament. They finished in 4th place in 1995 when the tournament was hosted by Saudi Arabia. Nigeria have also played in 16 African Cup of Nations tournaments over the years and picked up 2 titles along the way. They won the African Cup of Nations in 1980 and 1994.
Lars Lagerbäck (from Sweden) is the current coach of the Nigerian national football team. Hey took over in 2010 from Shaibu Amodu. The Nigerian football team is currently captained by Nwankwo Kanu. He has been playing for English club Portsmouth since 2006. He’s represented his country since 1994 in 82 matches so far. Mudashiru Lawal is the most capped Nigerian footballer in history. He played in 86 matches for his country between 1975 and 1985. Rashidi Yekini is the highest scoring Nigerian footballer in history. He scored 37 goals for Nigeria in 70 matches between 1986 and 1989. Nigeria are definately one of the teams that should not be underestimated in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Nigeria will be playing in the following 3 group matches in the 2010 FIFA World Cup:
- 12 June 2010 – Nigeria vs Argentina @ Coca Cola Park, Johannesburg – Kickoff at 16:00
- 17 June 2010 – Nigeria vs Greece @ Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein – Kickoff at 16:00
- 22 June 2010 – Nigeria vs South Korea @ Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban – Kickoff at 20:30