Nigeria national football team

The Nigeria national football team represents Nigeria in men's international football. Governed by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), they are three-time Africa Cup of Nations winners, with their most recent title in 2013. In April 1994, the Nigerian national football team was ranked 5th in the FIFA rankings, the highest FIFA ranking position ever achieved by an African football team. Throughout history, the team has qualified for six of the last seven FIFA World Cups (as of 2018), missing only the 2006 edition and reaching the round of 16 on three occasions. Their first World Cup appearance was the 1994 edition. The team represents FIFA and Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Nigeria
Nickname(s)Super Eagles
AssociationNigeria Football Federation
ConfederationCAF (Africa)
Sub-confederationWAFU (West Africa)
Head coachGernot Rohr
CaptainAhmed Musa
Most capsVincent Enyeama
Joseph Yobo (101)
Top scorerRashidi Yekini (37)
Home stadiumMoshood Abiola National Stadium
FIFA codeNGA
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 32 (27 May 2021)[1]
Highest5 (April 1994)
Lowest82 (November 1999)
First international
Sierra Leone 0–2 Nigeria 
(Freetown, Sierra Leone; 8 October 1949)[2]
Biggest win
 Nigeria 10–1 Dahomey 
(Lagos, Nigeria; 28 November 1959)
Biggest defeat
 Gold Coast and British Togoland
7–0 Nigeria 
(Accra, Gold Coast; 1 June 1955)
World Cup
Appearances6 (first in 1994)
Best resultRound of 16 (1994, 1998, 2014)
Africa Cup of Nations
Appearances19 (first in 1963)
Best resultChampions (1980, 1994, 2013)
African Nations Championship
Appearances3 (first in 2014)
Best resultRunners-up (2018)
WAFU Nations Cup
Appearances3 (first in 2010)
Best resultChampions (2010)
Confederations Cup
Appearances2 (first in 1995)
Best resultFourth place (1995)
Medal record
African Games
1973 LagosTeam
1978 AlgiersTeam
Summer Olympics
1996 Atlanta

Team

History

The Nigeria "UK Tourists" national team prior to their tour of the UK in 1949. The team were known among the West African nations at the time as the "Red Devils" due to their red shirts.

After playing other colonies in unofficial games since the 1930s,[3] Nigeria played its first official game in October 1949, while still a British colony. The team played warm-up games in England against various amateur teams including Bromley, Dulwich Hamlet, Bishop Auckland, and South Liverpool. Nigeria's match against Marine A.F.C. at Rossett Park drew 6,000 spectators, a record for the small ground.

The team's first major success was a gold medal in the 2nd All-Africa games, with 3rd-place finishes in the 1976 and 1978 African Cup of Nations to follow. In 1980, with players such as Segun Odegbami and Best Ogedegbe, the team, led by Christian Chukwu, won the Cup for the first time in Lagos. Nigeria Olympic men's football team won the football event at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, beating Mexico, Brazil and Argentina in the process. They were runners-up in the same event at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, losing to Argentina in a rematch of the 1996 event.[4][5][6]

In 1984 and 1988, Nigeria reached the Cup of Nations final, losing both times to Cameroon. Three of the five African titles won by Cameroon have been won by defeating Nigeria. Missing out to Cameroon on many occasions has created an intense rivalry between both nations. Three notable occasions; narrowly losing out in the 1988 African Cup of Nations, qualifiers for the 1990 World Cup, and then the controversial final of the 2000 African Cup of Nations where a kick taken by Victor Ikpeba during the penalty shoot-out was adjudged not to have crossed the goal-line by the referee.[7]

Team image

Argentina versus Nigeria in a friendly match on 14 November 2017

Kits and crest

The Nigeria national team has traditionally used a mostly-solid green on green primary set with white numbering, lettering, and highlights; coupled with all-white reversed secondary kits, all emblematic of the colors of the Nigerian flag. The shade of green has varied over the years. An olive drab-tinged, forest green was frequently favored during the 1980s to the early 1990s, and jade has appeared in each of those decades as well; even harlequin has been used. Over the last decade, the team has appeared to settle on the more standard office green which most closely resembles the shade used on the flag. Nigeria's first national teams used a solid scarlet top over white shorts and socks until the country adopted its current colors after its independence.[8]

On 23 April 2015, Nike was announced to be the supplier of Nigeria's kits after Adidas ended their kit contract with the NFF.[9][10] Before that, Nike supplied Nigeria's kit between 1998 and 2003.

Kit suppliers

Kit supplier Period Notes
Erima 1980–1984[11]
Admiral 1984–1987[12]
Adidas 1988–1994[13]
Nike 1994–2002
Adidas 2002–2014[14]
Nike 2015–present

Kit deals

Kit supplierPeriodContract
announcement
Contract
duration
ValueNotes
Nike 2015–present
2015-04-23
1 May 2015 – 30 October 2018 (3 years & 6 months)[15] Total $3.75m / 743m Naira[16]
2018-11-20
1 November 2018 – 30 October 2022 (4 years) Undisclosed[17] The new deal is said to be worth significantly
more than the $3.75 million on the previous deal.

Nigeria's national team image has undergone much evolution throughout its history. Prior to independence, they were called the Red Devils due to their red topped kits.[18] The name was changed to the Green Eagles after independence in reference to the Nigerian state flag as well as the eagle which adorns the country's coat of arms. There had been deliberations for a while heading to the 1988 Africa Cup of Nations, where they were still called the Green Eagles, but at a reception after the tournament, the team's name was officially changed to the "Super Eagles".[19][20] Today, only the senior men's national team uses the nickname. The women's national team is called the "Super Falcons", and Nigeria's underage male teams are nicknamed the "Flying Eagles" & the "Golden Eaglets".

Ghana

Many important matches have been played against various nations who have been occasional rivals. Of these nations, Ghana is widely considered Nigeria's primary rival as the two sides have met one another more than any other opponent. The record is dominated by Ghana although Nigeria has enjoyed periods of success. The most notable of these periods are the early contests during the 1950s, and matches that took place in the early 2000s.

Ghana vs. Nigeria in the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations Quarter-Final

FIFA lists the first official match between the two as a World Cup qualifier match in 1960. However both national teams had already engaged in competitive matches dating back to 1950.[21] The national teams of these two West African countries were formed during the time in which both remained protectorates of the British Empire. At that time the modern-day nation of Ghana was known as the Gold Coast. Nigeria, prior to adopting the national colors of green and white, wore scarlet tops over white shorts and were known as the "Red Devils".[8] The two sides played for several rivalry and tournament cups during this period in which full international competition was barred to them.

Cameroon

Nigeria's neighbors to the east, Cameroon, have also played Nigeria a number of times over the years. The teams have met three times in the African Cup of Nations Final with Cameroon winning each time. Both carry histories of continental success and World Cup representation that is nearly unrivaled on the African continent.

Their rivalry began in 1960 and since then, Nigeria has proved to be a more dominating team, but in all three AFCON Final matches at 1984, 1988 and 2000, Cameroon have all prevailed over Nigeria. The two national teams also repeatedly compete to show who is the best in Africa. While Cameroon has only managed to pass the group stage once, Cameroon has reached the quarter-finals, while Nigeria has been unable to do so.

Other African nations

There is also a number of competitive matches with Algeria dating back to the 1970s. The two sides met twice in the African Cup of Nations finals, with each nation splitting the win totals. It was a 1–1 draw in Algeria on 8 October 1993 that enabled Nigeria to claim its first World Cup berth in the 1994 edition of the tournament. Nigeria since then had an undefeated streak to Algeria, until the semi-finals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations when Algeria prevailed over Nigeria.

Nigeria's western neighbor, Benin, has played competitive matches with the team since the period of European colonization when they were known as Dahomey. But with only two wins and two draws to Benin's credit against Nigeria's fourteen wins, and with the sides having only met six times since 1980, Benin remains a lightly regarded opponent.

Argentina

Nigeria starting eleven versus Argentina at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

In five of its first six World Cup appearances, Nigeria was drawn in the group stage with two-time champion Argentina and is regarded by many fans as having acquitted themselves fairly against the footballing giant.[22] The fixture is the most common in the competition's history involving an African nation.[23] All five matches have been won by Argentina, but all were by a one-goal margin (2–1 in 1994, 1–0 in 2002, 1–0 in 2010, 3–2 in 2014 and 2–1 in 2018) and have been tightly contested. To date Nigeria has recorded two wins against Argentina's six, with the victories occurring during friendly matches. Nigeria came close to defeating Argentina in their first meeting, during which they held a lead for some minutes of the match. This was followed by a Confederations Cup match in 1995 which saw Nigeria hold the South Americans to a 0–0 draw. Below full international level, their Olympic teams also faced off in the gold medal match in 1996 (3–2 to Nigeria), and 2008 (1–0 to Argentina). The final of the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship was also played between them; both Argentina goals in their 2–1 win were scored by Lionel Messi, who would go on to find the net for the senior team in the 2014[24] and 2018[25] World Cup fixtures.

The match-up holds some importance to many Nigerian football fans who regard the challenge as an important measuring stick for the development of Nigerian football. However it means less to Argentinean fans, having taken less interest with each passing cycle that Nigeria failed to engineer a meaningful competitive victory.[26][27][28][29]

Media coverage

The Nigerian football federation currently has an active deal with the parent company of AIT and Ray Power Radio.[30] Internationally, Nigeria's qualifiers and African Cup matches are regularly broadcast abroad by the multi-platform international sports network, beIN Sports and South African broadcaster SuperSport.[31] Nigeria's international friendlies are regularly scheduled in the UK through independent organizers and are marketed to the country's large population of Nigerian expatriates.

Supporters

Nigerian football supporters at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

Though the club is most notable at Nigeria's home matches wearing green-themed embroidered outfits specific to the club along with wigs, hats and large sunglasses while dancing, singing, playing drums and trumpets, as well as carrying pom poms, culturally significant objects, inflatable beachballs, and waving flags; they have also shown a presence traveling abroad to support Nigeria in away matches.[32][33] However, the club's efforts at improving the atmosphere at Nigeria's home and away matches are beset by funding issues, corruption and infighting.[34] The club's current head, Dr. Rafiu Ladipo, has drawn criticism from its membership and is under pressure to defer the leadership to one of his deputies.[35]

A regular sight at Nigerian home matches is also their brass and percussion band, whose rendition of well-known Highlife songs provides Nigerian home matches with a unique feel. In Nigeria, these performers are occasionally conspicuous with their military uniforms or they may be members of the Football Supporters Club.[36] A popular chant among supporters from all over the country, after a goal scored, is "Oshe Baba!", which means "Thank you father!" in Yoruba.

Home stadium

Abuja home stadium

The Moshood Abiola National Stadium (formerly known as National Stadium, Abuja) serves as the official home stadium of the Super Eagles. Several international matches are played in other stadiums across the country. However, since the construction of Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, most of the Super Eagles' important home matches have been played there.

Super Eagles match venues

StadiumCapacityCommissionedCityState/TerritoryRef
Godswill Akpabio International Stadium30,0002012UyoAkwa Ibom[37][38]
Stephen Keshi Stadium22,0002018AsabaDelta State
Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium38,0002015Port HarcourtRivers[39]
Abuja National Stadium60,4912000AbujaFCT
Lagos National Stadium45,0001972SurulereLagos
U. J. Esuene Stadium16,0001977CalabarCross River
Teslim Balogun Stadium24,3251984SurulereLagos
Obafemi Awolowo Stadium25,0001960IbadanOyo
Sani Abacha Stadium16,0001998KanoKano
Ahmadu Bello Stadium16,0001965KadunaKaduna
Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium22,0001986EnuguEnugu
Liberation Stadium16,000Port HarcourtRivers

Competitive record

1994 World Cup

Countries qualified for the 1994 FIFA World Cup are shown in dark green
Clemens Westerhof managed the team from 1989 through the 1994 World Cup.

Nigeria finally reached the World Cup for the first time in 1994 after years of struggling to get there. They were managed by Clemens Westerhof. Nigeria topped their group which included Argentina, Bulgaria, and Greece. Nigeria defeated Bulgaria 3–0, lost to Argentina 1–2, and reached the second round after a 2–0 victory over Greece. In the second round Nigeria played Italy and took the lead with a goal from Emmanuel Amunike at 25 minutes. Nigeria were within two minutes of qualifying for the Quarter-finals, but Roberto Baggio scored to take the game to extra time. He also scored the eventual winning goal. The game ended 2–1 in favour of the Italians.

1998 World Cup

In 1998, Nigeria returned to the World Cup alongside Cameroon, Morocco, Tunisia, and South Africa. Optimism was high due to its manager Bora Milutinović and the return of most 1994 squad members. In the final tournament Nigeria were drawn into group D with Spain, Bulgaria, Paraguay. Nigeria scored a major upset by defeating Spain 3–2 after coming back twice from being 1–0 and 2–1 down. The Eagles qualified for the second round with a win against Bulgaria and a loss to Paraguay. The team's hopes of surpassing its 1994 performance was shattered after a 1–4 loss to Denmark. This is currently the only World Cup where Nigeria qualified for without playing Argentina in the tournament finals.

2002 and 2006 World Cups

The 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan saw Nigeria again qualify with optimism. With a new squad and distinctive pastel green kits, the Super Eagles were expected to build on its strong performances in the 2000 and 2002 African Cup of Nations. Nigeria were drawn into group F with powerhouses Sweden, Argentina, and England. The first game against Argentina started with a strong defence that kept the first half scoreless. In the 61st minute, Gabriel Batistuta breached the Nigerian defence to put Argentina in the lead 1–0, and Argentina would go on to win the game. Nigeria's second game against Sweden saw them take the lead but later lose 2–1. Nigeria then drew 0–0 with England and bowed out in the first round.

Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup after finishing level on points in the qualification group with Angola, but having an inferior record in the matches between the sides.[40]

2010 World Cup

On 14 November 2009, Nigeria qualified for the 2010 World Cup after defeating Kenya by 3–2 in Nairobi.[41]

Nigeria played against South Korea at 2010 FIFA World Cup

Nigeria lost its opening match against Argentina 1–0 at Ellis Park Stadium following a controversial Gabriel Heinze header in the 6th minute.[42][43] In its second game Nigeria led early on by a goal from Kalu Uche. A red card against Sani Kaita gave Greece the advantage. Greece scored the equaliser late in the first half and Nigeria conceded the second goal in the second half and lost the game 2–1. In their last group stage match against South Korea, Nigeria took an early lead in the 12th minute off of a great finish by Kalu Uche after a low cross from Chidi Odiah. However, goals from Lee Jung-Soo and Park Chu-Young gave South Korea a 2–1 lead, which looked to be enough for South Korea to advance into the round of 16. However, Nigeria got a chance in the 66th minute, on the end of a pass from Ayila Yussuf that was fed through the South Korean defense was none other than Yakubu, once the pass found Yakubu's foot about four yards away from the empty goal, Yakubu pushed the ball wide of the left post to leave South Korea still ahead 2–1. Three minutes later, Yakubu was able to calmly finish a penalty to knot the score at two apiece, but Nigeria was unable to score again and the match ended in a 2–2 draw. With this result, Nigeria was eliminated from the 2010 World Cup with just one point, while South Korea advanced into the round of 16 with four points. On 30 June 2010, following the team's early exit and poor showing, the then President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan suspended the national football team from international competition for two years.[44] This suspension put the team at risk of being banned from international football by FIFA for reasons of political interference.[45]

On 5 July 2010, the Nigerian government rescinded its ban of the national football team from FIFA/CAF football competitions,[46] but the sanction of suspension was applied by FIFA some three months after.[47] On 4 October 2010, Nigeria was indefinitely banned from international football due to government interference following the 2010 World Cup.[47] Four days later, however, the ban was "provisionally lifted" until 26 October, the day after the officially unrecognised players' union - National Association of Nigerian Footballers (NANF) dropped its court case against the NFF.[48]

2014 World Cup

Line-ups for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Group F match between Nigeria and Bosnia & Herzegovina

Nigeria's campaign in the 2014 FIFA World Cup opened with a disappointing 0–0 draw against Iran. Four days later the team played their second game against Bosnia and Herzegovina. A controversial 29th-minute Peter Odemwingie goal gave Nigeria their first World Cup win since 1998. They faced Argentina another four days later: a 3rd minute Lionel Messi goal for the opposition was followed almost instantly with an equalizer by Ahmed Musa. Messi gave Argentina the lead back just before half-time. In the second half Musa leveled the game out again, Lionel Messi was substituted and handed over his captaincy to Marcos Rojo only for Rojo to put Argentina 3–2 ahead minutes later.

Nigeria lost the match, but still qualified for the round of 16. In the Round of 16 Nigeria faced France, an 18th-minute stabbed shot from Emmanuel Emenike saw the ball in the net, past the French goal-keeper but the goal was ruled off-side by the linesman. Nigeria held them off until the 79th minute when a cross and a Paul Pogba header gifted France the lead. An accidental own goal by Super Eagles Captain Joseph Yobo in injury time put the result beyond any doubt: Nigeria was out. This is the third time Nigeria is eliminated in the round of 16 and they were not still able to enter the Quarter-finals in the FIFA World Cup.

2018 World Cup

Nigeria vs Iceland at the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Nigeria vs Argentina at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

On 24 June 2016, The Confederation of African Football released the draw for the 3rd round of the World Cup qualifiers which saw Nigeria grouped in what was described as a "group of death"; alongside Zambia, Algeria, and Cameroon. Nigeria started their group stage matches with a 2–1 win over Zambia in Ndola[49] and defeated Algeria 3–1 in their second match at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.[50] They went on to beat Cameroon 5–1 home and away in a back to back contest.[51]

The Super Eagles of Nigeria became the first African team to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup after beating Zambia 1–0 in Uyo.[52][53][54] On 3 June 2018, coach Gernot Rohr unveiled a 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.[55] Nigeria lost their first match of the tournament 0–2 to Croatia in Kaliningrad,[56] before they won 2–0 in the second match against brave Iceland,[57] with Ahmed Musa scoring both goals.[58] Nigeria had a huge chance to qualify to the next round as Argentina was demolished 3–0 by Croatia. Despite this advantage, they lost 2–1 in their last group stage match against Argentina,[59] with one goal by Victor Moses.[60] For this defeat, and followed with Iceland's defeat to Croatia, Nigeria missed the opportunity to advance to the round of 16 and got eliminated from the tournament.[61]

FIFA World Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
1930 Did not enter
1934
1938
1950
1954
1958
1962 Did not qualify
1966 Withdrew[n 1][62]
1970 Did not qualify
1974
1978
1982
1986
1990
1994 Round of 16 9th 4 2 0 2 7 4
1998 Round of 16 12th 4 2 0 2 6 9
2002 Group stage 27th 3 0 1 2 1 3
2006 Did not qualify
2010 Group stage 27th 3 0 1 2 3 5
2014 Round of 16 16th 4 1 1 2 3 5
2018 Group stage 21st 3 1 0 2 3 4
2022 To be determined
2026
Total Round of 16 6/21 21 6 3 12 23 30
Notes
  1. All African nations withdrew due to a lack of qualifying berths.

Africa Cup of Nations record

The Nigeria Senior National Team holds the record of being the most decorated team in Africa Cup of Nations history, the team have won a total of fifteen medals: three gold, four silver and eight bronze in eighteen AFCON appearances and failed to win a medal in just three AFCON competition in which it participated.

1963–1978

Nigeria first appeared in the Africa Cup of Nations in 1963, when they were drawn in a group with Sudan, and the then United Arab Republic. They did not advance to the next stage.

The team withdrew from two African Cup of Nations between 1963 and 1974, due to political instability. In 1976, they came back to the Cup of Nations with third-place finishes in both the 1976 and 1978 Africa cup of Nations

1980–1990

Nigeria hosted the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations and also won their first Cup of Nations Title that year in Lagos. Nigeria came out as runners-up three times and had one group stage elimination, between 1982 and 1990. They also failed to qualify for the 1986 Africa Cup of Nations hosted by Egypt.

1992–2006

Nigeria appeared again in the African cup of Nations in 1992 and 1994, they finished third in 1992 and won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations, which was the second time they won the tournament. In 1996 the team withdrew from the tournament under pressure from the country's military dictator Sani Abacha due to the criticism received from the tournament hosts South Africa and especially its president Nelson Mandela, for the execution of Ogoni activist Ken Saro-Wiwa. Nigeria was subsequently banned from entering the 1998 African Cup of Nations. In 2000 they returned to the Cup of Nations and were the runner-up. They later finished in third place at the 2002, 2004 and 2006 Africa Cup of Nations.

2008–2017

Egypt versus Nigeria lineup at 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, Uzomedia

In the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, Nigeria ended their campaign in the quarter finals after losing to Ghana. They qualified for 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, hosted by Angola, but were eliminated by Ghana in the semi-finals. They failed to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations after ending the qualifiers with a 2–2 draw against Guinea with goals from Ikechukwu Uche and Victor Obinna.

Nigeria came back in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations hosted in South Africa; after playing through the tournament with an unbeaten run, they defeated Burkina Faso in the finals to lift the Cup for the third time. However, they did not qualify for either of the next two tournaments.[63]

2019 Cup of Nations

The Super Eagles started their campaign at the 2019 AFCON by defeating Burundi 1–0 in group B opening match. They went on to defeat Guinea and lost 2–0 to Madagascar in their final group stage match. The round of 16 saw the national football team of Nigeria defeating Cameroon 3–2 with goals coming from Jude Ighalo and Iwobi, they later went on to confront South Africa in the quarter-finals of the tournament. An 89th-minute header from Troost-Ekong gave Nigeria the lead over South Africa and the match ended 2–1 in favour of Nigeria. Nigeria faced Algeria in the semi-finals and were knocked out of the tournament after a 95th minute free kick from Riyad Mahrez gave Algeria the lead. The Super Eagles later faced Tunisia in a third pace match which they won 1–0 with the only goal coming from Ighalo which made him the top scorer of the tournament.

2021 Africa Cup of Nations

On 18 July 2019, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) released the draw for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification. The Super Eagles were grouped in group L alongside Lesotho, Benin, and Sierra Leone. Nigeria started out by defeating Benin 2–1 at Uyo in their first group match and later went on to beat Lesotho 4–2 in an away match. In March 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), postponed all AFCON qualifiers indefinitely.[64]

Africa Cup of Nations record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA
1957Not affiliated to CAF
1959
1962Withdrew
1963Group stage6th2002310
1965Withdrew
1968Did not qualify
1970Withdrew
1972Did not qualify
1974
1976Third place3rd63121110
1978Third place3rd522185
1980 Champions 1st 5 4 1 0 8 1
1982Group stage6th310245
1984 Runners-up 2nd 5 1 3 1 7 8
1986Did not qualify
1988 Runners-up 2nd 5 1 3 1 5 3
1990 Runners-up 2nd 5 3 0 2 5 6
1992Third place3rd540185
1994 Champions 1st 5 3 2 0 9 3
1996Withdrew
1998Banned
2000 Runners-up 2nd 6 4 2 0 12 5
2002Third place3rd632142
2004Third place3rd6411115
2006Third place3rd641173
2008Quarter-finals7th411233
2010Third place3rd631264
2012Did not qualify
2013 Champions 1st 6 4 2 0 11 4
2015Did not qualify
2017
2019Third place3rd750297
2021Qualified
2023To be determined
2025
Total3 Titles19/339350222113189
*Denotes draws including knockout matches decided via a penalty shoot-out.
**Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.

African Nations Championship record

Nigeria have qualified for three of the last four African Nations Championships. Their first appearance in the tournament was in 2014 when they lost to Ghana in the semi-finals and later beat Zimbabwe 1–0 to take third place in the Tournament. Nigeria qualified for the 2016 African Nations Championship but were eliminated in the group stage. They qualified again for the 2018 edition of the Championship to be hosted in Morocco after beating Benin Republic 2–0 (2–1 on aggregate) at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano.

African Nations Championship record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA
2009 Did not qualify
2011
2014Third place3rd6321128
2016Group stage10th311153
2018Runners-up2nd641176
2020 Did not qualify
2022 To be determined
Total Runners-up3/6158432417

WAFU Nations Cup record

WAFU Nations Cup
Host nation(s) / Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
2010Champions1st550014
2011Runners-up2nd41009
2013 Did not enter
2017Runners-up2nd41009
2019 To be determined
Total1 Title3/413700329

FIFA Confederations Cup

Nigeria first appeared in the FIFA Confederations Cup in 1995, after they won the 1994 Cup of Nations which was their second African Cup of Nations Title. Despite having been absent for years, they returned to the competition in 2013 as the team to represent Africa after their successful run in the 2013 Cup of Nations and they were placed in group B where they lost to both Spain and Uruguay in the last two group stage matches after beating Tahiti 6–1 in their first match. They lost out of qualification to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup after failing to qualify for the 2017 Cup of Nations.

FIFA Confederations Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D * L GF GA Squad
1992 Did not qualify
1995 Fourth place 4th 3 1 2 0 4 1 Squad
1997 Did not qualify
1999
2001
2003
2005
2009
2013 Group stage 5th 3 1 0 2 7 6 Squad
2017 Did not qualify
Total Fourth place 2/10 6 2 2 2 11 7 -

Honours

Recent results and fixtures

  Win   Draw   Loss

The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.

2020

9 October Friendly Nigeria  Cancelled  Ivory Coast Austria
CEST
Note: The match was cancelled after the Fédération Ivoirienne de Football announced they won't be able to send a team to Austria for the match due to some internal issues.[69]
9 October Friendly Nigeria  0–1  Algeria Sankt Veit an der Glan, Austria
20:30 CEST Report Bensebaini  6' Stadium: Jacques Lemans Arena
Referee: Manuel Schüttengruber (Austria)
13 October Friendly Nigeria  1–1  Tunisia Sankt Veit an der Glan, Austria
19:00 CEST Iheanacho  21' Report Dräger  44' Stadium: Jacques Lemans Arena
Referee: Sebastian Gishamer (Austria)
13 November 2021 AFCON Q Nigeria  4–4  Sierra Leone Benin City, Nigeria
17:00 UTC+1
  • Iwobi  4', 27'
  • Osimhen  21'
  • Chukwueze  29'
Report
  • Quee  41'
  • Kamara  72', 86'
  • Bundu  80'
Stadium: Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium
Referee: Gilbert Cheruiyot (Kenya)
17 November 2021 AFCON Q Sierra Leone  0–0  Nigeria Freetown, Sierra Leone
WAT Stadium: National Stadium

2021

27 March 2021 AFCON Q Benin  0–1  Nigeria Porto-Novo, Benin
17:00 UTC+1 Report
  • Onuachu  90+3'
Stadium: Stade Charles de Gaulle
Referee: Redouane Jiyed (Morocco)
30 March 2021 AFCON Q Nigeria  3–0  Lesotho Lagos, Nigeria
17:00 UTC+1
  • Osimhen  23'
  • Etebo  50'
  • Onuachu  83'
Report Stadium: Teslim Balogun Stadium
Referee: Fabricio Duarte (Cape Verde)
3 July Friendly Mexico  v  Nigeria Los Angeles, United States
20:00 (UTC−7) Stadium: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
6 July Friendly Nigeria  v  Chile Chester, Pennsylvania, United States
Stadium: Subaru Park

Current team status

2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Nigeria (Q) 6 4 2 0 14 7 +7 14 Final tournament 2–1 4–4 3–0
2  Benin 5 2 1 2 3 3 0 7 0–1 1–0 1–0
3  Sierra Leone 5 0 4 1 5 6 1 4 0–0 Jun[lower-alpha 1] 1–1
4  Lesotho (E) 6 0 3 3 3 9 6 3 2–4 0–0 0–0
Updated to match(es) played on 30 March 2021. Source: CAF
(E) Eliminated; (Q) Qualified to the phase indicated
Notes:
  1. The Sierra Leone vs Benin match was originally scheduled for 30 March 2021, but was called off after Benin refused to play in protest of several of their players allegedly returning positive COVID-19 tests shortly before kickoff.[70] The following day, the CAF Organising Committee for the Africa Cup of Nations decided to postpone the match to the next FIFA international window in June.[71]

2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – CAF Second Round

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Nigeria 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Advance to third round 14–16 Nov 6–9 Oct 1–4 Sep
2  Cape Verde 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5–8 Sep 11–13 Nov 10–12 Oct
3  Central African Republic 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10–12 Oct 1–4 Sep 14–16 Nov
4  Liberia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11–13 Nov 6–9 Oct 5–8 Sep
First match(es) will be played on 1 September 2021. Source: FIFA

Personnel

The Nigerian Super Eagles managerial staff is made up of a technical adviser who serves as the coach in charge of full international matches and a chief coach who serves as the first assistant coach in charge of the home-based Super Eagles as well as the CHAN tournament and other home based competitions. Other positions also include the technical assistants and the goalkeeper trainer. Gernot Rohr is the Super Eagle's Technical Adviser, he has held this position since 2016.[72][73][74][75]

Position Name
Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr
Technical Director Augustine Eguavoen
Technical Assistant Muhammad Khalifa
Technical Assistant II Ikechukwu Akpeyi
Technical Assistant III Ayotunde Adelakun[76]
Video Analyst Muhammadu Khamis
Assistant Coach I Joseph Yobo[77]
Assistant Coach II Nabil Trabelsi
Goalkeeper Trainer Alloysius Agu

Players

The following players were called up for the friendly match against Cameroon on 4 June 2021.[78]
Caps and goals current as of 30 March 2021 after the match against Lesotho.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Francis Uzoho (1998-10-28) 28 October 1998 17 0 APOEL
1GK Maduka Okoye (1999-08-28) 28 August 1999 5 0 Sparta Rotterdam
1GK John Noble (1993-06-06) 6 June 1993 0 0 Enyimba

2DF William Troost-Ekong (1993-09-01) 1 September 1993 47 2 Watford
2DF Chidozie Awaziem (1997-01-01) 1 January 1997 20 1 Boavista
2DF Ola Aina (1996-10-08) 8 October 1996 19 0 Fulham
2DF Jamilu Collins (1994-08-05) 5 August 1994 17 0 Paderborn 07
2DF Tyronne Ebuehi (1995-12-16) 16 December 1995 9 0 Twente
2DF Valentine Ozornwafor (1999-06-01) 1 June 1999 0 0 Galatasaray

3MF Peter Etebo (1995-11-09) 9 November 1995 38 2 Galatasaray
3MF Wilfred Ndidi (1996-12-16) 16 December 1996 38 0 Leicester City
3MF Shehu Abdullahi (1993-03-12) 12 March 1993 31 0 Omonia
3MF Frank Onyeka (1998-01-01) 1 January 1998 1 0 Midtjylland
3MF Abraham Marcus (2000-01-02) 2 January 2000 0 0 Feirense

4FW Ahmed Musa (1992-10-14) 14 October 1992 96 15 Kano Pillars
4FW Alex Iwobi (1996-05-03) 3 May 1996 45 9 Everton
4FW Moses Simon (1995-07-12) 12 July 1995 35 5 Nantes
4FW Kelechi Ịheanachọ (1996-10-03) 3 October 1996 31 9 Leicester City
4FW Victor Osimhen (1998-12-29) 29 December 1998 12 6 Napoli
4FW Paul Onuachu (1994-05-28) 28 May 1994 11 3 Genk
4FW Simy (1992-05-07) 7 May 1992 4 0 Crotone
4FW Anayo Iwuala (1999-03-20) 20 March 1999 2 0 Enyimba
4FW Peter Olayinka (1995-11-18) 18 November 1995 1 0 Slavia Prague
4FW Terem Moffi (1999-05-25) 25 May 1999 0 0 Lorient

Recent call-ups

The following players have also been called up to the Nigeria squad within the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Ikechukwu Ezenwa (1988-10-16) 16 October 1988 19 0 Heartland v.  Cameroon, 4 June 2021 PRE
GK Daniel Akpeyi (1986-08-03) 3 August 1986 20 0 Kaizer Chiefs v.  Benin, 27 March 2021 PRE
GK Sebastian Osigwe (1994-03-26) 26 March 1994 0 0 Lugano v.  Sierra Leone, 17 November 2020
GK Dele Alampasu (1996-12-24) 24 December 1996 1 0 Ventspils v.  Tunisia, 13 October 2020
GK Tobias Lawal (2000-06-07) 7 June 2000 0 0 LASK v.  Tunisia, 13 October 2020
GK Mathew Yakubu (1999-03-09) 9 March 1999 0 0 Sereď v.  Tunisia, 13 October 2020

DF Zaidu Sanusi (1997-06-13) 13 June 1997 5 0 Porto v.  Cameroon, 4 June 2021 PRE
DF Semi Ajayi (1993-10-08) 8 October 1993 15 0 West Bromwich Albion v.  Cameroon, 4 June 2021 PRE
DF Adeleke Adekunle (1998-04-27) 27 April 1998 0 0 Abia Warriors v.  Lesotho, 30 March 2021
DF Leon Balogun (1988-06-28) 28 June 1988 38 0 Rangers v.  Lesotho, 30 March 2021
DF Kenneth Omeruo (1993-10-17) 17 October 1993 53 1 Leganés v.  Benin, 27 March 2021 WD

MF Joe Aribo (1996-07-21) 21 July 1996 7 2 Rangers v.  Cameroon, 4 June 2021 PRE
MF Samuel Kalu (1997-08-26) 26 August 1997 15 2 Bordeaux v.  Benin, 27 March 2021 WD
MF Michael Olise (2001-12-12) 12 December 2001 0 0 Reading v.  Benin, 27 March 2021 PRE
MF Mikel Agu (1993-05-27) 27 May 1993 7 0 Vitória de Guimarães v.  Tunisia, 13 October 2020
MF Samson Tijani (2002-05-17) 17 May 2002 1 0 Hartberg v.  Tunisia, 13 October 2020

FW Samuel Chukwueze (1999-05-22) 22 May 1999 19 3 Villarreal v.  Cameroon, 4 June 2021 PRE
FW Henry Onyekuru (1997-06-05) 5 June 1997 14 2 Galatasaray v.  Cameroon, 4 June 2021 PRE
FW Umar Sadiq (1997-02-02) 2 February 1997 0 0 Almería v.  Benin, 27 March 2021 WD
FW Emmanuel Dennis (1997-11-15) 15 November 1997 3 0 1. FC Köln v.  Sierra Leone, 17 November 2020
FW Chidera Ejuke (1998-01-02) 2 January 1998 2 0 CSKA Moscow v.  Sierra Leone, 17 November 2020
FW Cyriel Dessers (1994-12-08) 8 December 1994 1 0 Genk v.  Tunisia, 13 October 2020

INJ Withdrew because of an injury.
PRE Preliminary squad.

Records

As of 30 March 2021[79]
Players in bold are still active, at least at club level.

Most capped players

Vincent Enyeama is Nigeria's most capped player alongside former Captain Joseph Yobo.
# Name Caps Goals Career
1Vincent Enyeama10102002–2015
Joseph Yobo10172001–2014
3Ahmed Musa96152010–present
4John Obi Mikel9062005–2019
5Nwankwo Kanu86131994–2011
Mudashiru Lawal86111975–1985
7Jay-Jay Okocha73141993–2006
8Stephen Keshi6891981–1998
9Peter Rufai6611983–1998
10Peter Odemwingie65112002–2014

Top goalscorers

# Name Goals Caps Ratio Career
1Rashidi Yekini37620.61983–1998
2Segun Odegbami22470.471976–1981
3Yakubu Aiyegbeni21580.362000–2012
4Ikechukwu Uche19460.412007–2014
5Obafemi Martins18420.432004–2015
6Samson Siasia17490.351984–1998
7Odion Ighalo16350.462015–2019
8Ahmed Musa15960.162010–present
9Julius Aghahowa14320.442000–2007
Asuquo Ekpe14280.51956–1966
Jay-Jay Okocha14730.191993–2006
Thompson Usiyan141976–1981

Managers

  • Jack Finch (1949)
  • Adewale Adegoke (1950–1952)
  • Jerry Beit haLevi (1960–1961)
  • József Ember (1965–1968)
  • Sabino Barinaga (1968–1969)
  • Karl-Heinz Marotzke (1970–1972)
  • Karl-Heinz Marotzke (1973–1974)
  • Tiko Jelisavčić (1974–1978)
  • Otto Glória (1978–1981)
  • Festus Onigbinde (1981–1984)
  • Manfred Höner (1987–1988)
  • Paul Hamilton (1989)
  • Clemens Westerhof (1989–1994)
  • Shuaibu Amodu (1994–1995)
  • Jo Bonfrère (1995–1996)
  • Shuaibu Amodu (1996–1997)
  • Philippe Troussier (1997)
  • Bora Milutinović (1997–1998)
  • Thijs Libregts (1998–1999)
  • Jo Bonfrère (1999–2001)
  • Shuaibu Amodu (2001–2002)
  • Festus Onigbinde (2002)
  • Christian Chukwu (2003–2005)
  • Augustine Eguavoen (2005–2007)
  • Berti Vogts (2007–2008)
  • Shuaibu Amodu (2008–2010)
  • Lars Lagerbäck (2010)
  • Augustine Eguavoen (2010) (caretaker)
  • Stephen Keshi (2011–2014)
  • Shuaibu Amodu (2014)
  • Stephen Keshi (2015)
  • Shuaibu Amodu (2015)
  • Sunday Oliseh (2015–2016)
  • Salisu Yusuf (2016)
  • Gernot Rohr (2016–present)

See also

  • Nigeria national football team
  • Nigeria national under-23 football team
  • Nigeria national under-20 football team
  • Nigeria national under-17 football team
  • Nigeria national futsal team
  • Nigeria national under-20 futsal team
  • Nigeria national beach soccer team
  • Nigeria women's national football team
  • Nigeria women's national under-20 football team
  • Nigeria women's national under-17 football team
  • Nigeria women's national futsal team

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