The reigning African champions are hoping this is the year that they finally break through the second-round barrier.
Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel acts as the spur to Nigeria’s counter-focused attack, using his strength to break up opposing forays from his central midfield position and picking out teammates with a pinpoint pass to turn the tables.
- World Cup Group: F
- Nickname: Super Eagles
- Manager: Stephen Keshi
- Captain: Vincent Enyeama
- FIFA World Ranking: 44
- Best World Cup Result: Round of 16, 1994, 1998
- Qualification Method: 1st in CAF Group F, defeated Ethiopia in a playoff
Road to Rio
A fairly worry-free qualifying campaign saw Nigeria easily top Group F, going undefeated in the process. The Super Eagles then cruised past Ethiopia in the playoff to book their place in Rio.
How they Fared in 2010
Placed in a tough group, Nigeria managed only one point total in games against Argentina, South Korea, and Greece, finishing last in Group B and failing to advance to the knockout round.
- Monday June 16 -- Iran vs. Nigeria, 3 p.m. ET
- Saturday June 21 -- Nigeria vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina, 6 p.m. ET
- Wednesday June 25 -- Nigeria vs. Argentina, Noon ET
The Super Eagles have returned to form as Africa’s top side after more than a decade of watching other continental rivals steal the headlines. They definitely have the moxie to make it out of the group, but Nigeria may be a bit too raw experience-wise to progress any further than that.
A key match against Bosnia-Herzegovina will likely tell the tale of who progresses alongside favoured Argentina.