Nigeria will today square up with Hungary in one of the opening matches of the FIFA U-17 World Cup at the Estádio Olímpico, Goiânia in Brazil with the Golden Eaglets coach Manu Garba confident that his boys are ready to rule the world again.
Nigeria are five-time world champions with Manu Garba involved in two of those triumphs, an experience that the 53-year-old tactician believes would be an added advantage when his lads take to the pitch to face their European foes later on Saturday.
Speaking to the media in a pre-match press conference ahead of the game, Manu Garba said:
“Expect to see a very good style of play from the Nigeria team, they will play total football.
“I was the head coach when we won the World Cup in 2013 here in Dubai. In that tournament we scored a total of 26 goals. Since the beginning of the U17 World Cup, no team has ever scored such number of goals.
“This team is a little bit different from the other team because we have different set of players but I assure you that you will see an enterprising team, a team that plays good football and scores a lot of goals too.
“We finished fourth, we topped our group in Tanzania but unfortunately we lost in the semifinals during the penalty shootout. When it comes to penalties any of the two teams can go out, I think we lost 10-9 during the penalty shootout.
“But if you recall in 2015, the Nigeria team finished fourth in the African Championship but won the World Cup in Chile.
When asked if the country’s former successes would add extra pressure to win on him and his boys, Manu Garba was quick to add,
“I think it is not only the 2013 team that I was part of the team. In 2007 in South Korea I was the first assistant coach when we won the World Cup, beating Spain in the final through penalty shootout.
“For me as a person, I don’t even care to know the word pressure. Why because I am a firm believer of destiny. Anything that will happen will happen, but I am somebody who is positive, positive in the sense that God’s willing my destiny and country’s destiny will be good, so I don’t care to know what pressure is,” Manu Garba concluded.