The world football governing body spared a moment to appraise the progress of several Nigerian youngsters who helped the African nation claim two consecutive cadet crowns a few years ago
Fédération Internationale de Football Association, FIFA, has praised the impact in world football of former Golden Eaglets stars Kelechi Iheanacho, Kelechi Nwakali, Francis Uzoho, Samuel Chukwueze, and Victor Osimhen.
FIFA, on its official website, has acknowledged the input of the five youngsters to world football.
Nigeria won the FIFA U-17 World Cup back-to-back in 2013 and in 2015 to become the most successful team in the history of that cadet competition with five triumphs.
Iheanacho was the hero of Nigeria’s rise to glory in 2013, scoring six goals and providing another four assists to emerge as the best player of the tournament held in the United Arab Emirates.
Nigeria won the tournament after defeating Mexico 3–0 in the final, claiming the country’s fourth title.
The Golden Eaglets powered to the title yet again, at the next edition in Chile 2015, beating Mali 2-0 in the final.
Victor Osimhen was the top scorer at that tournament, smashing in an unprecedented ten goals in just seven matches, while Kelechi Nwakali won the Golden Ball as the best player.
Goalkeeper Francis Uzoho and flying winger Samuel Chukwueze also played crucial roles in that title romp.
All the five players have progressed into the Super Eagles and four of them, except goalkeeper Uzoho, have been invited by head coach Gernot Rohr to be a part of the squad set to face Sierra Leone in an Afcon qualifier next week.
At the club level, Osimhen became Africa’s most expensive transfer when he moved from Lille to Napoli last summer while exciting Villarreal winger Chukwueze is continuously on the radar of some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Former Manchester City ace Iheanacho is Leicester City’s most productive player in the Europa League with three goals and three assists while Nwakali is gradually rediscovering his best form at La Liga side Huesca after an unconvincing spell at Arsenal.