The Nigerian senior team will end 2020 as the fifth-best team on the continent and the 35th-best globally, but a former World Cupper believes the only way for the team is upward
Despite the horrors of drawing both games against lowly Sierra Leone during November’s Afcon-qualifying series, the Super Eagles are still a great and talented team, says former Schalke 04 forward Chinedu Obasi Ogbuke.
Head coach Gernot Rohr and the national team have come under severe criticisms in recent times following a run of four matches without a victory in 2020.
After emerging from the coronavirus-induced hiatus mostly unscathed, the Super Eagles lost their first game of the year to Algeria, the African champions claiming a 1-0 friendly win in Austria.
Three draws against Tunisia, and Sierra Leone (twice) followed with the match against the Leone Stars on home soil particularly disappointing.
Nigeria raced to a four-goal lead in that encounter in Benin City only to somehow squander that advantage to draw 4-4 against their West African neighbours.
But Ogbuke is convinced that despite that incredibly horrible result, there is enormous potential in Gernot Rohr’s Super Eagles.
“We have a great team, but sometimes it’s difficult to say like the last game; it didn’t go the way we would have wanted, going four ahead of Sierra Leone and the opponents coming back, it’s always a very difficult situation,” Ogbuke told Brila FM.
“At the same time, I think we have a great team, it’s all about finding a way to get the best out of the boys. I just think that’s the key.
“And sometimes, there are places where you need experience, but it’s not my job; I’m just a spectator watching from outside, and it is a different ball game when you are with the team. But I wish them all the best next year.”
Nigeria started the year as the 31st-best football nation on the planet and the third-best in Africa, but the Super Eagles are now ranked 35th globally and fifth in Africa as per FIFA’s December rankings.