The 1994 African champions took the world by storm at their first-ever appearance at football’s biggest festival
Nigeria and Ajax legend George Finidi was the third highest-rated player at the 1994 FIFA World Cup hosted by the United States.
Despite arriving in the States as the reigning African champions, not many predicted the impact Nigeria made at the country’s debut appearance at the Mundial.
The Super Eagles, however, showed quality and composure to top a tough-looking group with Argentina, Bulgaria, and Greece.
Finidi was crucial to Nigeria’s excellent displays, with the right winger an ever-present in the Super Eagles lineup.
The winger provided the assist for Nigeria’s first-ever goal at the World Cup, scored by the late Rashidi Yekini.
He also grabbed his first and only goal at the Mundial in the 2-0 triumph over Greece, as Nigeria reached the knockout rounds in their first attempt.
And according to renowned data companies, Sofascore and Opta, Finidi’s exploits earned him a rating of 7.88 – the third-best at the tournament.
Only Romanian great Gheorghe Hagi (8.00) and Swedish icon Kennet Andersson (7.89) were rated higher than Finidi at USA ’94.
French ace Florin Raducioiu (7.88) and legendary Brazilian captain Dunga (7.84) completed the top five.
It would be recalled that Brazil, boasting twin attacking terrors Romario and Bebeto, won the 1994 FIFA World Cup, beating a Roberto Baggio-inspired Italy on penalties.
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