Africa’s five representatives have managed three defeats and two draws in their opening games at the World Cup
Former AS Roma star Ricardo William Faty has expressed his disappointment at the performance of African teams at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
No African team has won a match in Qatar, with the record presently reading two draws and three losses.
Morocco and Tunisia forced stalemates against Croatia and Denmark, respectively. Cameroon lost 1-0 to Switzerland, Senegal succumbed to a 2-0 defeat to the Netherlands, and Ghana’s Black Stars were edged 3-2 by Portugal on Thursday night.
It is a development that saddens former Senegal international Ricardo Faty.
Faty noted with nostalgia that the Nigerian teams at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups, Senegal’s team to Korea/Japan 2002, and Ghana’s squad to South Africa 2010 are better than the current African representatives.
Faty maintains that the previous generations had spontaneously more talented players in Nigerian great Austin Jay-Jay Okocha.
The former Nantes midfielder pointed out that the problem can be traced to African players trading their inventiveness for tactical awareness acquired at the European clubs.
On his official Twitter handle, Faty wrote (translated from French) just before Ghana clashed with Portugal: “While waiting for the Ghana match: generally disappointed with the African teams on this 1st day.
“We are far from those teams that we have known in the past (Nigeria 94-98, Senegal 02 or even Ghana 10) which brought ‘madness’ with exciting players like Jay Jay (Okocha) or Diouf.
“The selections afr. have certainly acquired a good tactical knowledge, due to the many players playing in the biggest clubs. But on the other hand, you lose spontaneity, dribbling… it must be said, it’s not great to see ‘our’ matches.”
Les sélections afr. ont certes acquises une belle connaissance tactique, dû aux nombreux joueurs évoluants dans les plus grands clubs. Mais en contrepartie on perd en spontanéité, dribbles… il faut le dire c’est pas transcendant de voir « nos » matches.— Ricardo Faty (@rickyfaty) November 24, 2022
How did the Super Eagles fare at USA ’94 and France ’98?
The FIFA World Cup in the United States was Nigeria’s first-ever appearance at the Mundial.
Despite being greenhorns on the global stage, the Super Eagles’ first match was the stuff of dreams.
The then-reigning African champions USA ’94 thrashed Greece 3-0, with goals coming off the boots of the late Rasheed Yekini, Finidi George, and Emmanuel Amuneke.
A narrow loss to Argentina did not stop the Nigerians from finishing top of their group following a 2-0 win over Bulgaria.
The Super Eagles, however, crashed out in the Round of 16 after going down 2-1 to Italy in extra time.
Nigeria also kicked off their World Cup campaign in 1998 with a memorable come-from-behind 3-2 triumph over title favourites Spain.
A second victory over Bulgaria followed before the team lost to Paraguay in their last group match.
A crushing 4-1 defeat to Denmark in the first knockout round ended the Super Eagles’ hopes of a deep run in the competition.