The Super Eagles have never progressed past the second round of the World Cup, but the CAF boss is confident that with some tweaks, they will strike gold
Confederation of African Football President Patrice Motsepe believes that the Super Eagles of Nigeria can win the FIFA World Cup if the country focuses on youth football development.
Nigeria made her first World Cup appearance in USA 1994, and that was one of the best finishes that the country has had alongside the 1998 and 2014 editions.
Morocco is the most successful team on the continent, as they became the first African team to reach the World Cup semifinals. Ghana, Cameroon, and Senegal have all reached the quarterfinals.
However, CAF President Motsepe believes of all the African teams, Nigeria has the potential to be World champion. Still, he believes some things have to be put in place.
“I am absolutely confident because of the talent, God-given skills, and history of Nigerian football,” Motsepe told Channels TV.
“Nigeria is one of those countries that have the potential – not just to go to the semi-final, not just to go to the final, but to win the World Cup.
“However, they have to focus on youth football development, football facilities for boys and girls, amateur football, and football development at club level.
“They have to train coaches and train the trainers. Nigeria have to develop referees and very importantly, to make sure that we work together with the football federation in Nigeria so that they can continue the leadership that they have provided for many years.
“We are confident that Nigerian football will continue to be not just amongst the best in Africa but in the world. I know Nigeria will make us proud as it has on so many occasions in the past. Our plan is to see Nigeria in the next World Cup.”
Despite Motsepe’s words, a cloud of uneasiness floats around the national team. Portuguese Jose Peseiro just took over the Super Eagles job in May, but he has not inspired confidence.
He has lost five and won just two games since he took over, and he could be on his way out if the team does not improve.
Nonetheless, Nigeria boasts of talented players in most areas of the pitch. If Peseiro can gather his acts together, he could make the Super Eagles a strong force.