The three-time African champions will lock horns with the Middle Eastern giants in the first-ever faceoff between the two countries at senior level
Nigeria’s Super Eagles will trade tackles with Saudi Arabia in a senior international friendly match in Portugal on Friday, October 13, Soccernet.ng reports.
It would be the first-ever meeting between the three-time African champions and the three-time Asian Cup winners.
Nigeria concluded their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign in style as they thrashed Sao Tome and Principe 6-0 in Uyo on Sunday, September 10, 2023.
The Super Eagles will begin their World Cup qualifying schedule in November with games against Lesotho on home soil on the 13th and away to Zimbabwe seven days later.
And in preparation for those crucial matches, the Nigerian Football Federation has arranged the friendly match with Saudi Arabia next month.
The match will be played at the 10,000-capacity Estadio Municipal de Portimão in the Algarve, the home of Portugal Primeira Liga side Portimonense S.C.
Rated as the 54th-best nation on the FIFA ranking, Saudi Arabia are considered one of Asia’s most successful national teams.
The Green Falcons reached the final of the FIFA Confederations Cup in 1992 and have won the Arab Cup twice.
They are coached by former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, who led Italy to lift the UEFA European Championship in 2020.
Nigeria, placed in the 39th position on the FIFA ranking, will, however, be slight favourites to come out successful in a clash with Saudi Arabia.
The Super Eagles boast some of the best-attacking talents in the European circuit, including Serie A’s most valuable player, Victor Osimhen, Premier League’s Player of the Month of August nominee Taiwo Awoniyi, and Bundesliga’s Rookie of the Month of August Victor Boniface, among others.
The last time Nigeria played against an Asian side was at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, where the Super Eagles were held to a goalless draw by Iran.