After impressing on their way to the second round in each of their first two FIFA World Cup™ appearances, in 1994 and 1998, Nigeria struggled in the finals before again returning to the knockout rounds in 2014. In Brazil they beat fancied Bosnia and Herzegovina before showing well in narrow defeats to eventual finalists Argentina and France. But the most populous nation in Africa always has high expectations, and they have had their eye on a first-ever African spot in the semi-finals for some time.
In Vincent Enyeama the Super Eagles have arguably the best African goalkeeper, but the veteran captain is not the only Nigerian player of an international calibre. Players like John Obi Mikel, Sunday Mba, Joel Obi and Efe Ambrose have shown in Europe that they are capable of playing at the highest level. The success that the Nigerian youth teams are enjoying would also suggest that the seemingly never-ending stream of top class player will take the Super Eagles into a bright future.
Super Eagles legend Sunday Oliseh was appointed in July 2015 following Stephen Keshi’s dismissal earlier the same month. Oliseh arrived with only modest experience, limited to coaching Belgian lower league side Vervietois between 2008 and 2009, but with a huge amount of goodwill from his successes in helping Nigeria to Africa Cup of Nations and Olympic success during the mid-90s. "This is the biggest job in African football," he said following his appointment. "With everyone's support we can get the Super Eagles flying again."
5 – The number of World Cup finals Nigeria have qualified for out of the last six events.
The former stars
Jay Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, Rashidi Yekini