The Nigerian national football team, also known as Super Eagles, represents Nigeria in the International Football Association and is controlled by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). After defeating Burkina Faso in the final they are with their last title in 2013 three times winner of the Africa Cup of Nations.
Many Super Eagles players play in professional football leagues around the world. There are several players in the English Premier League football, the Italian Serie A football or the Spanish LaLiga football.
In April 1994, the Super Eagles ranked fifth in the FIFA ranking, the highest FIFA ranking ever achieved by an African football team. Throughout history, the team has qualified for six of the last seven FIFA World Cups (as of 2018), missed only the 2006 edition and reached the knockout stage three times. Her first World Cup appearance was in 1994.
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After Nigeria had played in unofficial games against other colonies since the 1930s, it played its first official game in October 1949, when it was still a British colony. The team played warm-up games against various amateur teams in England, including Bromley, Dulwich Hamlet, Bishop Auckland and South Liverpool. The team's first major success was a gold medal in the 2nd All-Africa Games, followed by third place at the 1976 and 1978 African Nations Cup. In 1980, the team led by Christian Chukwu won with players such as Segun Odegbami and Best Ogedegbe for the first time in Lagos the cup. The Nigerian Men's Olympic team won the football event at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, beating Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. They finished second at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and lost in 1996 in a rematch against Argentina.
In 1984 and 1988, Nigeria reached the final of the Nations Cup and lost both times against Cameroon. Three of the five African titles that Cameroon won were won by defeating Nigeria. Missing on many occasions to Cameroon has led to intense rivalry between the two nations. Three remarkable opportunities; In the 1988 African Nations Cup narrowly defeated qualifying for the 1990 World Cup, and then the controversial final of the African Nations Cup 2000, in which a kick by Victor Ikpeba was considered unsuccessful during the penalty shoot-out goal line by the referee.
The Nigerian national team has traditionally used a mostly solid green-on-green primary set with white numbering, captioning and highlighting. paired with complete white reversal secondary kits that reflect the colors of the Nigerian flag. The green tone has changed over the years. In the 1980s and early 1990s, an olive forest green was often preferred, and jade also appeared in each of these decades. Even harlequin was used. Over the past decade, the team has apparently come to terms with the standard office green, which is most similar to the color used on the flag. Nigeria's first national teams wore a scarlet top over white shorts and socks until the country adopted its current colors after independence.
On April 23, 2015, Nike was announced as the supplier of Nigeria jerseys, after Adidas had ended his contract with the Nigeria Football Federation. Previously, Nike supplied Nigeria's kit between 1998 and 2003.
The image of the Nigerian national team has changed dramatically throughout history. Before independence, they were called the Red Devils because of their red kits. After independence, the name changed to Green Eagles, both in terms of the Nigerian state flag and the eagle adorning the country's coat of arms. During the African Nations Cup in 1988, they were still called Green Eagles, but after their controversial defeat in the final, the name of the team in "Super Eagles" was changed. Today, only the national team of seniors is referred to by this nickname. The national team of women is called "Super Falcons", and the underage men's teams of Nigeria are called "Flying Eagles" and "Golden Eaglets".
There were many important games played against different nations that were occasionally rivals. Ghana is considered Nigeria's biggest rival, as both sides hit each other more than any other opponent. The record is dominated by Ghana, although Nigeria has had successful times. The most notable of these periods are the early contests in the 1950s and the games that took place in the early 2000s.
FIFA lists the first official game of the two in 1960 as a World Cup qualifier. However, both national teams had already participated in competitive games since 1950. The national teams of these two West African countries formed during the period in which both were denied remained protectorates of the British Empire. At that time, today's Ghana was known as the Gold Coast. Before the introduction of the national colors green and white, Nigeria wore scarlet tops over white shorts and was referred to as the Red Devils. The two teams played for several rivalry and tournament cups during this time when a full international competition was banned.
Nigeria were drawn in five of their first six World Cup games with two-time champions Argentina in the group stage and are considered by many fans as fair against the football giant. The game is the most common in the history of the competition involving an African nation. All five games were won by Argentina, but all were by a margin of one goal (2-1 in 1994, 1-0 in 2002, 1-0 in 2010, 3-2 in 2014 and 2-1 in 2018) and were hard contested. So far, Nigeria have recorded two wins against the six Argentinians, with victories in friendly matches. Nigeria almost defeated Argentina in the first encounter, in which they were leading for a few minutes. It followed in 1995 a game in the Confederations Cup, in which Nigeria beat the South Americans with a 0-0 draw.
The Olympic teams in 1996 (3-2 against Nigeria) and 2008 (1-0 against Argentina) faced each other in the gold medal match under full international competition. The final of the FIFA World Youth Championship 2005 was also held between them. Both Argentinian goals in their 2-1 win were achieved by Lionel Messi, who scored in the 2014 and 2018 World Cup games for the senior national team.
The game is important to many Nigerian football fans, who see the challenge as an important benchmark for the development of Nigerian football. For the Argentine fans, however, this means less, as they were less interested in each round that Nigeria could not win a significant competitive success.
The Nigerian AFCON-A national team is the most successful team in the history of the African Nations Cup. She has won a total of fifteen medals: three gold medals, four silver medals and eight bronze medals in eighteen AFCON games, only three AFCON competitions in which she has participated.
1963-1978: Nigeria first appeared in the 1963 African Cup of Nations when they were drawn in a group with Sudan and the then United Arab Republic. You have not advanced to the next level.
The team retired between 1963 and 1974 due to political instability from two African Nations Cups. In 1976 they returned with a third place in both the African Nations Cup 1976 and 1978 to the Nations Cup
1980-1990: Nigeria hosted the African Nations Cup in 1980 and also won its first Nations Cup title in Lagos this year. Nigeria was runner-up three times and dropped out between 1982 and 1990 in a group stage. The qualification for the Egypt-oriented African Nations Cup in 1986 also failed.
1992-2006: Nigeria rejoined the African Nations Cup in 1992 and 1994, came third in 1992 and won the 1994 African Nations Cup, the second time they had won the tournament. In 1996, the team withdrew from the tournament due to the apartheid policy of the South African government hosting the event. They were also banned from participating in the 1998 African Nations Cup. In 2000, they returned to the Nations Cup and were runner-up. Later, they finished third in the African Nations Cup in 2002, 2004 and 2006.
2008-2017: Posing Egypt vs. Nigeria at the 2010 African Nations Cup, Uzomedia In the 2008 African Cup of Nations, Nigeria ended its campaign in the quarter-finals after losing to Ghana. They qualified for the 2010 African Nations Cup, which was hosted by Angola, but dropped out in the semi-final against Ghana. They could not qualify for the 2012 African Cup of Nations after finishing the qualifiers with a 2-2 draw with Guinea against goals from Ikechukwu Uche and Victor Obinna.
Nigeria returned at the 2013 African Nations Cup, which was hosted in South Africa. After going through the tournament undefeated, they defeated Burkina Faso in the final and picked up the trophy for the third time. However, they have not qualified for one of the next two tournaments.
Nations Cup 2019: On January 13, 2017, the African Football Association (CAF) announced the draw for qualifying for the 2019 African Nations Cup. The Super Eagles were divided into Group E alongside South Africa, the Seychelles and Libya. Nigeria led the group and qualified after a poor draw against South Africa in Johannesburg.
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