Factbox: Nigeria

| January 11, 2013 | 0 Comments

Previous appearances in African Cup of Nations finals: 16

Best performances: Winners in 1980 and 1994; Runners-up in 1984, 1988, 1990 and 2000

FIFA world ranking December 2012: 52

Coach: Stephen Keshi captained the Super Eagles when they last won the Nations Cup although he missed the final match. He now has a chance to become the second man to win it as both a player and coach. Keshi, who turns 51 during the tournament in South Africa, has played at five tournaments and is acting as head coach at his third.

Key players:

Victor Moses (Chelsea). Age: 22. Position: Midfielder. Moses moved to England from Lagos aged 11 and played at U21 level for his new country before switching his allegiance to Nigeria. In a heady 2012, he won his first cap in the qualifiers against Rwanda in February and then transferred from Wigan to Chelsea. He has since scored twice for the Super Eagles.

John Obi Mikel (Chelsea). Age: 25. Position: Midfielder. A defensive midfielder at club level, he is given a more attacking role with Nigeria. He debuted for the national team at 18 and is already a veteran of 14 matches at three Nations Cup finals but missed out on the 2010 World Cup in South Africa because of injury.

Joseph Yobo (Fenerbahce). Age: 32. Position: Defender. Captain of the team who is the record caps holder for Nigeria and will be participating at his sixth finals tournament. He is the only experienced player in a new-look defence. His career has taken him to clubs in Belgium, France, England and, since 2010, in Turkey.

Prospects: Nigeria are always a team with a chance of success and consistently make it through to the knockout stages. They did, however, embarrassingly miss out on the last finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon and have a side who look lightweight in comparison to previous generations. There are fewer Nigerians playing in Europe’s top leagues than in the past.


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Culled from :Here

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Category: Sports