The mention of great football nations especially in Africa is never complete without talking about “The Super Eagles of Nigeria”. Previously known as the “Green Eagles”, the Super Eagles is Nigeria’s national football team. Since its inception, it has made a great impact in the football (soccer) scene both regionally and globally. Let’s take a trip down memory lane too see the most amazing moments of this great team.
1. Highest FIFA Ranking – 1994
Although football in Africa is gradually improving, many countries still lag behind great footballing nations in South America and Europe. However, Nigeria has always stood out as an exceptional case. The country has consistently featured among the top nations not only in Africa but also in the world. However, the greatest feat was accomplished in April of 1994 when the Super Eagles was ranked 5th according to FIFA World Rankings.
2. Three Time Winners of Africa Cup of Nations
The Africa Cup of Nations formerly “The Mandela Cup” is the biggest soccer tournament that takes place in the continent. It features all the countries in Africa and takes place once in every two years. The Nigerian Super Eagles have won the Trophy a record of three times: 1980, 1994 and 2013.
3. First Ever Gold Medal in All Africa Games
Although Nigeria was playing soccer as early as the 1930’s while under the British Colony, the first official game was held in 1949. Nonetheless, its first accomplishment was during the All Africa Games held in 1973 where the team managed to get the Gold medal. In 1976 and 1978 the team finished second and third respectively.
4. Qualified For the World Cup 5 Times
The dream of any national team is qualifying for the World Cup. This tournament is without a doubt the most prestigious event of the football calendar. Nigeria’s national soccer team has had a remarkable campaign having qualified for the World Cup 5 times. In the just concluded qualifiers, Nigeria walloped Ethiopia 4-1 to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
5. Reaching FIFA World Cup round of 16
As many people are aware, the World Cup is a very challenging championship. It features the very best of the world with each continent producing its best. The Nigerian Super Eagles have qualified for the World Cup 5 out of 6 times, and in their appearances they have managed to stun the World by beating Soccer giants such as Spain as well as drawing with the likes of England. The team has managed to reach the round of 16 twice.