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“Everyone Should Get Ready To See A Fantastic Nigerian Team, Garba Assures Eaglet Will Clinch Her 6th Title

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Five-time world champions, the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria will tonight kick-start their campaign at the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup as they take on European opponents Hungary in the opening match of Group B at Estádio Olímpico, Goiania in Brazil.

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Having been champions in 1985, 1993, 2007, 2013 and 2015, the Golden Eaglets are in the hunt for their sixth title to maintain dominance of the youth football championship.

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The Eaglets were runners up on three occasions, at Canada 1987, Trinidad and Tobago 2001 and 2009 when Nigeria hosted the youth tournament.

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They also hold the record for the highest number of goals scored in a single competition at this level.

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The Kelechi Iheanacho inspired Golden Eaglets scored a whopping 26 goals on their way to winning their fourth title in the United Arabs Emirates in 2013.

Although they have dominated the championship, the Eaglets failed to qualify for the 2017 edition that was staged in India. The team didn’t even qualify for the U-17 AFCON which serves as qualifiers for the World Cup.

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Interestingly, the same technical crew that failed to qualify the team for the last edition is in charge of the squad of 2019 that is aiming for glory in Brazil.

To qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil, the Manu Garba led team placed fourth at the 2019 AFCON U-17 Championship in Tanzania.

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Although they lost 1-2 to Angola to miss out on top-three finish for the third time in a row, it is on record that the team finished in the same fourth place in 2015 but a few months later, they went on to win their fifth world title in Chile.

Consequently, even as they are not in Brazil as continental champions, the Golden Eaglets are rated among the top favourites to lift the coveted trophy that is at stake.

Their opponents in tonight’s fixture last played in the U-17 World Cup 34 years ago, which was the inaugural edition staged in China in 1985. Hungary are therefore making their second appearance in the competition.

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In their debut, Hungary shocked the world as they defeated one of the tournament’s favourites Brazil, but their luck ran out when they met eventual winners, Nigeria, losing 1-3 in the quarter-finals.

The Golden Eaglets of 2019 are therefore expected to draw inspiration from the victory in 1985 as they go up against their opponents tonight.

After several months of rigorous screening and participation in international competitions, Coach Garba has settled for the best 21 lads for the assignment in Brazil.

The team built around young players who are plying their trade in football academies in Nigeria boasts of influential stars like the captain Samson Tijani, Peter Agba, Ibrahim Said, Monsuru Opeyemi, Olakunle Olusegun, Wisdom Ubani, Akinwunmi Amoo, Ibraheem Jabaar and Divine Nwachukwu.

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Some of these youngsters are said to be so talented that they are already the interest of some big football clubs in Europe.

Apart from the players, the coach of the team is vastly experienced as far as the world U-17 championship is concerned.

Before he guided the Golden Eaglets to their fourth title in UAE, Manu Garba was late Coach Yemi Tella’s assistant when the team won their third title in South Korea in 2007.

He was promoted to the national U-20 team, the Flying Eagles where he won the AFCON U-20 title in 2015 in Senegal but enjoyed less success with the same team at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

The star-studded squad comprising of players like Kelechi Iheanacho, Taiwo Awoniyi, Kingsley Sokari, Musa Mohammed, Isaac success, Musa Yahaya, Saviour Godwin, Moses Simon and Chidiebere Nwakali ended their campaign in the Round of 16.

Considering his knowledge of youth football, Garba was recalled again to handle the squad of 2017 but as earlier stated, he failed to qualify the team for the world championship in India.

Despite the failure, he was called upon again in 2018 and has already achieved his initial target of qualifying the team for Brazil 2019. He is now eying his second title as coach of the Golden Eaglets.

With a backroom staff comprising of Coach Nduka Ugbade, the man who lifted the first FIFA U-17 trophy as captain of the Eaglets, the team may not be lacking in technical depth.

Speaking to FIFA.com in Brazil, Garba is optimistic of etching Nigeria’s name further in the history of the competition.

“Everyone should get ready to see a fantastic Nigerian team that plays great football and have the trophy in their sights.

“Ecuador, Hungary and Australia are undoubtedly strong teams that we respect, but we are record-breaking world champions and I was involved in two of our title wins.

“The will to win every game is part of the DNA of every Nigerian team, and my team here in Brazil is no exception,” he said.

After their opening match tonight, the Golden Eaglets will face Ecuador in their second group match on October 29 at the same venue. Ecuador is making their fifth appearance in the championship after their debut in 1987.

Then on November 1 at the Estadio Bezerrão, Nigeria will play their last group game against Australia who out of the four Asian teams in Brazil, boasts of the best record at the FIFA U-17 World Cup with a total of 12 appearances.

Notably, they stormed to the final at New Zealand 1999, reached the quarter-finals six times and made it to Round of 16 on another two occasions.

Considering Nigeria’s intimidating profile in this championship, expectations are high that they won’t only come out of their group, but go all the way to clinch their sixth world title on November 17.

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Ighalo Sets For Shanghai Shenhua Return

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Odion Ighalo is likely to leave Manchester United on Sunday and return to Shanghai Shenhua, who have offered him a new contract worth more than £75m over four years according to sky sports.

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Recall, the Nigerian International joined the red devil from Chinese football club on a short loan deal.

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Although, Manchester United is trying to secure increase of the striker’s loan deal after gaining confidence of United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

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BlazeNewz Disclaimer

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Rohr Accepts Two-Year NFF Contract With Super Eagles

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Nigeria Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has accepted a new two-year contract sent to him by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

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The Franco-German agreed the contract which was tagged with terms by country’s football apex body.

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NFF president, Amaju Pinnick had listed some of the conditions the federation gave Rohr before his contract could be renewed, which states that he must live in Nigeria and also watch the Nigeria Professional Football (NPF) League matches to scout for home-based talents.

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Part of the conditions also noted that the Franco-German would be paid in Nigerian currency, the naira.

Rohr, whose contract with the NFF expires in June, had been in contract renewal talks with the federation since the beginning of the year.

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The 66-year-old first took the Eagles job in August 2016, before signing a two-year contract renewal in January 2018, after qualifying the national team for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

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He led the side to a group stage outing at the World Cup, before winning bronze at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

He has 59.18 win ratio with the Eagles, winning 29, 11 draws and losing nine out of 49 matches.

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BlazeNewz Disclaimer

The information contained in this post is for general information purposes only. Opinion articles, comments are solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of BlazeNewz while we endeavour to keep the information accurate with objectivity as we adhere to global practice of journalism. Read our full Disclaimer.

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Capello Warns Martinez Not To Join Barcelona

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Fabio Capello praised Inter star Lautaro Martinez but warned the forward it was better to be starting at the Serie A club than being on the bench at Barcelona.

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Martinez has been linked with a move to the LaLiga giants, having scored 16 goals in 31 games for Inter this season.

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While Capello is impressed by the Argentina international, the former Real Madrid and Juventus head coach said Martinez would face a challenge to break into Barcelona’s starting side.

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“Lautaro Martinez is a very good player,” he told El Larguero.

“He has everything – a lot of quality, very fast moves and also he’s very good when he shoots on goal.

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“Going to Barcelona and becoming a starter with Luis Suarez there is difficult.

“I think it is better to be a starter at Inter than a substitute at Barcelona.”

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Martinez has scored 25 goals in 66 games for Inter since arriving at the club from Racing Club in 2018.

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BlazeNewz Disclaimer

The information contained in this post is for general information purposes only. Opinion articles, comments are solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of BlazeNewz while we endeavour to keep the information accurate with objectivity as we adhere to global practice of journalism. Read our full Disclaimer.

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