Nickname: Super Eagles
FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking: 21
Nigeria is making its fourth appearance in the World Cup. They began qualification on fire, winning every match in the first qualification round, but then barely qualified after struggling down the stretch and coming into the last day needing Tunisia to lose and them to win. Fortunately for the Super Eagles, Mozambique upset Tunisia and they were able to come from behind to beat Kenya 3-2.
The Super Eagles were placed in Group B along with Argentina (ranked 7th), Greece (ranked 13th) and Korea Republic (ranked 47th). They are expected to compete with Greece for second in this group behind Argentina. Despite the lower rankings, many pick the Super Eagles to emerge playing with a little extra energy and support due to the World Cup being on African soil.
Nigeria recently finished third in the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola but despite that their coach Shaibu Amodu was replaced by Lars Lagerback. Lagerback had been the coach for his homeland of Sweden but after they failed to qualify he accepted the coaching position with Nigeria. He doesn’t have long to help solidify this Nigerian team, but he is known for his hard-working and well-drilled teams. Nigerians hope he can bring this young team together in just three months.
The Super Eagles have a very fast and streaky attack led by forward Obafemi Martins. Martins is an inconsistent player, but when he is on his game he can score with the best of them. He is joined up front with Yakubu Aiyegbeni, who is crucial to any success Nigeria is going to have in the World Cup.