AFCON 2019: Profile of Nigeria national football team

By Vincent Ashitey
Profile: Nigeria national football team
Profile: Nigeria national football team

Nigeria is in Group B of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament alongside Guinea Madagascar and Burundi. Egypt are the hosts of the tournament.

The Nigeria national football team, also known as the Super Eagles, represents Nigeria in international association football and is controlled by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

In April 1994, the Super Eagles were ranked 5th in the FIFA rankings, the highest FIFA ranking position ever achieved by an African football team. The Nigeria national football team is currently ranked 42nd in the World and 3rd in Africa, with its lowest ranking coming on November 1999 being placed 82nd. 

Their first World Cup appearance was the 1994 edition hosted by the United States.

Throughout history, the team has qualified for six of the last seven FIFA World Cups (as of 2018), missing only the 2006 World Cup hosted in Germany, and have reached the round of 16 three times.

The Nigeria national football team are three-time Africa Cup of Nations winners, with their recent title in 2013, after defeating Burkina Faso in the final.

Nigeria football national team, 2013 AFCON Champions

The Super Eagles played its first international match on October 8, 1949, winning 2-0 against Sierra Leone. Their biggest defeat came on 1 June 1955, losing 7-0 to Ghana then Gold Coast and recorded their highest margin in the game against Dahomey now Benin on November 28, 1959, winning by 10-1.

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The Nigeria national football team is currently coached by Germany international Gernot Rohr who was appointed on August 2016. On October 7, 2017, his Nigeria-led team became the first African side to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup after a 1–0 win against Zambia.

Gernot Rohr (Nigeria football national team)

The Nigeria national football team most capped players are Vincent Enyeama and Joseph Yobo. The duo amassed a combined 202 caps for the national team.

Joseph Yobo is a former Nigeria international, who has been capped 101 times and represented the Super Eagles at three FIFA World Cups and six Africa Cup of Nations tournaments. He was the captain of the Nigerian national team until his international football retirement in June 2014, and is Nigeria's joint record appearance holder.

Joseph Yobo (Nigeria national football team)

While Vincent Enyeama also amassed 101 caps and was a member of the Nigeria national football team from 2002 until October 2015, serving as its captain from 2013 until his retirement from international football. 

Vincent Enyeama (Nigeria national football team)

Retired striker Rashidi Yekini scored 37 goals as a Nigerian international in 58 caps to become the nation's all-time scorer and represented the country in five major tournaments, including two World Cups where he scored the country's first-ever goal in the competition.

Rashidi Yekini (Nigeria national football team)

The Nigerian international was also named the African Footballer of the Year in 1993.