Tuesday, 27 April 2010

NIGERIA

THEY ARE:
Nigeria is another one of those African nations that holds something of a mystery and intrigue for Westerners.

AS A FOOTBALL NATION:
They have provided some exciting moments in past World Cups. In 1994 and 1998 they made it through the group stage into the knock out rounds in exciting fashion taking over from Cameroon as the top African football nation.

MY OWN EXPERIENCE:
In 2002 I was sitting accountancy exams and with the World Cup being in Asia the games was being played in the morning and when England played them I was sat in a car park outside an exam hall in Chelmsford listening to various car stereos all booming out the same match. Before the game was over it was time to go in for the exam before emerging three hours later to the reality that Nigeria had held England to a 0-0 draw.

IN 2010:
As in 1994 they are in a group with Argentina again (Group B). After a flat African Cup Of Nations they are not expected to fly but at the same time neither are Greece or South Korea who fill out the group. It is not beyond the realm possibility for them to progress to the knock out stage.

FAMOUS PLAYERS:
Daniel Amokachi was the name of the 90s side. Circa now they have the Everton pairing of Yobo and Yakubu in addition to veteran Kanu and the comedically named Danny Shittu.

MOST OBVIOUS REFERENCE:
These days it is all those scam emails. One day one of them will pay off for me.

AWAY FROM FOOTBALL:
In a fact stolen straight out of the Guardian World Cup guide Nigeria is the most populous country on the African continent with every fifth African being Nigerian.

NUMBER OF PEOPLE FROM NIGERIA THAT I KNOW:
None until the next email.

QUOTE FROM A NIGERIAN:
Not coming.

DO I LIKE THEM:
Yes I do, the side from the nineties conjures up dynamic memories and the hope they may recapture that form.

FINAL COMMENT:
Nigeria helps confirm my belief that any team that plays in green is a good team.

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