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Nigeria national football team facts for kids

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Nigeria
Nickname(s) Super Eagles
Association Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)
Confederation CAF (Africa)
Sub-confederation WAFU (West Africa)
Head coach Finidi George (caretaker)
Captain William Troost-Ekong
Most caps Ahmed Musa (109)
Top scorer Rashidi Yekini (37)
Home stadium Moshood Abiola National Stadium
FIFA code NGA
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 46 Decrease 2 (7 February 2019)
Highest 5 (April 1994)
Lowest 82 (November 1999)
Elo ranking
Current 42 Increase 2 (3 March 2019)
Highest 15 (31 May 2004)
Lowest 72 (27 December 1964)
First international
Flag of the British West Africa Settlements (1870–1888).svg Sierra Leone 0–2 Nigeria 
(Freetown, Sierra Leone; 8 October 1949)
Biggest win
 São Tomé and Príncipe 0–10 Nigeria 
(Agadir, Morocco; 13 June 2022)
Biggest defeat
 Gold Coast and United Kingdom British Togoland 7–0 Nigeria 
(Accra, Gold Coast; 1 June 1955)
World Cup
Appearances 6 (first in 1994)
Best result Round of 16 (1994, 1998, 2014)
Africa Cup of Nations
Appearances 20 (first in 1963)
Best result Champions (1980, 1994, 2013)
African Nations Championship
Appearances 3 (first in 2014)
Best result Runners-up (2018)
WAFU Nations Cup
Appearances 3 (first in 2010)
Best result Champions (2010)
Confederations Cup
Appearances 2 (first in 1995)
Best result Fourth place (1995)
Medal record
African Games
Gold 1973 Lagos Team
Silver 1978 Algiers Team

The Nigeria national football team represents Nigeria in men's international football. Governed by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), they are three-time Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) winners, with their most recent title in 2013. In February 2024, the Nigerian national football team was ranked 28th in the FIFA rankings. The team has qualified for six of the last eight FIFA World Cups, missing only the 2006 and 2022 editions. They have reached the round of 16 on three occasions. Their first World Cup appearance was the 1994 edition. The team is a member of FIFA and Confederation of African Football (CAF).

History

Circa 1949 - Nigerian -UK Tourists- national team
The Nigeria "UK Tourists" national team prior to their tour of the UK in 1949. The team were known among the West African nations at the time as the "Red Devils" due to their red shirts.

After playing other colonies in unofficial games since the 1930s, Nigeria played its first official game in October 1949, while still a British colony. The team played warm-up games in England against various amateur teams including Bromley, Dulwich Hamlet, Bishop Auckland, and South Liverpool. Nigeria's match against Marine A.F.C. at Rossett Park drew 6,000 spectators, a record for the small ground.

1963–1980

Nigeria first appeared in the Africa Cup of Nations in 1963, when they were drawn in a group with Sudan, and the then United Arab Republic. They did not advance to the next stage.

The team's first major success was a gold medal in the 2nd All-Africa games in 1973 led by captain, Victor Oduah. The team went on to achieve 3rd-place finishes in the 1976 and 1978 African Cup of Nations to follow. In 1980, with players such as Segun Odegbami and Best Ogedegbe, the team, led by Christian Chukwu, won the African Cup for the first time in Lagos. Nigeria Olympic men's football team won the football event at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, beating Mexico, Brazil and Argentina in the process. They were runners-up in the same event at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, losing to Argentina in a rematch of the 1996 Final of the event.

In 1984, 1988 and 2000, Nigeria reached the Cup of Nations final, losing to Cameroon. Three of the five African titles won by Cameroon have been won by defeating Nigeria. Missing out to Cameroon on many occasions has created an intense rivalry between both nations. Three notable occasions; narrowly losing out in the 1988 African Cup of Nations, qualifiers for the 1990 World Cup, and the controversial final of the 2000 African Cup of Nations where a kick taken by Victor Ikpeba during the penalty shoot-out was adjudged not to have crossed the goal-line by the referee.

The team withdrew from two African Cup of Nations between 1963 and 1974, due to political instability and in 1996. In 1976, they came back to the Cup of Nations with third-place finishes in both the 1976 and 1978 Africa Cup of Nations.

1980–1990

Nigeria hosted the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations and also won their first Cup of Nations Title that year in Lagos. Ghana came out as runners-up three times and had one group stage elimination, between 1982 and 1990. They also failed to qualify for the 1986 Africa Cup of Nations hosted by Egypt.

1992–2006

Nigeria appeared again in the African Cup of Nations in 1992 and 1994, they finished third in 1992 and won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations, which was the second time they won the tournament.

Qualification for the 1994 FIFA World Cup
Countries qualified for the 1994 FIFA World Cup are shown in dark green
JezekWesterhof1980
Clemens Westerhof managed the team from 1989 through the 1994 World Cup.

Nigeria finally reached the World Cup for the first time in 1994 after years of struggling to get there. They were managed by Clemens Westerhof. Nigeria topped their group which included Argentina, Bulgaria, and Greece. Nigeria defeated Bulgaria 3–0, lost to Argentina 1–2, and reached the second round after a 2–0 victory over Greece. In the second round, Nigeria played Italy and took the lead with a goal from Emmanuel Amunike at 25 minutes. Nigeria was within two minutes of qualifying for the Quarter-finals, but Roberto Baggio scored to take the game to extra time. He also scored the eventual winning goal. The game ended 2–1 in favour of the Italians. In 1996 the team withdrew from that year's African Cup of Nations under pressure from the country's military dictator Sani Abacha due to the criticism received from the tournament hosts South Africa and especially its president Nelson Mandela, for the execution of Ogoni activist Ken Saro-Wiwa. Nigeria was subsequently banned from entering the 1998 African Cup of Nations.

In 1998, Nigeria returned to the World Cup alongside Cameroon, Morocco, Tunisia, and South Africa. Optimism was high due to its manager Bora Milutinović and the return of most 1994 squad members. In the final tournament Nigeria were drawn into group D with Spain, Bulgaria, Paraguay. Nigeria scored a major upset by defeating Spain 3–2 after coming back twice from being 1–0 and 2–1 down. The Eagles qualified for the second round with a win against Bulgaria and a loss to Paraguay. The team's hopes of surpassing its 1994 performance were shattered after a 1–4 loss to Denmark. This is currently the only World Cup that Nigeria qualified for without playing Argentina in the tournament finals.

In 2000 they returned to the Cup of Nations and were the runner-up and subsequently finished in third place at the 2002, 2004 and 2006 Africa Cup of Nations.

2002 and 2006 World Cups

The 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan saw Nigeria again qualify with optimism. With a new squad and distinctive pastel green kits, the Super Eagles were expected to build on its strong performances in the 2000 and 2002 African Cup of Nations. Nigeria was drawn into group F with powerhouses Sweden, Argentina, and England. The first game against Argentina started with a strong defence that kept the first half scoreless. In the 61st minute, Gabriel Batistuta breached the Nigerian defence to put Argentina in the lead 1–0, and Argentina would go on to win the game. Nigeria's second game against Sweden saw them take the lead but later lose 2–1. Nigeria then drew 0–0 with England and bowed out in the first round.

Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup after finishing level on points in the qualification group with Angola, but having an inferior record in the matches between the sides.

2008–2017

EGY-NGA-2010-10-12
Egypt versus Nigeria lineup at 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, Uzomedia

In the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, Nigeria ended their campaign in the quarter finals after losing to Ghana. They qualified for 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, hosted by Angola, but were eliminated by Ghana in the semi-finals. They failed to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations after ending the qualifiers with a 2–2 draw against Guinea with goals from Ikechukwu Uche and Victor Obinna.

Nigeria came back in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations hosted in South Africa; after playing through the tournament with an unbeaten run, they defeated Burkina Faso in the finals to lift the Cup for the third time. However, they did not qualify for either of the next two tournaments.

2010 World Cup

On 14 November 2009, Nigeria qualified for the 2010 World Cup after defeating Kenya by 3–2 in Nairobi.

FIFA World Cup 2010 South Korea Nigeria 2
Nigeria played against South Korea at 2010 FIFA World Cup

Nigeria lost its opening match against Argentina 1–0 at Ellis Park Stadium following a controversial Gabriel Heinze header in the 6th minute. In its second game Nigeria led early on by a goal from Kalu Uche. A red card against Sani Kaita gave Greece the advantage. Greece scored the equaliser late in the first half and Nigeria conceded the second goal in the second half and lost the game 2–1. In their last group stage match against South Korea, Nigeria took an early lead in the 12th minute off of a great finish by Kalu Uche after a low cross from Chidi Odiah. However, goals from Lee Jung-Soo and Park Chu-Young gave South Korea a 2–1 lead, which looked to be enough for South Korea to advance into the round of 16. However, Nigeria got a chance in the 66th minute, on the end of a pass from Ayila Yussuf that was fed through the South Korean defense was none other than Yakubu, once the pass found Yakubu's foot about four yards away from the empty goal, Yakubu pushed the ball wide of the left post to leave South Korea still ahead 2–1. Three minutes later, Yakubu was able to calmly finish a penalty to knot the score at two apiece, but Nigeria was unable to score again and the match ended in a 2–2 draw. With this result, Nigeria was eliminated from the 2010 World Cup with just one point, while South Korea advanced into the round of 16 with four points. On 30 June 2010, following the team's early exit and poor showing, the then President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan suspended the national football team from international competition for two years. This suspension put the team at risk of being banned from international football by FIFA for reasons of political interference.

On 5 July 2010, the Nigerian government rescinded its ban of the national football team from FIFA/CAF football competitions, but the sanction of suspension was applied by FIFA some three months after. On 4 October 2010, Nigeria was indefinitely banned from international football due to government interference following the 2010 World Cup. Four days later, however, the ban was "provisionally lifted" until 26 October, the day after the officially unrecognised players' union – National Association of Nigerian Footballers (NANF) dropped its court case against the NFF.

2014 World Cup

NGA-BIH 2014-06-21
Line-ups for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Group F match between Nigeria and Bosnia & Herzegovina

Nigeria's campaign in the 2014 FIFA World Cup opened with a disappointing 0–0 draw against Iran. Four days later the team played their second game against Bosnia and Herzegovina. A controversial 29th-minute Peter Odemwingie goal gave Nigeria their first World Cup match win since 1998. They faced Argentina another four days later: a 3rd minute Lionel Messi goal for the opposition was followed almost instantly with an equalizer by Ahmed Musa. Messi gave Argentina the lead back just before half-time. In the second half, Musa leveled the game out again, Lionel Messi was substituted and handed over his captaincy to Marcos Rojo only for Rojo to put Argentina 3–2 ahead minutes later.

Nigeria lost the match, but still qualified for the round of 16. In the Round of 16, Nigeria faced France, an 18th-minute stabbed shot from Emmanuel Emenike saw the ball in the net, past the French goal-keeper but the goal was ruled off-side by the linesman. Nigeria held them off until the 79th minute when a cross and a Paul Pogba header gifted France the lead. An accidental own goal by Super Eagles Captain Joseph Yobo in injury time put the result beyond any doubt: Nigeria was out. This is the third time Nigeria is eliminated in the round of 16 and they were not still able to enter the Quarter-finals in the FIFA World Cup.

2018 World Cup

FWC 2018 - Group D - NGA v ISL - Photo 20
Nigeria vs Iceland at the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Nigeria vs Argentina
Nigeria vs Argentina at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

On 24 June 2016, The Confederation of African Football released the draw for the 3rd round of the World Cup qualifiers which saw Nigeria grouped in what was described as a "group of death"; alongside Zambia, Algeria, and Cameroon. Nigeria started their group stage matches with a 2–1 win over Zambia in Ndola and defeated Algeria 3–1 in their second match at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium. They went on to beat Cameroon 5–1 home and away in a back to back contest.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria became the first African team to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup after beating Zambia 1–0 in Uyo. On 3 June 2018, coach Gernot Rohr unveiled a 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Nigeria lost their first match of the tournament 0–2 to Croatia in Kaliningrad, before they won 2–0 in the second match against a brave Iceland, with Ahmed Musa scoring both goals. Nigeria had a huge chance to qualify to the next round as Argentina was demolished 3–0 by Croatia. Despite this advantage, they lost 2–1 in their last group stage match against Argentina, with one goal by Victor Moses. For this defeat, and followed with Iceland's defeat to Croatia, Nigeria missed the opportunity to advance to the round of 16 and got eliminated from the tournament.

2019 Africa Cup of Nations

The Super Eagles started their campaign at the 2019 AFCON by defeating Burundi 1–0 in group B opening match. They went on to defeat Guinea and lost 2–0 to Madagascar in their final group stage match. The round of 16 saw the national football team of Nigeria defeating Cameroon 3–2 with goals coming from Jude Ighalo and Iwobi, they later went on to confront South Africa in the quarter-finals of the tournament. An 89th-minute header from Troost-Ekong gave Nigeria the lead over South Africa and the match ended 2–1 in favour of Nigeria. Nigeria faced Algeria in the semi-finals and were knocked out of the tournament after a 95th-minute free kick from Riyad Mahrez gave Algeria the lead. The Super Eagles later faced Tunisia in a third place match which they won 1–0 with the only goal coming from Ighalo which made him the top scorer of the tournament.

2021 Africa Cup of Nations

On 18 July 2019, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) released the draw for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification. The Super Eagles were grouped in group L alongside Lesotho, Benin, and Sierra Leone. Nigeria started out by defeating Benin 2–1 at Uyo in their first group match and later went on to beat Lesotho 4–2 in an away match. In March 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CAF postponed all AFCON qualifiers indefinitely. Subsequently, on 30 June 2020, CAF rescheduled the 2021 African Cup of Nations to 2022, to take place from 9 January to 6 February 2022. The qualifiers resumed on 9 November 2020.

The 2021 AFCON started on 9 January 2022, and Nigeria was the only team in the tournament to win all three group stage matches after defeating Egypt 1–0, Sudan 3–1, and Guinea-Bissau 2–0. However, Nigeria lost 1–0 in the round of 16 to Tunisia on 23 January.

2022 World Cup

Nigeria failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 16 years, losing to Ghana on the away goals rule after drawing 0–0 in Ghana and 1–1 in Nigeria.

2023 Africa Cup of Nations

The Super Eagles started their campaign at the 2023 AFCON by drawing 1–1 to Equatorial Guinea in their opening group A match. They went on to defeat hosts Ivory Coast 1–0 and defeated Guinea Bissau in the same scoreline. The round of 16 saw the national football team of Nigeria defeating Cameroon 2–0 with a brace from Ademola Lookman, they later went on to defeat Angola in the quarter-finals of the tournament thanks to a first half strike from Lookman. Nigeria faced South Africa in the semi-finals. Substitute Kelechi Iheanacho scored to give Nigeria a 4–2 penalty shootout victory over South Africa. The match finished 1–1 after extra time. In the final, Super Eagles finished as runners-up, losing 2–1 to hosts Ivory Coast.

Team image

Argentina-Nigeria (8)
Argentina versus Nigeria in a friendly match on 14 November 2017

Kits and crest

The Nigeria national team has traditionally used a mostly-solid green on green primary set with white numbering, lettering, and highlights; coupled with all-white reversed secondary kits, all emblematic of the colours of the Nigerian flag. The shade of green has varied over the years. An olive drab-tinged, forest green was frequently favoured during the 1980s to the early 1990s, and jade has appeared in each of those decades as well; even harlequin has been used. Over the last decade, the team has appeared to settle on the more standard office green which most closely resembles the shade used on the flag. Nigeria's first national teams used a solid scarlet top over white shorts and socks until the country adopted its current colours after its independence.

On 23 April 2015, Nike was announced to be the supplier of Nigeria's kits after Adidas ended their kit contract with the NFF. Before that, Nike supplied Nigeria's kit between 1998 and 2003.

Kit suppliers

Kit supplier Period Notes
West Germany Erima 1980–1984
United Kingdom Admiral 1984–1987
Germany Adidas 1988–1994
United States Nike 1994–2003
Germany Adidas 2004–2014
United States Nike 2015–present

Kit deals

Kit supplier Period Contract
announcement
Contract
duration
Value Notes
United States Nike 2015–present
2015-04-23
1 May 2015 – 30 October 2018 (3 years & 6 months) Total $3.75m / 743m Naira
2018-11-20
1 November 2018 – December 2026 (8 years) Undisclosed The new deal is said to be worth significantly
more than the $3.75 million on the previous deal.

Nigeria's national team image has undergone much evolution throughout its history. Prior to independence, they were called the Red Devils due to their red topped kits. The name was changed to the Green Eagles after independence in reference to the Nigerian state flag as well as the eagle which adorns the country's coat of arms. There had been deliberations for a while heading to the 1988 Africa Cup of Nations, where they were still called the Green Eagles, but at a reception after the tournament, the team's name was officially changed to the "Super Eagles". Today, only the senior men's national team uses the nickname. The women's national team is called the "Super Falcons", and Nigeria's underage male teams are nicknamed the "Flying Eagles" & the "Golden Eaglets".

Media coverage

The Nigerian football federation currently has an active deal with the parent company of AIT and Ray Power Radio. Internationally, Nigeria's qualifiers and African Cup matches are regularly broadcast abroad by the multi-platform international sports network, beIN Sports and South African broadcaster SuperSport. Nigeria's international friendlies are regularly scheduled in the UK through independent organisers are marketed to the country's large population of Nigerian expatriates.

Supporters

Nigerian fans in Russia
Nigerian football supporters at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

Though the club is most notable at Nigeria's home matches wearing green-themed embroidered outfits specific to the club along with wigs, hats and large sunglasses while dancing, singing, playing drums and trumpets, as well as carrying pom poms, culturally significant objects, inflatable beachballs, and waving flags; they have also shown a presence travelling abroad to support Nigeria in away matches. However, the club's efforts at improving the atmosphere at Nigeria's home and away matches are beset by funding issues, corruption and infighting. The club's current head, Rafiu Ladipo, has drawn criticism from its membership and is under pressure to defer the leadership to one of his deputies.

A regular sight at Nigerian home matches is also their brass and percussion band, whose rendition of well-known Highlife songs provides Nigerian home matches with a unique feel. In Nigeria, these performers are occasionally conspicuous with their military uniforms or they may be members of the Football Supporters Club. A popular chant among supporters from all over the country, after a goal scored, is "Oshe Baba!", which means "Thank you father!" in Yoruba.

Rivalries

Ghana

Many important matches have been played against various nations who have been occasional rivals. Of these nations, Ghana is widely considered Nigeria's primary rival as the two sides have met one another more than any other opponent, as well as being two of the most successful national teams in Africa. Nigeria has enjoyed periods of success. The most notable of these periods are the early contests during the 1950s, and matches that took place in the early 2000s.

Black Stars (Ghana national football team) versus Super Eagles (Nigeria national football team)
Ghana vs. Nigeria in the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations Quarter-Final

FIFA lists the first official match between the two as a World Cup qualifier match in 1960. However both national teams had already engaged in competitive matches dating back to 1950. The national teams of these two West African countries were formed during the time in which both remained protectorates of the British Empire. At that time the modern-day nation of Ghana was known as the Gold Coast. Nigeria, prior to adopting the national colours of green and white, wore scarlet tops over white shorts and were known as the "Red Devils". The two sides played for several rivalry and tournament cups during this period in which full international competition was barred to them. The encounter between these two teams is commonly known as the Jollof Derby.

Cameroon

Nigeria's neighbours to the east, Cameroon, have also played Nigeria a number of times over the years. The teams have met three times in the final of the African Cup of Nations with Cameroon winning each time. Both carry histories of continental success and World Cup representation that is nearly unrivaled on the African continent.

Their rivalry began in 1960 and since then, Nigeria has proved to be a more dominating team, but in all three AFCON Final matches in 1984, 1988 and 2000, Cameroon prevailed over Nigeria.

Nigeria has qualified for six FIFA World Cup finals, advancing from the group stage three times (1994, 1998 and 2014), getting knocked out in the round of 16 all three times, while Cameroon has qualified eight times, advancing from the group stage only once (1990) though they made it to the quarter-finals in that edition.

Other African nations

There is also a number of competitive matches with Algeria dating back to the 1970s. The two sides met twice in the African Cup of Nations finals, with each nation splitting the win totals. It was a 1–1 draw in Algeria on 8 October 1993 that enabled Nigeria to claim its first World Cup berth in the 1994 edition of the tournament. Nigeria since then had an undefeated streak against Algeria, until the semi-finals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations when Algeria prevailed over Nigeria.

Nigeria's western neighbour, Benin, has played competitive matches with the team since the period of European colonisation when they were known as Dahomey. But with only two wins and two draws to Benin's credit against Nigeria's fourteen wins, and with the sides having only met six times since 1980, Benin remains a lightly regarded opponent.

Argentina

NIG-ARG (2)
Nigeria starting eleven versus Argentina at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

In five of its first six World Cup appearances, Nigeria was drawn in the group stage with three-time champion Argentina and is regarded by many fans as having fairly acquitted themselves against the footballing giant. The fixture is the most common in the competition's history involving an African nation. All five matches have been won by Argentina, but all were by a one-goal margin (2–1 in 1994, 1–0 in 2002, 1–0 in 2010, 3–2 in 2014 and 2–1 in 2018) and have been tightly contested. To date, Nigeria has recorded two wins against Argentina's six, with the victories occurring during friendly matches. Nigeria came close to defeating Argentina in their first meeting, during which they held a lead for some minutes of the match. This was followed by a Confederations Cup match in 1995 which saw Nigeria hold the South Americans to a 0–0 draw. Below full international level, their Olympic teams also faced off in the gold medal match in 1996 (3–2 to Nigeria), and 2008 (1–0 to Argentina). The final of the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship was also played between them; both Argentina goals in their 2–1 win were scored by Lionel Messi, who would go on to find the net for the senior team in the 2014 and 2018 World Cup fixtures.

The match-up holds some importance to many Nigerian football fans who regard the challenge as an important measuring stick for the development of Nigerian football. Argentine fans for their part, typically do not regard Nigeria as a rival. Although it means less to Argentine fans, matches against Nigeria are always seen as needing to be played with caution.

Home stadium

Football heaven
Abuja home stadium

The Moshood Abiola National Stadium (formerly known as National Stadium, Abuja) serves as the official home stadium of the Super Eagles. Several international matches are played in other stadiums across the country. However, since the construction of Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, most of the Super Eagles' important home matches have been played there.

Super Eagles match venues

Stadium Capacity Commissioned City State/Territory Ref
Godswill Akpabio International Stadium 30,000 2012 Uyo Akwa Ibom
Stephen Keshi Stadium 22,000 2018 Asaba Delta
Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium 38,000 2015 Port Harcourt Rivers
Moshood Abiola National Stadium 60,491 2000 Abuja FCT
Lagos National Stadium 45,000 1972 Surulere Lagos
U. J. Esuene Stadium 16,000 1977 Calabar Cross River
Teslim Balogun Stadium 24,325 1984 Surulere Lagos
Obafemi Awolowo Stadium 25,000 1960 Ibadan Oyo
Sani Abacha Stadium 16,000 1998 Kano Kano
Ahmadu Bello Stadium 16,000 1965 Kaduna Kaduna
Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium 22,000 1986 Enugu Enugu
Liberation Stadium 16,000 Port Harcourt Rivers

Results and fixtures

The following is a list of football match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.

      Win       Draw       Loss       Fixture

2023

2024

Coaching staff

The current Nigerian (Super Eagles) managerial staff is made up of a technical adviser who serves as the coach in charge of full international matches and a chief coach who serves as the first assistant coach. The second assistant coach is in charge of the home-based team as well as the CHAN tournament and other home based competitions. Other positions also include the technical assistant and the goalkeeper trainer.

Position Name
Technical director Nigeria Augustine Eguavoen
Head coach vacant
Assistant coach I Nigeria Finidi George
Assistant coach II Nigeria Salisu Yusuf
Assistant coach III Nigeria Usman Abd'Allah
Goalkeeping coach Nigeria Alloysius Agu
Fitness coach Nigeria Kenneth Adeyemi
Video analyst Nigeria Afolabi Adebayo
Match analyst Nigeria Eboboritse Uwejamomere

Coaching history

Caretaker managers are listed in italics.
  • England Jack Finch (1949)
  • Nigeria Adewale Adegoke (1950–1952)
  • Nigeria Daniel Anyiam (1954–1956)
  • England Les Courtier (1956–1960)
  • Israel Jerry Beit haLevi (1960–1961)
  • Hungary George Vardar (1961–1963)
  • Brazil Jorge Penna (1963–1964)
  • Nigeria Daniel Anyiam (1964–1965)
  • Hungary József Ember (1965–1968)
  • Spain Sabino Barinaga (1968–1969)
  • Nigeria Peter Amaechina (1969–1970)
  • West Germany Karl-Heinz Marotzke (1970–1972)
  • Brazil Jorge Penna (1972–1973)
  • West Germany Karl-Heinz Marotzke (1973–1974)
  • Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Tiko Jelisavčić (1974–1978)
  • Brazil Otto Glória (1978–1981)
  • Germany Gottlieb Göller (1981)
  • Nigeria Adegboyega Onigbinde (1981–1984)
  • Nigeria Chris Udemezue (1984–1986)
  • West Germany Manfred Höner (1987–1988)
  • Nigeria Paul Hamilton (1989)
  • Netherlands Clemens Westerhof (1989–1994)
  • Nigeria Shuaibu Amodu (1994–1995)
  • Netherlands Jo Bonfrère (1995–1996)
  • Nigeria Shuaibu Amodu (1996–1997)
  • France Philippe Troussier (1997)
  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Bora Milutinović (1997–1998)
  • Netherlands Thijs Libregts (1998–1999)
  • Netherlands Jo Bonfrère (1999–2001)
  • Nigeria Shuaibu Amodu (2001–2002)
  • Nigeria Festus Onigbinde (2002)
  • Nigeria Christian Chukwu (2003–2005)
  • Nigeria Augustine Eguavoen (2005–2007)
  • Germany Berti Vogts (2007–2008)
  • Nigeria Shuaibu Amodu (2008–2010)
  • Nigeria Augustine Eguavoen (2010)
  • Nigeria Samson Siasia (2010–2011)
  • Nigeria Stephen Keshi (2011–2014)
  • Nigeria Shuaibu Amodu (2014)
  • Nigeria Stephen Keshi (2015)
  • Nigeria Shuaibu Amodu (2015)
  • Nigeria Sunday Oliseh (2015–2016)
  • Nigeria Samson Siasia (2016)
  • Nigeria Salisu Yusuf (2016)
  • Germany Gernot Rohr (2016–2021)
  • Nigeria Augustine Eguavoen (2021–2022)
  • Portugal José Peseiro (2022–2024)
  • Nigeria Finidi George (2024–)

Players

Current squad

The following players were called up for the friendly matches against Ghana and Mali on 22 and 26 March 2024.

Caps and goals correct as of 22 March 2024, after the match against  Mali.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Francis Uzoho (1998-10-28) 28 October 1998 (age 25) 35 0 Cyprus Omonia
1GK Stanley Nwabili (1996-06-10) 10 June 1996 (age 28) 11 0 South Africa Chippa United
1GK Olorunleke Ojo (1995-08-17) 17 August 1995 (age 28) 0 0 Nigeria Enyimba

2DF Kenneth Omeruo (1993-10-17) 17 October 1993 (age 30) 68 1 Turkey Kasımpaşa
2DF Semi Ajayi (1993-11-09) 9 November 1993 (age 30) 36 1 England West Bromwich Albion
2DF Chidozie Awaziem (1997-01-01) 1 January 1997 (age 27) 33 1 Portugal Boavista
2DF Jamilu Collins (1994-08-05) 5 August 1994 (age 29) 30 0 Wales Cardiff City
2DF Calvin Bassey (1999-12-31) 31 December 1999 (age 24) 23 0 England Fulham
2DF Bright Osayi-Samuel (1997-12-31) 31 December 1997 (age 26) 16 0 Turkey Fenerbahçe
2DF Tyronne Ebuehi (1995-12-16) 16 December 1995 (age 28) 12 0 Italy Empoli
2DF Bruno Onyemaechi (1999-04-03) 3 April 1999 (age 25) 6 0 Portugal Boavista
2DF Benjamin Tanimu (2002-07-24) 24 July 2002 (age 21) 1 0 Tanzania Ihefu
2DF Gabriel Osho (1998-08-14) 14 August 1998 (age 25) 0 0 England Luton Town

3MF Alex Iwobi (1996-05-03) 3 May 1996 (age 28) 77 10 England Fulham
3MF Moses Simon (1995-07-12) 12 July 1995 (age 28) 72 9 France Nantes
3MF Wilfred Ndidi (1996-12-16) 16 December 1996 (age 27) 55 0 England Leicester City
3MF Frank Onyeka (1998-01-01) 1 January 1998 (age 26) 25 1 England Brentford
3MF Raphael Onyedika (2001-04-19) 19 April 2001 (age 23) 7 0 Belgium Club Brugge
3MF Alhassan Yusuf (2000-07-18) 18 July 2000 (age 23) 5 0 Belgium Antwerp
3MF Fisayo Dele-Bashiru (2001-02-06) 6 February 2001 (age 23) 1 0 Turkey Hatayspor

4FW Kelechi Iheanacho (1996-10-03) 3 October 1996 (age 27) 54 15 England Leicester City
4FW Victor Osimhen (1998-12-29) 29 December 1998 (age 25) 35 21 Italy Napoli
4FW Ademola Lookman (1997-10-20) 20 October 1997 (age 26) 21 6 Italy Atalanta
4FW Umar Sadiq (1997-02-02) 2 February 1997 (age 27) 11 1 Spain Real Sociedad
4FW Taiwo Awoniyi (1997-08-12) 12 August 1997 (age 26) 8 2 England Nottingham Forest
4FW Cyriel Dessers (1994-12-08) 8 December 1994 (age 29) 6 2 Scotland Rangers
4FW Nathan Tella (1999-07-05) 5 July 1999 (age 24) 1 0 Germany Bayer Leverkusen

Recent call-ups

The following players have also been called up to the Nigeria squad within the last twelve months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Adebayo Adeleye (2000-05-17) 17 May 2000 (age 24) 1 0 Israel Hapoel Jerusalem 2023 Africa Cup of Nations PRE
GK Christian Nwoke (2000-10-27) 27 October 2000 (age 23) 0 0 Nigeria Sporting Lagos 2023 Africa Cup of Nations PRE
GK Amas Obasogie (1999-12-27) 27 December 1999 (age 24) 0 0 Nigeria Bendel Insurance 2023 Africa Cup of Nations PRE
GK Victor Sochima (1999-01-08) 8 January 1999 (age 25) 0 0 Nigeria Rivers United v.  Sierra Leone, 18 June 2023

DF William Troost-Ekong (vice-captain) (1993-09-01) 1 September 1993 (age 30) 71 7 Greece PAOK 2023 Africa Cup of Nations
DF Ola Aina (1996-10-08) 8 October 1996 (age 27) 40 0 England Nottingham Forest 2023 Africa Cup of Nations
DF Zaidu Sanusi (1997-06-13) 13 June 1997 (age 27) 22 0 Portugal Porto 2023 Africa Cup of Nations
DF Kevin Akpoguma (1995-04-19) 19 April 1995 (age 29) 8 0 Germany 1899 Hoffenheim 2023 Africa Cup of Nations PRE
DF Jordan Torunarigha (1997-08-07) 7 August 1997 (age 26) 1 0 Belgium Gent 2023 Africa Cup of Nations PRE
DF Ebube Duru (1999-07-31) 31 July 1999 (age 24) 4 0 Nigeria Rivers United v.  Sierra Leone, 18 June 2023

MF Joe Aribo (1996-07-21) 21 July 1996 (age 27) 34 2 England Southampton 2023 Africa Cup of Nations
MF Kelechi Nwakali (1998-06-05) 5 June 1998 (age 26) 4 0 Portugal Chaves 2023 Africa Cup of Nations PRE
MF Peter Etebo (1995-11-09) 9 November 1995 (age 28) 45 3 Free agent v.  Sierra Leone, 18 June 2023
MF Divine Nwachukwu (2003-05-25) 25 May 2003 (age 21) 0 0 Nigeria Bendel Insurance v.  Sierra Leone, 18 June 2023

FW Ahmed Musa (1992-10-14) 14 October 1992 (age 31) 109 16 Turkey Sivasspor 2023 Africa Cup of Nations
FW Samuel Chukwueze (1999-05-22) 22 May 1999 (age 25) 36 5 Italy Milan 2023 Africa Cup of Nations
FW Paul Onuachu (1994-05-28) 28 May 1994 (age 30) 23 3 Turkey Trabzonspor 2023 Africa Cup of Nations
FW Terem Moffi (1999-05-25) 25 May 1999 (age 25) 16 4 France Nice 2023 Africa Cup of Nations
FW Victor Boniface (2000-12-23) 23 December 2000 (age 23) 5 1 Germany Bayer Leverkusen 2023 Africa Cup of Nations INJ
FW Emmanuel Dennis (1997-11-15) 15 November 1997 (age 26) 8 1 Turkey İstanbul Başakşehir 2023 Africa Cup of Nations PRE

INJ The player is not part of the current squad due to injury
PRE Preliminary squad/standby
RET Retired from the national team
SUS Serving suspension
WD Player withdrew from the squad due to non-injury issue.

Records

Players in bold are still active with Nigeria.

Most appearances

Ahmed Musa 20180625
Ahmed Musa is Nigeria's most capped player with 109 appearances.
Rank Player Caps Goals Career
1 Ahmed Musa 109 16 2010–present
2 Vincent Enyeama 101 0 2002–2015
Joseph Yobo 101 7 2001–2014
4 Mikel John Obi 91 6 2005–2019
5 Nwankwo Kanu 86 12 1994–2011
Mudashiru Lawal 86 11 1975–1985
7 Alex Iwobi 77 10 2015–present
8 Jay-Jay Okocha 73 14 1993–2006
9 Moses Simon 72 9 2015–present
10 William Troost-Ekong 71 7 2015–present

Top goalscorers

Rank Player Goals Caps Ratio Career
1 Rashidi Yekini 37 62 0.6 1983–1998
2 Segun Odegbami 22 47 0.47 1976–1981
3 Victor Osimhen 21 35 0.6 2017–present
Yakubu Aigyegbeni 21 58 0.36 2000–2012
5 Ikechukwu Uche 19 46 0.41 2007–2014
6 Obafemi Martins 18 42 0.43 2004–2015
7 Samson Siasia 17 49 0.35 1984–1998
8 Odion Ighalo 16 37 0.43 2015–present
Ahmed Musa 16 109 0.15 2010–present
10 Kelechi Iheanacho 15 53 0.28 2015–present

Competitive record

FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup Qualification
Year Round Position Pld W D L F A Squad Pld W D L F A Total
Uruguay 1930 Part of  United Kingdom Part of  United Kingdom
1934 to 1958 Not a FIFA member Not a FIFA member
Chile 1962 Did not qualify 2 0 1 1 3 6 1962
England 1966 Withdrew Withdrew
Mexico 1970 Did not qualify 8 3 4 1 15 12 1970
West Germany 1974 4 1 2 1 3 4 1974
Argentina 1978 8 3 3 2 17 8 1978
Spain 1982 8 3 2 3 8 8 1982
Mexico 1986 6 5 0 1 11 3 1986
Italy 1990 6 3 1 2 7 5 1990
United States 1994 Round of 16 9th 4 2 0 2 7 4 Squad 8 5 2 1 17 5 1994
France 1998 12th 4 2 0 2 6 9 Squad 6 4 1 1 10 4 1998
South Korea Japan 2002 Group stage 27th 3 0 1 2 1 3 Squad 10 6 2 2 19 3 2002
Germany 2006 Did not qualify 10 6 3 1 21 7 2006
South Africa 2010 Group stage 27th 3 0 1 2 3 5 Squad 12 9 3 0 20 5 2010
Brazil 2014 Round of 16 16th 4 1 1 2 3 5 Squad 8 5 3 0 11 4 2014
Russia 2018 Group stage 21st 3 1 0 2 3 4 Squad 8 5 2 1 13 6 2018
Qatar 2022 Did not qualify 8 4 3 1 10 4 2022
Canada Mexico United States 2026 To be determined 2 0 2 0 2 2 2026
Morocco Portugal Spain 2030 To be determined
Saudi Arabia 2034
Total Round of 16 6/16 21 6 3 12 23 30 114 62 34 18 187 86

Africa Cup of Nations

Africa Cup of Nations record Africa Cup of Nations qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Squad Pld W D* L GF GA
Sudan 1957 Not affiliated to CAF Not affiliated to CAF
United Arab Republic 1959
Ethiopia 1962 Withdrew 4 1 2 1 4 5
Ghana 1963 Group stage 6th 2 0 0 2 3 10 Squad 2 0 1 1 2 3
Tunisia 1965 Withdrew Withdrew
Ethiopia 1968 Did not qualify 4 1 1 2 4 5
Sudan 1970 Withdrew Withdrew
Cameroon 1972 Did not qualify 2 0 1 1 1 2
Egypt 1974 4 2 1 1 7 9
Ethiopia 1976 Third place 3rd 6 3 1 2 11 10 Squad 2 2 0 0 3 1
Ghana 1978 Third place 3rd 5 2 2 1 8 5 Squad 4 2 1 1 7 4
Nigeria 1980 Champions 1st 5 4 1 0 8 1 Squad Qualified as hosts
Libya 1982 Group stage 6th 3 1 0 2 4 5 Squad Qualified as holders
Ivory Coast 1984 Runners-up 2nd 5 1 3 1 7 8 Squad 4 1 2 1 2 1
Egypt 1986 Did not qualify 2 0 1 1 0 1
Morocco 1988 Runners-up 2nd 5 1 3 1 5 3 Squad 4 2 1 1 6 3
Algeria 1990 Runners-up 2nd 5 3 0 2 5 6 Squad 4 2 2 0 8 2
Senegal 1992 Third place 3rd 5 4 0 1 8 5 Squad 8 4 3 1 15 3
Tunisia 1994 Champions 1st 5 3 2 0 9 3 Squad 6 3 2 1 12 1
South Africa 1996 Withdrew Qualified as holders
Burkina Faso 1998 Banned Banned
Ghana Nigeria 2000 Runners-up 2nd 6 4 2 0 12 5 Squad Qualified as hosts
Mali 2002 Third place 3rd 6 3 2 1 5 2 Squad 6 4 2 0 9 1
Tunisia 2004 Third place 3rd 6 4 1 1 11 5 Squad 4 2 2 0 7 3
Egypt 2006 Third place 3rd 6 4 1 1 7 3 Squad 10 6 3 1 21 7
Ghana 2008 Quarter-finals 7th 4 1 1 2 3 3 Squad 6 5 0 1 10 3
Angola 2010 Third place 3rd 6 3 1 2 6 4 Squad 12 9 3 0 20 5
Equatorial Guinea Gabon 2012 Did not qualify 6 3 2 1 12 5
South Africa 2013 Champions 1st 6 4 2 0 11 4 Squad 4 2 2 0 10 3
Equatorial Guinea 2015 Did not qualify 6 2 2 2 9 7
Gabon 2017 4 1 2 1 2 2
Egypt 2019 Third place 3rd 7 5 0 2 9 7 Squad 6 4 1 1 14 6
Cameroon 2021 Round of 16 9th 4 3 0 1 6 2 Squad 6 4 2 0 14 7
Ivory Coast 2023 Runners-up 2nd 7 4 2 1 8 4 Squad 6 5 0 1 22 4
Morocco 2025 To be determined To be determined
Kenya Tanzania Uganda 2027
Total 3 Titles 20/36 104 57 24 23 146 95 120 62 39 19 199 89
*Denotes draws including knockout matches decided via a penalty shoot-out.
**Red border colour indicates tournament was held on home soil.

African Nations Championship

African Nations Championship record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA
Ivory Coast 2009 Did not qualify
Sudan 2011
South Africa 2014 Third place 3rd 6 3 2 1 12 8
Rwanda 2016 Group stage 10th 3 1 1 1 5 3
Morocco 2018 Runners-up 2nd 6 4 1 1 7 6
Cameroon 2020 Did not qualify
Algeria 2022
Total Runners-up 3/7 15 8 4 3 24 17

WAFU Nations Cup

WAFU Nations Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
Nigeria 2010 Champions 1st 5 5 0 0 14
Nigeria 2011 Runners-up 2nd 4 1 0 0 9
Ghana 2013 Did not enter
Ghana 2017 Runners-up 2nd 4 1 0 0 9
Senegal 2019 Quarter Finals
Total 1 Title 3/4 13 7 0 0 32 9

FIFA Confederations Cup

FIFA Confederations Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Squad
Saudi Arabia 1992 Did not qualify
Saudi Arabia 1995 Fourth place 4th 3 1 2 0 4 1 Squad
Saudi Arabia 1997 Did not qualify
Mexico 1999
South Korea Japan 2001
France 2003
Germany 2005
South Africa 2009
Brazil 2013 Group stage 5th 3 1 0 2 7 6 Squad
Russia 2017 Did not qualify
Total Fourth place 2/10 6 2 2 2 11 7 -

Honours

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Selección de fútbol de Nigeria para niños

  • Nigeria national under-23 football team
  • Nigeria national under-20 football team
  • Nigeria national under-17 football team
  • Nigeria national futsal team
  • Nigeria national under-20 futsal team
  • Nigeria national beach soccer team
  • Nigeria women's national football team
  • Nigeria women's national under-20 football team
  • Nigeria women's national under-17 football team
  • Nigeria women's national futsal team
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Nigeria national football team Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.