Former Golden Eaglets captain, Olusegun Fetuga, has given the Super Eagles some tips on how to cage Iceland in today’s must-win second group D match in the on-going Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Two African teams, Egypt and Morocco have crashed out of the World Cup, and attention will be on Nigeria this afternoon in their battle against Iceland in Volgograd.If weather reports in the city are anything to go by, Iceland may face an uphill task in coping with the harsh weather condition in today’s encounter.
Speaking with The Guardian at the Park INN Hotel in St. Petersburg yesterday, Fetuga, who played for the Golden Eaglets twice in the FIFA World Cup, winning a silver medal for Nigeria at Canada ‘87, said Coach Gernot Rohr must make sure only players who are fit should be paraded in today’s match.
“It is obvious now that a defeat to Iceland will end Nigeria’s dream in this World Cup. So, there will be no need keeping your best materials for another day. The coach has to parade only players who are very fit because I have been told the weather in Volgograd is very hot. That should be to our advantage.
“Again, the players must approach the game with determination. They should put everything into the game so as to keep hope of making it to the second round alive. In our days, welfare package for players were not as good as they are enjoying now. So, I expect the Eagles to beat Iceland,” he stated.
At Canada ‘87, Fetuga and the likes of Demiji Lawal, Phillip Osondu, Fatai Atere and Christopher Nwosu were on their way to lifting the FIFA U-17 trophy only to lose on penalty to Russia in the final.
Two years later, Fetuga captained the Golden Eaglets to the World Cup at Scotland ‘89, with the likes of Victor Ikpeba and Godwin Opara in the squad only to lose to Saudi Arabia in the quarterfinal.
Fetuga said it might be difficult for an African team to win the FIFA World Cup in the nearest future, saying: “In Nigeria for instance, the passion we have for football in our playing days is no longer there with the present squad. Money is what comes first now. Again, we seem to have neglected grassroots football in our country. Everybody wants to play football abroad, and that is why Nigerian teams are struggling to qualify in every competition. We struggle in the U-17, U-20 and even at the U-23 level and this is affecting the senior team now. If we can’t catch up with the European nations in the way they are doing things, we need to go back to our own way of doing it in the past. The results will come,” Fetuga stated.