THE NIGERIAN Football Association (NFA) chose the Algarve’s Browns Sports & Leisure Club as the official training site to prepare for their important World Cup qualifying game away from home with Algeria that was played on September 4.
Less than 10 years ago, Nigeria was riding the crest of the wave in African football. They won the 1994 African Nations Cup in Tunisia. In the FIFA World Cup USA 1994, they topped a group that included Argentina and Bulgaria, and, in the last 16 of the finals, they came within a minute of ousting Italy. To top that performance, the Super Eagles became the first African country to win the Olympic Football Tournament, beating Brazil and Argentina in dramatic fashion along the way at Atlanta 1996.
To enable the team to compete again in the next World Cup in Germany, the NFA took advantage of the break before the preliminary matches by attending Browns Sport & Leisure Club’s training centre in Vilamoura.
Star players in the squad include the likes of Kanu (West Brom Albion FC), Christian Obodo (Udinese) and Yakubu (Middlesbrough FC), and several other players from top flight football clubs in Europe and Africa.With two matches to play, the Super Eagles are tied on 15 points with Angola at the top of their qualifying group, but sit second thanks to their inferior head-to-head record.