As the Super Eagles begin their quest to at least surpass the achievements of their predecessors at the greatest football showpiece on the planet we spotlight 5 key players who must bring their A game to the fore for the team to succeed in Russia
Here are the Fearless 5
William Troost Ekong
It came as a surprise to many when the Super Eagles German tactician Gernot Rohr handed the Captains Armband to Ekong for the game against Poland
Rohr had seen what many had yet to see, the leadership qualities in the young Bursaspor of Turkey central defender and his never say die spirit
The Dutch Nigerian is the key cog in the fabled Onyinbo wall often putting his body on the line to ensure victory for the team
It has become a norm now to see Troost Ekong sliding in with a last minute tackle to deny an opponent a goalscoring opportunity
His presence and composure in the back is critical as the Eagles go up against world class attackers in Russia
For the Eagles to even have a chance of success in Russia the Rio Olympic bronze medalist must be at his defensive best
Enough cannot be said about a player who is the official best tackler in the English premier league and one of the best young defensive midfielders in the world
Ndidi was so obviously missed against the English that the Nigerian midfield was completely overrun
The 6ft 2in midfielder is a ball-winning machine and key to his side mopping up and keeping possession of the ball
Ndidi is immense, his lungs are inextinguishable full of running for ninety minutes efficient both with and without the ball
Thankfully his Injury is totally behind him as his tackling and ball winning qualities will be sorely needed and key for the Eagles to excel in Russia
The new face of the Super Eagles and not just for adverts and promotions.
Alex Iwobi is the undoubtedly rising star of the team and has shown his heart is in the right place when it comes to the Super Eagles
He has been the only player of recent to stand up to be counted when the team was faltering.
With his amazing ability to think quickly on the ball, his quick feet particularly in tight spaces, and his deft repertoire of skill Iwobi is a gem of player for any team
The young Arsenal forward particularly if played more centrally has shown he has what it takes to be the main creative outlet for the Super Eagles
Iwobi has added a seeming balanced maturity to his game and brings much needed skill pace and flair to the Super Eagles’ attack & midfield.
A must if the Eagles must succeed in Russia
One of the most experienced players in the team and definitely the most decorated, Mikel is an Icon for the Super Eagles
His presence alone is inspiring as he shines like an Icon for the younger players who need to just look up and see the Chlesea legend running alongside them on the pitch to be motivated
As a leader his value to the team is Immeasurable and as a player his value cant also be understated as most of the Super Eagles victories have come with Mikel on the pitch
His calming influence in the middle , his control and ability to dictate the rhythm and tempo of the game keep the team functioning with the China based midfielder orchestrating from the middle like a fulcrum of a well-oiled machine
It’s a no brainer; when Mikel Plays the team plays and excels
Without a doubt the player with the unenviable tag of the Super Eagles Talisman!
Moses is to the Super eagles what Messi or Ronaldo is to Argentina or Portugal. A potent attacking weapon capable of single handedly making something happen out of nothing
Victor Moses drives the Super Eagles forward and still remains our deadliest player and most sure outlet for goals or for creating chances
He is one of the few players in the team who will stride into the opponents 18 yard box taking on defenders at will and taking the game to the opposing team in search of victory
The Eagles will need Nigeria’s most influential player and multiple Nigerian player of the year at his electrifying best if they are to make an Impact in Russia