Super Eagles

Interesting Facts About the Super Eagles, Nigeria’s Football Team

The Super Eagles is Nigeria’s national football team. In the recent AFCON tournament, the Super Eagles made it to the finals, where they fought for continental supremacy against their rivals, The Elephants, in Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium, Ivory Coast.

However, the Super Eagles have not started making history today. Since its inception in 1945, The Super Eagles have put Nigeria on the continental and global map in different instances. Whether you are looking to simply learn about the team or are interested in predicting the match outcomes at this site, below are some interesting facts about Super Eagles worth noting.

· Super Eagles Used to be Called Red Devils

Nigeria gained its independence in 1960. Before independence, the Super Eagles used to be called the Red Devils, as its players wore red top kits. However, after independence, the name of this football team was changed to Green Eagles.

Green symbolized the country’s state flag, while Eagles represented Nigeria’s coat of arms. After winning the first Nation’s Cup in 1980, this football team’s name was changed to Super Eagles.

· Super Eagles Took 2 Weeks to Reach Their Destination During Their First Match

The first time Super Eagles played outside Nigeria, it took them two weeks to arrive at Southampton. Since the means of transport there were limited back then, they had to board the MV Apapa to reach their desired destination. Additionally, 18 players had to run around the deck to remain fit. Interestingly, most of the squad players used to play barefoot.

· The Super Eagles Have Been Issued With One Red Card at the World Cup

Since 1994, the Super Eagles have appeared in the World Cup tournaments six times. Surprisingly, only one player was issued a red card during those tournaments. That player goes by Sani Kaita, who was red-carded after tackling Vasilis Torosidis in the 2010 World Cup held in South Africa. That action was costly as goals from Torosidis and Dimitris Salpingidis made Greece emerge victorious in the 3rd Group B matches.

· The Super Eagles Have Won AFCON 3 times

When it comes to winning the AFCON title, Nigeria’s Super Eagles have not disappointed their fans. The first time to take the AFCON trophy home was in 1980. 1994, the team emerged victorious after beating Zambia 2-1 in the finals. The 3rd moment the Super Eagles won the AFCON title was in 2013. At the time, the Super Eagles defeated Burkina Faso 1-0 in the finals.

· The Super Eagles Have Had Foreign Influence From the Beginning

Between 1949 and 1981, the Super Eagles were coached by seven different foreign managers. Within the 32 years of existence, Adewale Adegoke was the only Nigerian who coached this team between 1950 and 1952.

It is, however, hard to tell why foreign influence has always taken center stage in the Super Eagle’s management. In fact, that foreign influence is still felt today. That is because the coach of the Super Eagles is Jose Peseiro, a Portuguese enigma.

· The Super Eagles Have Never Won AFCON When its Rival is Hosting the Tournament

Although the Super Eagles have always desired to win AFCON in the host country, they have never been lucky. For instance, when the Super Eagles played against The Elephants of the Ivory Coast during the AFCON finals on the 11th of February, 2024, Ivory Coast bagged the tournament after a terrific comeback.

Since the match took place in Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium, Nigeria’s team lost. Although fate can be blamed for that, the Super Eagles hope they will one day win the AFCON title in a host country.

Final Words

Indeed, the Super Eagles have had their highs and lows in the past. Despite having humble beginnings, they have transformed the football arena immensely. One thing that has been consistent with this team is its resilience to shine not only at the continental level but also globally. Therefore, you can expect the Super Eagles to continue making Nigeria great in the future.

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