FIFA have tipped the Golden Eaglets as “serious contenders” to win a record-extending sixth U17 World Cup in Brazil and striker Peter Olawale to be one of the players to watch in Brazil.
Nigeria open their Group B campaign tonight against Hungary. The kick-off is by 9pm in Nigeria at Estadio Olympico in Goiania.
“Quick, skilful and a powerful presence in the air, Olawale earned a place in the squad despite not featuring in the African qualifiers. He will be expected to provide goals and creativity,” FIFA reported in a preview of this match.
Olawale will be wearing jersey No 12.
The Eaglets, then nicknamed ‘Baby Eagles’, beat Hungary 3-1 at the 1985 World Cup for the first and only time both teams have clashed at this level.
The football governing body have also ranked Nigeria high to win the tournament in Brazil.
“With their formidable record in this age category, Nigeria will once again be serious contenders. However, if they are to live up to expectations, they will have to improve on their performance at this year’s U-17 Africa Cup of Nations, where they could only manage fourth,” a special FIFA report predicted.
“After failing to qualify for the last edition in India two years ago, the Golden Eaglets are very keen to remind everyone why they are the most successful team in the history of this competition with eight finals and five titles to their name.”
Hungary are making a comeback to the World Cup after they featured at the inaugural tournament in China 34 years ago.
They finished fifth in the European championship to qualify for Brazil 2019.