Coach Manu Garba has promised a “fantastic” Golden Eaglets in Brazil just as the team today headed out to their U17 World Cup match venue, Goiania.
Nigeria have won a record five U17 World Cups with their last conquest just four years ago.
“Everyone should get ready to see a fantastic Nigerian team that play great football and have the trophy in their sights,” coach Manu Garba confidently told FIFA.com.
“Ecuador, Hungary and Australia are undoubtedly strong teams that we respect, but we are record-breaking world champions and I was involved in two of our title wins.”
Indeed, Garba was head coach when the African side clinched victory in the United Arab Emirates in 2013, and served as Yemi Tella’s assistant six years earlier.
“The will to win every game is part of the DNA of every Nigerian team, and my team here in Brazil is no exception,” he said.
Skipper Samson Tijani said winning the World Cup is the Eaglets top target.
“Our country’s previous success does not place any pressure on our shoulders at all,” he said.
“But the world is naturally expecting a great deal from us, and I’m confident that we’ll be able to follow in the footsteps of our predecessors.
“Our coaches have so much experience – not just Garba, but also his assistant Nduka Ugbade, who led Nigeria to the title for the first time as captain in 1985. They know exactly what we need to do to finish the tournament as champions.”
The flight from the Eaglets training camp in Sao Paulo will be under two hours.
All 21 players who made the final are on the trip, while the 12 players dropped flew out of Brazil yesterday.
World football ruling body FIFA will conduct a random age test of four players before the big kick-off.
Goiania is four hours behind Nigeria.
On Saturday, the Eaglets U17s will begin their World Cup campaign against Hungary by 9pm.
They then battle Ecuador same time on October 29, before their final group game against Australia on November 1 in Brasilia.
The team led by coach Manu Garba lost two of their warm-up matches in Brazil – 2-1 to Sao Paulo U17 and 1-0 to World Cup qualifiers Japan U17.
They beat South Korea 4-2 in their second test game.
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