Jose Peseiro has said the Super Eagles can only be great when they test themselves against top teams like Portugal and Mexico.
The Eagles Portuguese coach said the team do not want to take the easier route of playing against inferior opposition so as to win and garner points in the FIFA Rankings.
Nigeria will take on World Cup-bound Portugal next Thursday in a high-profile friendly in Lisbon.
“Playing against my country, the best in the world, who can win the World Cup, is extraordinary,” Peseiro said.
“But is also a great opportunity – when you want to build a national team with great ambitions, you have to do it against top teams.
“The way must be this – if you just want to win, you play against the small teams.
“But if I want to improve my team, I will go through the defeats to improve us going forward.
“How do you motivate the players against the small teams? Only points from the rankings.
“But it is different when you come head-to-head against a top team like Portugal.”
Under Peseiro, the Eagles have lost to Mexico, Ecuador and Algeria in friendlies.