There is no doubt that football has come of age in Africa. No more minows and any attempt to underrate your opponent may spell doom at the end of the day.
It is therefore a welcome development when the news popped up from the communications department of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), that the Super Eagles will file out against Green Falcons of Saudi Arabia in an international friendly game during the FIFA window in Portugal next month.
The international friendly game is another opportunity for Jose Peseiro to tinker the Super Eagles into a more formidable team with strong cohesion ahead of the 2026 World Cup qualifying games beginning in November.
Playing the Green Falcons of Saudi Arabia, a team ranked 54 by FIFA is a perfect test for the Super Eagles. The exploits of Saudi Arabia at the 2022 FIFA mundial in Qatar is still fresh in the memory of football loving Nigerians.
A team that demystified ‘almighty’ Argentina on a world stage in Qatar will surely give the Super Eagles a good run for their money and from all indications it is going to be a mouthwatering affair at the Estadio Municipal de Portimão, in the Algarve, Portugal.
The ball is now in the court of Peseiro to invite players who are in terrific form at their clubs for the friendly tie. Nigeria is a footballing nation, is blessed with abundance of talent all over the world. Moses Simon, Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze, Taiwo Awoniyi, Zaidu Sanusi, Sadiq Umar and the rest in nest of the Eagles have strong desire to qualify for the world cup after painfully missing the last edition.
Nigerians would love Peseiro – led Super Eagles to display robust football of fluidity, flaire and fury against the opponents standing as obstacles on the road to the 2026 World Cup.
Forward thinking football stakeholders in Nigeria will not argue the fact that the friendly game against Saudi Arabia is a step in the right direction for Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau -led NFF board and the secretariat administered by Dr. Mohammed Sanusi.
The Crocodiles of Lesotho will be the guests of the Super Eagles on November 17 in Uyo and four days later, the Brave Warriors of Zimbabwe will welcome Nigeria in Harare.
Hopefully, Nigeria will beat Lesotho, but the Crocodiles must be devoured very well with goals by the Super Eagles and a win is also possible against Zimbabwe in Harare. The fall of both Lesotho and Zimbabwe is tied down to adequate preparation of the team, hence the friendly game with Saudi Arabia, which plays like an African team.
On paper, South Africa is the main contender against Nigeria in the group, but so long that every match is given solid preparation by the NFF in conjunction with Ministry of Sports, the National Assembly, Corporate Nigeria, media and the players are united in this purpose of qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, Super Eagles will be unstoppable.
It is step by step, one game at a time. The friendly game against Saudi Arabia is a strong statement, a right direction on the path to United States, Canada and Mexico 2026 football fiesta from the NFF.
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