Taribo West, a former Nigeria defender, has voiced his conviction that the present Nigeria’s National U17s team – the Golden Eaglets, have the potential to reclaim the FIFA U-17 World Cup title in Brazil later this year, Completesports.com reports.
Nigeria is the most successful nation at the FIFA U-17 World Cup level with five titles won in China 1985; Japan 1993; Korea 2007; UAE 2013 and Chile 2015.
Nigeria will be gunning for an incredible sixth title when the 2019 edition gets underway in Brazil from 26th October through 17th November, 2019.
The draw for the Brazil 2019 edition conducted in Zurich, Switzerland, 11th July 2019 put The Manu Garba’s charges in Group B
Hungary, who are making a return to the championship after 34 years, following their first appearance in the 1985 inaugural edition in China, Ecuador and Australia are the Golden Eaglets Group B opponents for the Brazil 2019 showpiece.
Taribo, 45, strongly believes that the current squad can make it a sixth title haul for Nigeria in Brazil.
“The team is physically fit,” Taribo, a member of the famous U23 Dream Team that won gold medal at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games said after watching the team train in Abuja.
“And I saw a remarkable level of coordination among the players. Their connectivity is very outstanding.
“If they can keep their heads low and remember while on the pitch to apply the instructions of their coaches at every game in Brazil, then, I am sure the team can bring the FIFA Under 17 trophy back to Nigeria”, the former Inter Milan and AC Milan of Italy defender said.
Taribo m paid an unscheduled visit to the Golden Eaglets’ training camp at the FIFA Goal Project, MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja.
He reiterates that what he has seen of the team has indeed convinced him that a new generation of great players is about to emerge.
“I saw a very bright future generation of Nigerian players. I am very impressed and a couple of them are also in the NFF Under 15 team. These are fantastic players without any doubt and I believe that Nigeria in the future will be able to reproduce the likes of Daniel Amokachi, Kanu Nwankwo , Austin Okocha and the rest of us,” Taribo who is now a pastor added.
“So, this team has a great future and I can bet on the team. The players are very strong physically. The team just need some trial matches, take them abroad to expose them and the players will do the needful.”
By Sab Osuji