When Super Eagles Boss Finidi George Listed Qualities a Good Nigerian Team Must Possess

When Super Eagles Boss Finidi George Listed Qualities a Good Nigerian Team Must Possess

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at May 7, 2024 at 6:36 PM
In this article:
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  • Finidi George will coach Nigeria for the first time as a permanent coach in June
  • The 53-year-old has been tasked with securing a 2026 World Cup qualification
  • Finidi previously outlined several attributes Nigeria required to be successful

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Nigeria employed a defensive game during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, and it nearly bore fruit.

The 22-month tenure of former Super Eagles manager, Jose Peseiro, was largely unremarkable, but the unexpected run to the final earned him praise.

The new coach, Finidi George, is expected to play a more attractive style when he leads the Super Eagles for the first time as permanent manager.

Victor Osimhen, Finidi George, Ademola Looman, Ola Aina, Nigeria, AFCON, Jose Peseiro
New Super Eagles coach, Finidi George, has a deep squad led by Nigerian stars like Victor Osimhen. Photos by Issouf Sanogo and Nigeria (Instagram).
Source: Getty Images

Peseiro's side successfully navigated the tournament in Ivory Coast and reached the final. They faced the host nation and were on the brink of winning their fourth continental crown.

They scored first, just like their previous matches at the tournament, but it wasn't to be in the final. They collapsed in the most critical moment, allowing the hosts to score two goals to win on home soil, per Sky Sports.

It was a heartbreaking outcome for many Nigerians, but they were pleased with the effort and progression of the team. The last time they reached the final was in 2013 when they won the tournament.

Many fans felt Peseiro was at fault for the Super Eagles' painful loss in the final, going down 2-1 and failing to mount a comeback. The Portuguese coach then left the role when his deal ended in February, with his assistant, Finidi, taking the reins.

Fionidi talks about Super Eagles' style

In an interview with Vanguard a few years ago, Finidi listed several qualities he wants to see in a Nigerian team. he recalled how the Nigerian team he played in had chemistry and identity.

"In my time, when the ball got to Amuneke or to Oliseh, you knew he would link Yekini, and you knew something would happen."
"A team must have that culture, must-have game-changers. A team should have players one can envisage when the ball gets to this... you expect that… to happen."
"We must have that trademark, an identity in our style of play. That is what we have to bring back."

Finidi now has a chance to give the Super Eagles an identity. He was in charge of the team during the March international break, during which they won and lost one.

Nigeria is set to face South Africa and Benin in the next round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

Troost-Ekong lauds Finidi

Sports Brief also previously reported on Super Eagles defender, William Troost-Ekong, praising Finidi for getting the coaching role.

The 2023 AFCON Player of the Tournament believes the former Real Betis star is way too humble, considering all he has achieved.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.