I’m going to start trying to highlight the next generation of Nigerian athletes every Wednesday with this Player To Watch series. For this week, we’ll start with the NFL. The NFL Draft is coming up next month (pending any changes given the current climate in the world) and teams are preparing to find the next stars to join their teams. The best cornerback in the 2020 class is Jeff Okudah from The Ohio State University. He is a complete cornerback and one of the best overall prospects in this draft class. Most mock drafts have Okudah as a top 10 draft pick. While some even have Okudah going in the top 5. Okudah definitely has the ability to make an immediate impact during his rookie season.Continue reading
Via Nike News
Earlier this week Nike released images of the new 2020 Nigeria Football Olympics Kits. After the success of the 2018 Nigeria World Cup kit, there’s no surprise that we’re getting some new threads for the Olympics. Safe to say Nigeria will have one of the best uniforms in Tokyo this summer. Some unique features about the kit below:
- The kit’s pattern was hand drawn and is highly symbolic of Nigerian heritage with nods to nobility and family.
- Nigeria’s crest is placed centrally on the chest with a Swoosh underneath it.
- The player names and numbers integrate the eagle feather into the application.
- “Naija” appears inside the neck of jersey and on the back of the socks in a new typeface.
What are your thoughts on these designs? Did they surpass the 2018 World Cup designs?
Image via @CAF_Online Twitter
The 27th annual Confederation of African Football (CAF) took place today in Dakar, Senegal. Nigeria won the Women’s National Team of the Year. Congrats to the Lady Super Falcons on amazing year.
The CAF is the continent’s football governing body and the awards highlighted the best players & teams on the continent from this past year.
Image via Tennessee Titans Twitter
After 10 seasons in the National Football League, Brian Orakpo announced his retirement from the league. Orakpo spent his career with both Tennessee (4 seasons) & Washington (6 seasons). He finished his career with 423 tackles, 66 sacks, 12 forced fumbles, 1 interception, & a defensive touchdown.
In his press conference, Orakpo stated “I always wanted to be able to walk away from the game on my terms, healthy and in a great state of mind”.
Orakpo was 13th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft to Washington after a standout career for the University of Texas Longhorns.
Over the weekend, FIFA announced the grouping for the upcoming 2019 Women’s World Cup. The Nigeria Falcons are in Group A with France, Korea, & Norway. Group A is already being considered by some to be the Group of Death, The World Cup will take place in France beginning on June 7th. Nigeria, who are ranked 39th in latest FIFA ranking, is one of three African nations in the tournament. Now that we know who we will competing against in the group phase, it’s time to get back to basics in order to the shock the world again.
The Lady Falcons defeated South Africa in the 2018 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (AWCON) that took place in Ghana. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) organized the event. After both teams went scoreless in regulation, Nigeria defeated South Africa in penalty kicks (4-3). Check out the highlights below:
Nigeria had several players make the all tournament team including Tochukwu Oluehi (Goalkeeper) and Onome Ebi (Defender). This win marks the Falcons 9th win at the AWCON (1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2016, & now 2018).
Next up for the Nigeria is to find out their bid for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. The drawing will take place on December 8th in Paris and we will provide an update on the Falcons grouping for the upcoming tournament.
Nigerian Super Eagles forward Victor Moses announced last week that he has retired from international football. Moses will no longer play for the Super Eagles. Moses had 37 appearances, 13 international goals, 6 assist, and one Africa Cup of Nations winners medal. This includes the 2018 World Cup where Victor scored a penalty kick goal against Argentina in the Group Stage round.
The announcement of Victor retirement may come to a surprise to people especially since is only 27 years old. Moses will continue to play for Chelsea FC in the Premier League.
Here’s Victor full post announcing his decision:
ESPN did a great breakdown on Moses 5 memorable moments as part of the Super Eagles. Click here.
Thank you Victor for representing the green white and green over the years. We will continue to cheer for in the Premier League.
David Njoku, the second year Tight End on the Cleveland Browns, had a great start to the 2018 NFL Season last night. Njoku had two catches and two touchdowns with 46 receiving yards. Although, it was only the first game of the preseason, it’s always a good sign to have early connection with the two new quarterbacks on the Browns roster. Njoku is poised for a breakthrough year as the starting Tight End and should get plenty of opportunity to showcase his ability regardless of who the Browns choose for the starting quarterback.
22-year-old star Alexander Iwobi announced on Friday that he has signed an extension with his English Premier League club Arsenal FC. Iwobi, the talented young forward, will be playing in his fourth season with the club. After coming off playing for the Super Eagles during the World Cup, we’re excited to see what Iwobi does on the pitch this upcoming season. Check out some plays below from Iwobi’s previous two seasons with Arsenal:
On Tuesday 6/26/18, the dream unfortunately ended for the Super Eagles. All Nigeria needed was a win or tie to advance to the knockout stage. However, a goal in 86th minute by Argentina clinched their spot to the next round. Despite the lost, the future is definitely bright for this Super Eagles squad. One of the youngest teams to compete in this year World Cup will have a lot experience moving forward in future international competitions.
Yesterday, I came across this great documentary that Nike Football entitled “This Is Naija: A Nigerian Football Story”. The short film discusses the Nigeria Super Eagles impact on the country and the overall impact of football on country. Andrew Dosunmu, a Nigeria filmmaker and photographer, who also created “The African Game” documentary, directed this film. I really enjoyed how the film depicts how the team and sports of football impacts the all aspects of society in Nigeria. Here’s the link to the film: