Rohr: Why Super Eagles can’t win World Cup at the moment

The German tactician has given reasons why he feels the three-time African champions cannot clinch the coveted trophy

Nigeria national team coach Gernot Rohr has expressed his pessimism about Nigeria’s chances of winning the World Cup with the current players at his disposal.

The Super Eagles’ best outings at the global tournaments were in 1994, 1998 and 2002, when they reached the Round of 16.

Rohr led the West African side to their sixth appearance at the 2018 edition in Russia, where they crashed out at the group stage.

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The German tactician was recently handed a new two-year deal and could lead the three-time African champions to their next outing at the global tournament.

Rohr, however, believes the Super Eagles cannot win the global tournament because many of the players are not playing in top clubs.

“We are not ready to win the World Cup, for several reasons,” Rohr told NewsCentral.

“France is the champions at the moment, where they are playing? They are playing in PSG, Bayern Munich. Four of them are world champions at their clubs also

“So when you have so many of your players from your countries playing in the best clubs, so the probability that you also have one of the best teams in the world is very big.

“So what we have in Nigeria for example, we have our players in Fulham, in West Bromwich. It’s not Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Manchester United or Barcelona. But the other ones have their players there. So it would be a miracle if we actually win the World Cup.”

Rohr also revealed newly invited players like Matthew Yakubu and Sebastian Osigwe did not get a chance to feature in their 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sierra Leone in November because the games were competitive.

The German tactician, however, handed debuts to Frank Onyeka and Kevin Akpoguma, who switched his allegiance from Germany to Nigeria.

“We tried in the last few friendlies and even the international games in Benin City and in Freetown, we had some new players,” he continued. 

“We had some players who decided to come with us, leaving, for example, Germany U20, U23 like Akpoguma who decided to come with us, it is fantastic

“But they need the time to come in and it’s not easy in a few training sessions only to find exactly the right way to play with the team, it’s easier for the other ones who were with us in the World Cup and played with us in the Afcon.

“We have to try to invite better players, friendlies are good for that to see them. When they are friendlies it is not for the result we are playing, we want to see new faces.

“We tried new goalkeepers, new wingers, new defenders and the midfielder from Midtjylland Onyeka, the Austrian goalkeeper.

“We saw a lot of players in the friendlies but they are not enough, we only have two since one year. When you have games that you need results it is not the best moment for the players and for the team to invite new ones.”

Nigeria will take on the Republic of Benin and Lesotho in their next Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in March.

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