By Amaechi Agbo
Brazilian legend, Ronaldo de Lima has hinted that Nigeria, among other Africa countries, have the potentials to win the FIFA World Cup.
The former Barcelona and Inter Milan striker noted that Nigeria along Senegal and Algeria have what it takes to shock the global football but wondered why players from the continent do not put-up similar performances they display week in, week out in their respective clubs.
Nigeria’s Super Eagles have never gone beyond the Round of 16 Stage of the World Cup, a feat they achieved in their debut year, 26 years ago during the 1994 World Cup held in USA.
Speaking in an interview recently, the 1994, 2002 World Cup winner said that England national team, the Three Lions, are never considered as contenders within Brazil to win the World Cup.
“I never consider England as favourites to win any World Cup. Since I started being involved in Football as a Player and Legend.
“Nigeria, Senegal, Algeria they have good players but I don’t understand the struggle when they have to play for their national teams. Mexico also needs to break that last 16 exit darkness and they can push far,” he said
“Before any World Cup tournament,” he continued, “we analyse our potential competitors like France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Argentina and the Netherlands.
“England is never considered as World Cup threats in Brazil. And I myself never Considered them as Contenders. Only the UK media stream and their Football officials who put them as Favourites not other Countries.
“Even in next year’s World Cup they will go home without a World Cup, they simply don’t have the zeal to compete there.
“England will only be contenders on UK newspapers headlines and media stream but not in the actual FIFA World Cup Tournament.”
Super Eagles had one of their low performances in the 2018 Russia World Cup after they crashed out of the group stage of the showpiece.
They recorded one win and two losses to get eliminated from the tournament which they had the best preparation and government support.
Playing in Group D, the Gernot Rohr led lads lost 2-0 against finalist, Croatia on June 16, defeated debutants, Iceland 2-0 in their second match courtesy of two goals scored by Ahmed Musa.
With three points in their kitty, the three-time Africa Cup of Nations champions needed a draw against perennial foes Argentina in their last group match.
However, on June 26, 2018, the Eagles failed to fly as they lost 2-1 to Messi’s Argentina to condemn them to early exit.
In May 2020, coach Gernot Rohr signed a new two-and-a-half-year contract with the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF.
One of the mandates given to the Germany is to qualify the Super Eagles to the 2022 World Cup finals to be hosted in Qatar.