By Amaechi Agbo
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and kit sponsors, NIKE have unveiled the official 2018 World Cup jersey for the Super Eagles.The home kit carries a familiar badge recolored to honor the 96 gold medal-winning Dream Team.
The designs will ignite memories of the patterned Adidas jersey the Super Eagles wore at the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia and their first World Cup in the United States of America that same year.
What appears to be the away kit has the shirt in predominantly light green background with bold white V-shaped patterns drawn on it. The sleeves are white underneath black patterns. The shorts are plain white.The home shirt is all-green, this one darker than usual.
While reviewing the designs, captain of the team, John Mikel Obi said: “I can see the players going crazy over this one.”
Leicester City midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi also sounded excited, adding “This is cultural” in apparent reference to the patterned away kit.
Whereas Arsenal ace, Alex Iwobi declared “This is different, you know.”
Reacting to the unveiling, former Super Eagles midfielder, Mutiu Adepoju described the jersey as unique and cultural adding that it would motivate the players to give in their best in the World Cup.
Speaking with our correspondent on telephone, the former Real Madrid player said “Jersey is unique. It motivates the players. It is an image making for the country and the team. It improves the image of the team and that is one of the factors considered in the designing of a country’s jersey.
“The Russia World Cup jersey for the Super Eagles is good, it is unique and different.
“The jersey has a semblance of the 1994 jersey, but it is different and unique. Although they look alike, it is a good one. I don’t know if a jersey has a psychological impact on the players but what I do know is that it motivates the players. Once the jersey looks good on the players and gives them comfort, it will spur them on in the field,” the Headmaster concluded.
The Super Eagles wore Adidas jerseys at the last World Cup but the kit makers and the Nigeria Football Federation severed their relationship soon after.
Nike officially unveiled the playing jerseys in a ceremony in London on Wednesday.
Iwobi as well as Lateef Omodiji and his sister Sophia, who are yet to feature for Nigeria at any age-grade level, were the Nigerian players at the ceremony who modeled in the new Super Eagles jerseys.
The Eagles are expected to launch these kits on March 23 when they face fellow World Cup finalists Poland in a pre-World Cup friendly.
Four days later, the Eagles will also wear the new kits for another World Cup warm-up game against Serbia in London.
Super Eagles of Nigeria are in Group D for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia where they will face bitter rivals Argentina, Croatia and Iceland.