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Olympic Games Roberto Ayala describes 1996 U-23 Eagles as Nigeria’s best ever football team

On the 20th anniversary of Nigeria's famous win, Roberto Ayala describes that side as the country's best football team.

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Dream Team of Atlanta 96 play Nigeria's U-23 Eagles beat Argentina to win football Gold at Atlanta 96 (Getty Images )

The Dream Team that won football Gold at the 1996 Olympic Games has been described as the Nigeria’s best ever football team by former Argentina defender Roberto Ayala.

Ayala was in the Argentine team that was beaten by Nigeria’s U-23 Eagles in the final of the football event of the Atlanta 96.

Argentina Team Vs Nigeria 1996 Olympics play Argentina star-studded team line up against Nigeria (Getty Images )


The Nigerian team shock the world by beating a star-studded Argentine team that had the defender, Ariel Ortega, Diego Simeone, Hernan Crespo and Claudio Lopez.

The match finished 3-2 in favour of Nigeria who became the first African country to win an Olympic Gold medal in football.

"We lost in the very last minute, trying to play the offside trap, which we got a lot of criticism for,” recalled Ayala in an interview with FIFA.com.

Kanu Nwankwo play Nigeria shockingly beat Argentina to win football Gold at Atlanta 96 (Getty Images )

ALSO READ: Former Nigerian midfielder claims he funded Dream Team during Atlanta 96

The thing is, we’d prepared that very routine for key phases and it was the perfect time to use it.

The only problem was, a team-mate played them onside. We took the risk and paid for it.

"That said, that Nigeria team was the best they ever had. We didn’t lose to any old team. It was frustrating for us at the time, but we’ve realised that the medal (silver) and the experience were really valuable,” the 43-year-old former Valencia, River Plate and AC Milan defender also added.

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