Nigeria might have been out of the
The Super Eagles made raves before the 2018 World Cup with their Nike jerseys, on the pitch, they had a poor start, shone in the middle and had a brace but losing end.
As the team leave Russia and plan for thefuture, we rate the performances of all the 23 players in the Super Eagles squad for the 2018 World Cup.
The performance here is not just on the field, it is the role played on the pitch, dressing room or training ground that contributed positively to the squad at the World Cup.
Francis Uzoho (Played all three games, 360 minutes)
Was a major doubt when he came into the Super Eagles but managed to impress many during the 2018 World Cup.
Conceded goals that were not his fault and showed good command of his area during set pieces.
He, however, didn’t make any wonderful save apart from a small touch on a fierce Lionel Messi free-kick while his distribution was mediocre.
One for the future and is poised to hold down Super Eagles number one goalkeeping position
Ikechukwu Ezenwa (No games)
Was Super Eagles goalkeeper for most of the qualifiers but didn’t get any minute during the World Cup. Not much of a dressing room influence and his only moment in Russia was getting a Messi shirt.
Daniel Akpeyi (No games)
A very quiet figure in the Super Eagles who didn’t contribute anything to the team.
Brian Idowu (Played all three games, 226 minutes)
Made his Super Eagles only in November 2017 but started all three games from the left-side of defence.
Had two poor games, the 1-2 loss to Croatia and his first-half performance in the 2-0 win over Iceland.
Defended well sometimes but offered nothing going forward. Could lose his place if a better talent at left-back emerges for the Super Eagles.
Shehu Abdullahi (one game, 90 minutes)
Started the World Cup as Super Eagles first choice right back but was dropped after a really poor first game against Croatia.
Played without vim and verve in the 1-2 loss to Croatia, and was very easily beaten.
Tyronne Ebuehi (One game, 45 minutes)
There have been lots of questions why he didn’t play much for the Super Eagles at the World Cup. Obviously the best fullback in the team but was on the bench for the whole of the first game and came on in the second half of the second game and had a huge influence on the game.
Was really solid in his only 45 minutes of the World Cup, defended well and was a threat in attack.
Kenneth Omeruo (Played two games, 180 minutes)
Was on the bench for the first game and came on in the second to have a really good game where he defended very well in a three-man defence system and capped his performance with an assist.
For Nigeria’s third game, he was caught sleeping when Messi scored for Nigeria but managed to play well in that game as well.
Has managed to play himself back into Gernot Rohr’s starting XI plans for the future.
William Troost-Ekong (Played three games, 360 minutes)
Played the whole minutes of Super Eagles campaign at 2018 World Cup. Guilty of chaos and tidiness in equal measures.
Couldn’t help out with set-pieces in the first game and was guilty of not staying alert to stop Marcos Rojo from scoring the winner in the 1-2 loss to Argentina that sent Nigeria out of the World Cup.
Still, only 24 and is set to be very vital for the Super Eagles in years to come.
Leon Balogun (Three games, 360 minutes)
Wa really a disappointment for the Super Eagles at the 2018 World Cup and was really their poorest central defender in Russia.
Lacked the required leadership at the back, failed to deal with set pieces and struggled to cope with the pace for most parts of the three games.
Chidozie Awaziem (No games)
A very fine and young defender, Awaziem didn’t get to play any game for the Super Eagles at the World Cup. Was a very needed figure for training sessions where he was very exciting.
Elderson Echiejile (No games)
Ws very lucky to make the final 23-man squad for the World Cup and was on the bench all through. One of the veterans on the team and a respected voice in the dressing room.
Wilfred Ndidi (Three games, 360 minutes)
Played every minute of Super Eagles campaign in Russia 2018 and was one of Nigeria’s best players. Did his job from midfield and got critical applause for his ball-winning and tackling skills. Put in his shift in the three games.
Mikel John Obi (Three games. 358 minutes)
Captain and leader of the game, Mikel’s influence for the Super Eagles at Russia went beyond the pitch. Really kept everything going.
On the pitch, he had a bad first game which stirred up debates about his best position, sat back in the other two games and played better.
But more praise for him for his leadership role in the team.
Oghenekaro Etebo (Three games, 360 minutes)
Super Eagles breakout player of the 2018 World Cup, Etebo scored an own-goal in the 0-2 loss to Croatia but recovered well to have a good tournament.
Caught the eyes in midfield with his energy and tenacity. Failed to really create chances for the Super Eagles and couldn’t score although he has some goals in him.
Joel Obi (No games)
Recalled back into the Super Eagles but failed to stake his claim for a place in the team with a series of poor performances in training.
No minutes at all in Russia and there are reasons to question his place in the 23-man list for the World Cup.
John Ogu (No games)
Didn’t get any minutes in Russia despite impressing in some friendly games. Despite not helping out on the pitch, Ogu was very hands-on behind the scene.
Keeps the mood in camp lively and has a very vocal and passionate voice in the dressing room.
Ogenyi Onazi (No games)
Assistant captain of the Super Eagles who managed to lose his place in the starting XI due to some poor performances in training.
Behind the scene, he did well to squash reports of a bad blood between him and captain Mikel and remained and was an important voice in the dressing room.
Alex Iwobi (Three games, 70 minutes)
A really disappointing tournament for the Arsenal man who has failed to use the 2018 World Cup as an opportunity to garner admiration and respect.
His underwhelming outing in Russia also down to Rohr’s decision to play him on the wings when he was Super Eagles best creative player from the midfield.
Tried had to create some moments from the middle against Croatia before he was substituted and had little time on the pitch in subsequent games to make an impact.
Victor Moses (Three games, 36 minutes)
One of Super Eagles most important players at the 2010 World Cup. Recovered from a poor first game and sacrificed his freedom to play as a wing-back in Nigeria’s other two games.
Was very lively against Iceland, harrying the right wing and capping his performance with the assist for the first goal.
Played very well against Argentina although he was one of the players at fault in not keeping an eye on Rojo who scored the goal that knocked the Super Eagles out of the World Cup.
Ahmed Musa (Three games, 208 minutes, two goals)
Nigeria’s player of the tournament, Musa single-handedly won Nigeria’s only three points of the 2018 World Cup and scored the only goals too.
His impressive performance against Iceland was very impressive and was really a live-wire to the Argentine defence in the last game.
Odion Ighalo (Three games, 358 minutes)
Managed to finish the 2018 World Cup as one of the most loathed Super Eagles strikers in recent history. Ighalo didn't get any service to impress in Nigeria’s 1-2 loss to Croatia, he lost his place in the starting XI.
Played in Nigeria’s last game of the tournament and was guilty of missing two good chances that would have put the Argentines to the sword.
Simy Nwankwo (Two games, seven minutes)
Played a very small part in Super Eagles World Cup campaign. Came on very late in the games against Croatia and Argentina with very little time to make an impact.
Kelechi Iheanacho (Three games, 70 minutes)
Another young player who didn’t make use of the World Cup. Came on late against Croatia before he was given the starting role in Super Eagles subsequent two games.
Played well in the 2-0 win over Iceland but was followed by a horrible first half against Argentina.