Eagles are underachievers – Wenger
FIFA’s chief of global football development, Arsène Wenger, believes the Super Eagles possesses an incredible talent to be a great footballing nation, but they have failed to attain their heights.
Nigeria host São Tomé and Príncipe in their final Africa Cup of Nations Group A clash at the Godswill Akpabio stadium in Uyo on Sunday, have won the AFCON thrice in the history of the competition despite reaching the finals on seven occasions.
They also won gold in the men’s football event at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, as well as silver at the Beijing Olympics and bronze at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Despite their feat globally, the former Arsenal coach believes the Eagles are underachievers considering the abundant of talent the
“Nigeria has incredible talent, but they are the great underachievers of world football,” Wenger was quoted as saying.
The Frenchman is one of the most successful managers in English football, having won three league titles, a record seven FA Cups, and two Manager of the Year awards.
However, the impact of Wenger’s on Nigerian players goes far beyond the pitch, according to his former player Nwankwo Kanu.
“Wenger is not just a football coach,” Kanu, who helped Wenger win two league titles, said.
“He’s a man who knows we are all human beings before footballers. And that’s why he was able to affect the lives of so many people positively.
Wenger set a new English transfer record for an African player when he paid Inter Milan £4.5m for Kanu.
The 73-year-old also gave Alex Iwobi his breakthrough at Arsenal when he handed the Nigerian his debut in a Carabao Cup fourth round tie against Sheffield Wednesday at the Hillsborough Stadium.