Former Super Eagles’ striker, Victor Okechukwu Agali has sent a charge to the current squad to avoid any form of complacency in the coming months, as he says the team must not relax on their recent achievements.
Speaking against the backdrop of the Eagles’ surge from 35th position to 31st in the monthly global rankings by world soccer governing body, FIFA, Agali pointed out that the rise is due reward for recent good results from the team, but stressed that they must not derail.
With two remarkable draws against Ukraine and Brazil in recent international friendlies, plus victories over Benin Republic and Lesotho in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, following a bronze medal finish to this year’s edition in Egypt, the Eagles have held their own on all fronts, such that Agali, who is now a scout for the team’s coach, Gernot Rohr, says he is impressed.
Victories in the Eagles’ first two matches of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, 2-1 at home against Benin Republic and 4-2 away to Lesotho moved the three-time continental champs up from 1,490 points last month to 1,493 for November.
Nigeria’s national team moved up four spots to 31st in the latest global ranking released by FIFA on Thursday, but the Super Eagles remain third in Africa, behind Senegal (who are also 20th overall) and Tunisia (27th).
It means the Eagles recovered from the slip in October, with victories in Asaba on November 13 and away in Maseru on the 17th helping Gernot Rohr’s side back into reckoning in terms of FIFA statistics, though still behind Senegal and Tunisia, still first and second respectively in Africa.
Ironically, AFCON 2019 champions, Algeria are fourth while Morocco, Ghana, Egypt, Cameroon, Mali and DR Congo complete the top 10 teams of the continent, following overall ratings which FIFA disclosed cover no fewer than 177 A-level international matches.
It means the Eagles recovered from the slip in October, with victories in Asaba on November 13 and away in Maseru on the 17th helping Rohr’s side back into reckoning in terms of FIFA haul of statistics, but Agali warned that there is still more work to be done by the players and coaches.
Nigeria leaped four places up to 31st in the world, while still maintaining the third spot in Africa, behind Senegal and Tunisia, for which Agali believes the Eagles have worked very hard to get the lift but, while commending everyone that made the progress possible, he urged them to stay fully focused and avoid resting on their oars.
The former Oympique Marseille, FC Toulon and OGC Nice of France as well as ex-Hansa Rostock and Schalke 04 of Germany hitman, who also saw action in Turkey and Cyprus during his heyday, added in his reaction to the Eagles’ latest ranking: “Well-done to all who played a positive role. It is important we increase effort and not derail from the plan.”