Former Super Eagles midfielder, Mutiu Adepoju (Headmaster) has reasoned that another very important reason why Nigeria cannot afford to lose Sunday’s friendly against Brazil is to avoid a slump on the monthly global football rankings by world soccer governing body, FIFA, megasportsarena.com reports.
While also acknowledging that nothing much is at stake in a friendly, aside pride and ego, Adepoju stressed that such matches are used as testing points towards competitive games, which he says is a point the Eagles should hold unto, especially with the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers coming up.
The former Compostella and Real Sociedad of Spain icon, who was part of Nigeria’s squads to USA ’94 and France ’94 World Cup, admitted that Brazil are a strong team, with rich history behind them, but reasoned further that the Eagles should be able to hold their own with their vast array of well-exposed and vibrant young players in the team.
He further told Brila FM the motivating factor for the Eagles’ players on Sunday should be the urge to impress for the FIFA rankings, prepare well for the AFCON 2021 qualifiers against Benin Republic and Lesotho as well as add to the status that they are receiving with their various clubs.
The acclaimed ‘Headmaster’ went on to advice the players to ensure they do not slack in any form, or give the Brazilians too much respect during the match, as he believes playing with lots of energy, determination and focus can help them achieve a remarkable result on Sunday.
Adepoju submitted: “We should be looking at the ranking. We know Brazil is a big team. So, we should play with intensity and our full capacity. We should use this match as a preparation for the Nations Cup qualifiers that are coming up soon. It means a good result will help Nigeria in the monthly rankings by FIFA and give the players more confidence before the AFCON qualifiers.”