Three-time African champions, the Super Eagles of Nigeria, will play their first game under Portuguese trainer Jose Peseiro on Saturday night (Sunday morning in Nigeria).
It’s a friendly against former CONCAF champions, the El Tri of Mexico. The encounter will be held at the AT & T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the United States of America.
Despite the array of talented individuals in the team, the Super Eagles failed to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
That prompted the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to embark on a total overhaul of the team’s technical crew, with only Salisu Yusuf retaining his post.
The technical director of the NFF, Augustine Eguavoen, who was in charge of the team in an interim capacity, the chief coach, Emmanuel Amuneke, assistant coaches, Joseph Yobo and Paul Aigbogun, as well as goalkeeper trainer, Alloy Agu, were all laid off by the NFF.
Former Super Eagles wingers Finidi George, Usman Abdallah, Ike Shorunmu, and Eboboritse Uwejamomere were brought in to remedy the situation.
Peseiro also brought three foreign assistants: Maykel Moreira (Fitness Coach), Acacio Santos (Asst. Coach), and Vitor Hugo (Analyst).
Despite the withdrawal of some of the regulars from the game and the friendly against Ecuador next week, Peseiro still has a strong pool of players to pick from.
The real work will start when the Super Eagles confront the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone and the Wild Dogs of Guinea-Bissau Bissau in the qualifiers for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations next month.
Peseiro, who was recommended to the NFF, according to president Amaju Melvin Pinnick can win over the fans most of whom are not convinced he is the right man for the job by starting his reign on a positive note.