Till this day – believe it or not – there has not been any Nigerian squad up to par as the Nigeria 1994 World Cup squad.
The 1994 World Cup squad hold one of the best World Cup records so far and with the same show of talent and skill, they went ahead to win the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations.
Almost everyone in that world Cup squad were part of the Super Eagles Tunisia 1994 squad, aside from a couple of them who were dropped for some reason best known to the coaching crew.
The total number of African teams at the 1994 world cup were 3 and they are Cameroon, Nigeria and Morocco.
Managed by Dutch coach Clemens Westerhof, and slated in Group D, Super Eagles 94 were the first Nigerian National team to make it to the FIFA World Cup competition, which was held in the US.
With the combined efforts and raw talents of the Westerhof-led team, Brazil, as well as other nations, were going to have a run for their title at the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
The 1994 Super Eagles squad surprised the world with an amazing debut as they topped their group which had the likes of Argentina, Bulgaria, and Greece to move into the next round of the competition.
At the 21st minute of Nigeria vs Bulgaria 1994, Rasheed Yekini (assisted by Finidi George) scored Nigeria’s first World Cup goal.
And in a style the world has never seen, he clenched onto the net and screamed to high heavens while the supporters went wild with celebration.
Daniel Amokachi goal (assisted by Rasheed Yekini), against Bulgaria at the 43rd minute, was shortlisted for the FIFA World Cup Greatest Goal Award in 2018.
Nigeria FIFA ranking 1994 stood at 5th position – the highest ever by any African football team – and we were adjudged the most entertaining team of the tournament.
And during Nigeria vs Italy 1994 round of 16 fixture of the World Cup competition, a goal from Emmanuel Amunike, 25 minutes into the game, brought the Eagles just within an inch of moving into the next round.
And sadly, two minutes before Nigeria could qualify for the quarter-final of the World Cup, Roberto Baggio scored for Italy, taking the game into extra time.
Roberto Baggio then scored the winner, ending the game 2-1 in favour of Italy.
If we take away the corruption and coups that threatened the existence of Nigeria back then, the Super Eagles had become a model in many capacities. It recognized and welcomed talent for the job, showmanship and became a symbol of hope.
And we must not forget, the Late Stephen Keshi is the man who captained Nigeria in USA 1994.
Nigeria 1994 World Cup Squad List
Head Coach: Clemens Westerhof
|NO.||POs.||PLAYER||DATE OF BIRTH (Age)||CAPS||CLUB|
|1||GK||Peter Rufai||24 August 1963 (aged 30)||55||Go Ahead Eagles|
|2||DF||Augustine Eguavoen||19 August 1965 (aged 28)||35||Kortrijk|
|3||DF||Benedict Iroha||29 November 1969 (aged 24)||N/A||Vitesse|
|4||DF||Stephen Keshi (c)||23 January 1962 (aged 32)||59||Molenbeek|
|5||DF||Uche Okechukwu||27 September 1967 (aged 26)||26||Fenerbahçe|
|6||DF||Chidi Nwanu||1 January 1967 (aged 27)||N/A||Anderlecht|
|7||MF||Finidi George||15 April 1971 (aged 23)||23||Ajax|
|8||MF||Thompson Oliha||4 October 1968 (aged 25)||N/A||Africa Sports|
|9||FW||Rashidi Yekini||23 October 1963 (aged 30)||46||Vitória de Setúbal|
|10||MF||Jay-Jay Okocha||14 August 1973 (aged 20)||10||Eintracht Frankfurt|
|11||MF||Emmanuel Amunike||25 December 1970 (aged 23)||N/A||Zamalek|
|12||FW||Samson Siasia||14 August 1967 (aged 26)||32||Nantes|
|13||DF||Emeka Ezeugo||16 December 1965 (aged 28)||N/A||Budapest Honvéd|
|14||FW||Daniel Amokachi||30 December 1972 (aged 21)||26||Club Brugge|
|15||MF||Sunday Oliseh||14 September 1974 (aged 19)||8||FC Liège|
|16||GK||Alloysius Agu||12 July 1967 (aged 26)||N/A||FC Liège|
|17||FW||Victor Ikpeba||12 June 1973 (aged 21)||N/A||Monaco|
|18||FW||Efan Ekoku||8 June 1967 (aged 27)||N/A||Norwich City|
|19||DF||Michael Emenalo||14 July 1965 (aged 28)||N/A||Eintracht Trier|
|20||DF||Uche Okafor||8 August 1967 (aged 26)||N/A||Hannover 96|
|21||MF||Mutiu Adepoju||22 December 1970 (aged 23)||18||Racing Santander|
|22||GK||Wilfred Agbonavbare||5 October 1966 (aged 27)||N/A||Rayo Vallecano|
The eventual 1994 World Cup winner was Brazil. They defeated Italy 3–2 on penalties to claim their fourth World Cup title when the match finished goalless.