The national Under-20 Nigeria team, known as the Flying Eagles, is considered by many as the feeder team of the men's national team, the Super Eagles. The performance of the U-20 side demonstrates Nigerian football development, with the Flying Eagles acting as a link between the under-age grade to the senior national level. And just like every other national football level in the country, it is controlled by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF).
Bosso wants to win the FIFA U20 World Cup with Nigeria. pic.twitter.com/KkO3Zta2Vt
— Sports Radio Brila FM (@Brilafm889) May 8, 2023
The Flying Eagles have dominated the African U-20 competition in the past. They have won a record seven U-20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) titles, a feat that no African country can match. However, this domination has not extended to the world stage.
Nigeria made its FIFA U-20 World Cup debut in 1983 in Monterrey, Mexico. They won their first game but could not qualify for the group stage. This competition was known as the FIFA World Youth Championship at that time. Since then, the country has appeared on 11 more occasions ahead of this year's showdown in Argentina.
The Flying Eagles are yet to make a mark on the world stage, as they haven't lifted the FIFA U-20 World Cup title. However, the Flying Eagles have come close on two different occasions since the inception of the FIFA U-20 World Cup. They were runners-up in 1989 and 2005.
🚨Fit-fighting Nigeria battled to a 3-3 draw with Colombia in Tuesday’s pre-FIFA U20 World Cup friendly match at the Estadio 20 October in Tristán Suárez, Buenos Aires. pic.twitter.com/ufY2fvonRn
— Oladimeji Oshode (@OlaThrill) May 16, 2023
Nigeria's Best Shot at the FIFA U-20 World Cup
The 1989 edition of the FIFA U-20 World Cup took place in Saudi Arabia. The Flying Eagles defeated the United States, after extra time, in the semi-finals, before facing Portugal in the final. Nigeria lost 2-0 to the Portuguese, but it was the first time the country went that far in the competition.
Nigeria appeared in another final of the competition in 2005 hosted by the Netherlands. Nigeria defeated Morocco 3-0 in the semi-final before losing 2-1 to Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina in the finals. The Argentine superstar notched six goals in the competition, winning the MVP.
Nigeria U-20 FIFA World Cup Record
Year Elimination Stage
1983 Group stage
1985 Third place
1987 Group stage
2009 Round of 16
2013 Round of 16
2015 Round of 16
2019 Round of 16
Nigeria 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup Group
Nigeria, Brazil, Italy, and the Dominican Republic are the teams in Group D.
The two-time runners-up of this competition, Nigeria, will open their FIFA U-20 World Cup campaign against the Dominican Republic on 21st May in Mendoza.
Three days later, the Flying Eagles will lock horns with Italy before traveling to La Plata to face Brazil in the last group game on 27th May.
Nigeria 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup Squad
🇳🇬Flying Eagles squad for the @FIFAcom #FIFAU20WorldCup starting on May 20, 2023 in 🇦🇷Argentina.
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic – May 21
🇮🇹 Italy – May 24
🇧🇷 Brazil – May 27#SoarFlyingEagles pic.twitter.com/XkSqUkxAEF
— The NFF 🇳🇬 (@thenff) May 9, 2023
The Flying Eagles of Nigeria's official squad is out for the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Argentina. The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Twitter account posted the 21-man final list on Monday. Below are the players picked by Ladan Boso to help Nigeria win its maiden FIFA U-20 World Cup title.
Goalkeepers: Chijioke Aniagboso, Nathaniel Nwosu, Saheed Jimoh
Defenders: Daniel Bameyi, Benjamin Frederick, Israel Domingo, Abel Ogwuche, Augustine Njoku, Solomon Abalaka
Midfielders: Daniel Daga, Samson Lawal, Victor Eletu, Ibrahim Abdullahi, John Joshua, Tochuckwu Nnadi
Forwards: Haliyu Sarki, Jude Sunday, Ibrahim Mohammed, Lawal Salem Fago, Kehinde Ibrahim, Emmanuel Umeh
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 weeks ago