Nigeria â€™s U-20 menâ€™s team, Flying Eagles, will fly out of Spain on Friday to challenge for the ultimate marble at the 17th FIFA U-20 World Cup taking place in Egypt from 24th September to 16th October.
Runnersâ€“up in 1989 and 2005, Nigeria are lumped in Group B of this yearâ€™s tournament alongside Spain, Venezuela and Tahiti. Argentina, who have won the competition six times, with five wins in the past seven editions, and who defeated Nigeria in the final of the 2005 championship in Holland, failed to reach this yearâ€™s finals.
Nigeriaâ€™s Head Coach, Samson Siasia, who coached the Class of 2005 that lost in the final to Argentina, and also led the U-23 team to Olympic silver in Beijing last year (also losing to Argentina in the final), looks to go all the way in the threeâ€“week, 24 â€“nation finals. The team will fly out of Spain from Barcelona aboard Egypt Air Fllight MS 768 and arrive in Cairo by 7:25pm local time on Friday.
â€œWe have confidence and we have the players to do us proud. The training camps in Qatar and Spain have helped the team greatly and we are heading to Egypt believing we can conquerâ€, said Siasia, a former World Cup star.
The Flying Eagles have spent the last 18 days in a training camp in Mallorca, Spain, and on Saturday forced Honduras U-20 team to a 1-1 draw in a friendly game in Alicante.
Samson Siasia has picked a blend of foreignâ€“based players with firm feet on ground and confident, active homeâ€“based players who have illusions.
Nigeriaâ€™s first match is against Venezuela at the Al Salam Stadium, Cairo on September 25, before they play Spain on September 28. Their final group phase game is against Tahiti, the Oceania champions at the expansive Cairo International Stadium on Nigeriaâ€™s Independence Day.