Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has admitted that the quality in his team cannot be compared to the 1998 Eagles that featured the like of Austin Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, Daniel Amokachi and Victor Ikpeba.
However, Rohr who led the Eagles to a problem free qualification for the World Cup said he is hopeful that young talents such as Ola Aina, Tyronne Ebuehi, Wilfred Ndidi, Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho will do well in Russia.
‘’Because of all the players they have produced, Nigeria have a high pedigree in world football. I agree that this generation might not be a set of such stars, we do not have so many great players, but this is a young team of real professionals, and they are hungry for some great results,’’ said Rohr to Sportske Novosti.
‘’I am convinced that these guys can have real success in Russia and earn additional respect for the entire football world.’’
He added : ‘’I hope some of our players will become stars at the World Cup, but much more important is that the whole team is a star. Do not forget, we are the youngest team of all 32 teams to play at the World Cup.’’
He added that Nigeria was in a difficult group. Asked if Iceland and Croatia would be easier than Argentina, Rohr told Sportske Novosti : ‘’I do not see that, there is no difference. All three games will be difficult and demanding.
‘’Let’s say, Argentina. It hardly comes to the World Cup, however, Argentina will grow, be better and certainly no one has the right to write Argentina out of the list of favorites for the title of champions.’’
Speaking on the importance of Nigeria’s World Cup opener against Croatia, Rohr said : ‘’The first game in each tournament is very important, that’s right. However, the remaining two are equally important.
‘’We think in a way that we have at least three matches in the tournament and we want to play all three as best as we can to get to the second round.’’