Surprising facts about Super Eagles’ World Cup jersey numbers

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Following the announcement of Nigeria’s 2018 FIFA World Cup squad numbers. Here are 10 interesting facts about the Super Eagles’ jerseys.

1 – The only number to have started all five group stage opening games for Nigeria: Peter Rufai (1994, 98), Ike Shorunmu (2002), Vincent Enyeama (2010, 14).

2 – This number has always been allocated to defenders in the Nigerian World Cup squads: Augustine Eguavoen (1994), Mobi Oparaku (1998), Joseph Yobo (2002, 2010, 2014), Brian Idowu (2018).

4 – The Super Eagles started with jersey number 4 in their opening game only once: Nwankwo Kanu, Nigeria vs. Argentina (2002).

5 – In three out of five World Cups, jersey number 5 has been worn by Turkey-based players. Uche Okechukwu (Fenerbahce, 1994 and 1998), William Troost-Ekong (Bursaspor, 2018)

7 – Ahmed Musa, scorer of Nigeria’s only World Cup brace to date, achieved this feat wearing the number 7 jersey (Nigeria vs. Argentina, 2014).

9 – Since Rashidi Yekini scored Nigeria’s first-ever World Cup goal, against Bulgaria in 1994, occupants of the number 9 jersey have failed to find the target for the Super Eagles in 17 consecutive games at the tournament, a drought totalling 1016 minutes of football.

If John Mikel Obi (10) or Odion Ighalo (9) score for Nigeria at the Russia 2018 they will be breaking poor FIFA World Cup scoring records for players wearing their respective squad numbers

10 – No player wearing the Super Eagles’ iconic number 10 jersey has scored a goal at the World Cup: Austin ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha (1994, 1998, 2002), ,(2014).

12 – Nigeria have scored a cumulative five goals in their second group-stage games, with players wearing number 12 netting twice. Samson Siasia (Nigeria vs. Argentina, 1994) and Kalu Uche (Nigeria vs. Greece, 2010)

15 – Midfielders have always worn the Super Eagles’ number 15 at the World Cup: Sunday Oliseh, Justice Christopher, Lukman Haruna, Ramon Azeez, and Joel Obi.

Nigeria goalkeeper Francis Uzoho will continue the trend of the youngest Super Eagles squad member wearing number 23 at a FIFA World Cup. On two different occasions, the youngest squad members at Nigeria’s World Cup party have worn number 23: Femi Opabunmi (2002) and Francis Uzoho (2018).

Arinze A/Kwese sport