Nigeria’s junior national soccer team, the Flying Eagles, are the team to beat at this year’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup by virtue of their outstanding performance and triumph at the last Under-17 World Cup, Deputy General Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme has declared.
The Flying Eagles billed to play Brazil, North Korea and Hungary in Group E of the tournament in New Zealand, had on Wednesday left Nigeria for Germany, where they are having their final build-up to the competition. The NFF, said Ikpeme, has arranged some tune-up games in Germany for the Coach Manu Garbatutored side before they hit New Zealand.
“The team is now in Germany and they will play nothing less than two to three friendly matches before they leave. “We are doing this because we know that that team is the team that all participating countries will be looking out for, and that’s why we said the team should go to Germany so that they can get quality teams to play in friendly matches,” he explained. Ikpeme maintained that the federation is sparing no expenses to ensure the Flying Eagles get quality preparations ahead of the FIFA event, which starts on May 30.
“Every country knows the Flying Eagles is the team to watch out for after their exploits in the United Arab Emirates, where they won the Under-17 World Cup,” he said. Coach Garba has taken to the Germany training camp a 30-man team, which he will prune to 21 for the trip to New Zealand.