Facts About Jersey Numbers of Super Eagles’ 23 Man Squad
Players of Nigeria’s Super Eagles have been assigned jersey numbers, following last Sunday’s release of the team’s 23 Man squad for Russia 2018 World Cup. Here are their numbers for the competition that starts next week:
- Ikechukwu Ezenwa
- Bryan Idowu
- Elderson Echiejile
- Wilfred Ndidi
- William Troost Ekong
- Leon Balogun
- Ahmed Musa
- Oghenekaro Etebo
- Odion Ighalo
- John Mikel Obi
- Victor Moses
- Abdullahi Shehu
- Simeon Nwankwo
- Kelechi Iheanacho
- Joel Obi
- Daniel Akpeyi
- Ogenyi Onazi
- Alex Iwobi
- John Ogu
- Chidozie Awaziem
- Tyronne Ebuehi
- Kenneth Omeruo
- Francis Uzoho
The newly assigned numbers indicate that most players retained the jersey numbers that were allocated to them during the qualifiers for Russia 2018. Kenneth Omeruo and Wilfred Ndidi are the only players whose jersey numbers at the World Cup qualifiers have been changed for the finals of the competition.
Ndidi would now wear jersey number 4 which was Omeruo’s jersey number throughout the qualifiers. Ndidi’s jersey number 13 at the qualifiers would now be used by Simeon Nwankwo whose only outing for the Super Eagles was in a pre – World Cup friendly match against Congo where he showed sterling qualities that instantly earned him a place in the team’s final list. That friendly tie ended 1-1.
Also, Joel Obi’s newly assigned jersey number 15 belonged to Simon Moses during the World Cup qualifiers. Simon is currently nursing an injury that ruled him out of inclusion in Nigeria’s World Cup squad. Joel did not feature in the qualifiers.
Although jersey numbers of squad members are numbered from 1 to 23, that numbering is not done in a serial order of importance. Rather, squad numbers are used to identify and distinguish players on the field.
Also, some numbers, particularly 1-11, are usually associated with positions of players on the pitch of play. It is only in that regard that one can say that numbers 1-11 could be associated with first team members.
For instance, jersey number 1 is usually assigned to the starting goalkeeper, as his name is often the first in the line – up of his team. Similarly, jersey number 10 is usually associated with a schemer or attacking midfielder whose creativity dictates the fluidity of play for his team. Furthermore, Jersey number 9 is usually reserved for a striker or player in the most advanced offensive position for his team.
Thus, it is apparent that as wearer of jersey number 10, the onus would as usual, rest on John Mikel Obi to be the main propeller of Nigeria’s play in Russia, in addition to his leadership role as Captain of the Super Eagles. He wore the same jersey number in Brazil 2014 World Cup.
Vincent Enyeama who is no longer part of the team, served as Captain of the team in Brazil 2014 and wore jersey number 1.
Unlike what obtained in that previous edition of the tournament where jersey number 1 belonged to Enyeama as the first choice goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho could serve as first choice goalkeeper for the Super Eagles in the forthcoming edition of the tournament, despite the fact that he has been assigned jersey number 23. Coach Gernot Rohr seems to prefer Uzoho to Ikechukwu Ezenwa who has been assigned jersey number 1, judging from the continued reliance on Uzoho in recent matches.
Uzoho seems to be the team’s safest goalkeeping hands, since he started mounting Nigeria’s goalpost. He began featuring for the team in a friendly match against Argentina, held after the World Cup qualifiers.
Interestingly, just like John Mikel Obi who featured at the last edition of the World Cup with his recently assigned jersey number, Elderson Echiejile, Ahmed Musa, Victor Moses, Ogenyi Onazi and Kenneth Omeruo would be wearing the same numbers they wore in Brazil 2014. They are the only members of the current squad who featured at the last World Cup.
Another interesting fact about the Super Eagles’ squad is that two of the team’s goalkeepers, Daniel Akpeyi and Francis Uzoho, are the oldest and youngest members of the team, respectively. Akpeyi was born on March 8, 1986, while Uzoho was born on October 28, 1998.
Meanwhile, the Super Eagles had their first training session yesterday, in Bad Tatzmannsdorf, Austria, venue of their last training camp for Russia 2018 World Cup. Reports from camp indicate that the team was specially welcomed by locals to their Avita Resort Base camp, in that city.
Nigeria would face Czech Republic tomorrow, in a final warm up game for the World Cup. The Super Eagles were beaten 2-1 by England last Saturday, while Czech Republic who failed to qualify for the World Cup, got thrashed 4-0 by Australia’s World Cup bound team.
Facebook: Cornelius Ellah