What do you know about Nigeria and Brazil? Are you a fan of the beautiful game of football? If yes then come in here as we look to analyse the history between Nigeria and Brazil, the two nations who are considered among the powerhouse of the game of football. Without much ado, lets start with Nigeria.
Nigeria is a West African country with an estimated population of 180 million people as of 2018, the country was colonized by Great Britain and they got their independence on the 1st of October 1960. On the other hand, Brazil is a South American nation with equally a huge population but not to be compared to their counterpart African country. Brazil was colonized by Portugal and the country has Portuguese as their official language.
The relationship between Nigeria and Brazil dates back to the transatlantic slave era when the whites went to African nations en-mass to enslave the blacks. They so by taking the blacks through the Atlantic ocean to Europe, America and even far away from Australia. This is why some parts in Brazil have a Yoruba culture, which is one of the major tribes in Nigeria. Also, some parts of the Yoruba kingdom celebrate a carnival of Brazilian origin.
From time immemorial, Brazil and Nigeria have always had affiliation and this is highlighted by their meetings in the beautiful game of football. Brazil is known as the powerhouse of the round leather game having won the most trophies in world cup tournament. The South American country has 5 world cup trophies to their name and they are known to have produced some of the best players the game has ever seen. Recall that Pele is a Brazilian. The Brazilian legend currently in his 70s is wildly regarded as the best player and goal scorer the game has ever seen. The Brazilian has the record of three world cup trophies to his name. This feat is unmatched by any player who has played football. This beautiful record is likely to remain unbroken for centuries to come.
Aside from the Brazilian legend Pele, Brazil has also produced many other legendary and Iconic figures such as Mario Zagola, Romario, Delima Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Roberto Carlos, Cafu, Gilberto Silva, Neymar, the list is endless. These players have all dominated their era with Neymar currently regarded in the top three of the world best players. To reclaim their position as one of the best nations in the round leather game, the South American country own the last edition of the South American cup of nations after the trophy has eluded the country for more a decade. Unfortunately, Nemar Junior who was selected for the tournament despite battling a rape case would make the tournament after suffering injury just days to the tournament which was hosted by Brazil.
Nigeria, on the other hand, has had it own share of talent to have played the round leather game although the Nigerian stars are not as decorated as their Brazilian counterpart. Nigeria has never won the world cup tournament with its best advancement being the round of 16. The Super Eagles have made 6 appearances in the world cup, more than any other African team and have progressed to the round of 16 on three occasions. On the African cup of nations, Nigeria has made several appearances progressing to the semi-finals on several occasions and winning the trophy on three occasions.
Nigeria is regarded as one of the best teams in Africa with Egypt being the best with 6 trophies followed by Ghana and Cameroon with four trophies apiece and Nigeria with 3 trophies. Some notable players to have worn the green jersey of the super eagles include Jay Jay Okocha, Kanu Nwankwo, Celestine Babayaro, Taribo West, Uche Okechukwu, Isaac Okoronkwo, Emenike, Mikel Obi, Hammed Musa, Tijani Babangida, Finidi George, Odion Ighalo and many others. Although not as decorated as their Brazilian counterparts, these players have made a name in their own right having played at top European club sides and lifting a number of trophies.
Jay Jay Okocha is wildly regarded as one of the best dribblers the game has seen. He is often compared to the Brazilian Legend Ronaldinho in terms of skills given the similarities in their style of play. The two once played together for Paris Saint-German of France with two combining together with lovely skills during matches. Another prominent figure in their team then is an Argentine currently making his mark as one of the best gaffers in the game and he is no other than Mauricio Pochetino of Tottenham Hotspur of England. Ronaldinho puts up a number of performances which made him a target of top European clubs.
After a series of jaw-breaking performances, the man became a hot property and he was coveted by top European clubs including Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Barcelona. Sir Alex Ferguson particular wanted the Brazilian to replace the departing David Beckham who was on his way to join the Galacticos. But the Brazilian opted to join Barcelona after the then president of Barcelona convinced him that the club built a beautiful project and they needed him to spearhead the project. He accepted the challenge and made his way to team up with Barca which can best be described as a sinking ship at the time. Barcelona was nowhere near the top European team but Ronaldinho accepted the challenge to rebuild the team and he did just that.
In his debut match for Barcelona, he showed fans what is to be expected from his with a delightful solo goal.