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World Cup 2010: Nigeria

World Cup 2010: NIGERIA

FIFA ranking: 22

Overall World Cup record: 4-6-1

Coach: Lars Lagerback

Best performance: Second round, 1994, 1998

Overview: The Super Eagles have turned to Lagerback for help, recognizing that the Swedish coach has a proven, albeit modest, track record of tournament success. Lagerback’s problem is that Africa’s most populous country expects to win it all and its soccer federation is chronically interference-minded. The team does not have anyone remotely as inspiring as former star Jay-Jay Okocha, but Ayegbeni Yakubu, John Mikel Obi and Obafemi Martins will do. Nigeria could cause a stir if its fans travel in numbers to South Africa.

-- Grahame L. Jones


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