Kalika Dismisses U-23 Eagles’ Rio 2016 Chances, Pulls Out

Kalika Dismisses U-23 Eagles’ Rio 2016 Chances, Pulls Out

By Sab Osuji: Dutch coach Simeon Kalika has declared that Nigerians should not expect miracles from the U-23 Eagles squad at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil because the current team are not as good as the team that won silver medal for Nigeria at the Beijing 2008 Games, completesportsnigeria.com reports.

Siasia on Thursday named his 23-man squad list for the 2016 summer Games in Rio, Brazil, with Chelsea of England midfielder,  Mikel Obi making the cut as one of the overage players.


It will be Mikel’s first Olympic Games appearance for Nigeria after missing out on the 2008 edition in Beijing, China, when Nigeria won silver following a 1-0 defeat in the final to Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina.

Kalika, who spoke to Completesportsnigeria.com from his Netherlands base, said the 2008 squad was better prepared and had more quality players than the current team now in the USA fine-tuning strategies ahead of next month's summer games in Brazil.

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"Samson Siasia is a great coach, we have been friends for long and worked together for many years in the Nigerian U-20s and U-23s," Kalika told Completesportsnigeria.com.

"He works hard to bring the best outof players and of course he is not new to Olympic Games.

"But I think Nigerians should not expect so much from him based on the silver medal we won in 2008 in Beijing because the present team is not at the level of the team that we took to China in 2008 for the Olympic Games.

"Our preparation then was okay which I don't think is the case now.

"Even though the likes of Mikel and Taye Taiwo were not part of the team, we had a fantastic leader in Obinna Nsofor but unfortunately we lost to Argentina that had the luxury of Angel Di Maria and Lionel Messi in their squad which Mikel and Taiwo would have taken care of if they were in the team."

Two months ago, Kalika informed Completesportsnigeria.com he would join Siasia and the Nigeria U-23s for the Olympic Games which get underway in Rio on August 8.

But he revealed he would no longer be available in Brazil to assist Siasia.

"I don't want to be an unofficial appointee,” he said.

"The Nigerian Federation (NFF) have made their appointments into the team."

The Dutch coach who was part of Flying Eagles technical crew during the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup in the Netherlands, heaped praises on Nigeria Football Federation NFF for not accepting Frenchman Le Guen's terms as regards Super Eagles coaching job.

"You don't coach a team like the Super Eagles in absentia. You must be amongst the people to observe the domestic league, their talents and also the academies," Kalika submitted. 

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