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Karembeu: Nigeria, Other African Teams Should Copy Past Champions’ Methods To Win World Cup Too

Karembeu: Nigeria, Other African Teams Should Copy Past Champions’ Methods To Win World Cup Too

Former France international midfielder Christian Karembeu believes that African teams need to learn from past winners of the FIFA World Cup if they too want to win the much coveted trophy. The 1998 FIFA World Cup winner believes that African teams possess the talent to win the tournament but that football Federations on the continent must provide their players with the enabling environment to fulfill the continent’s enormous potential.
Karembeu was in Lagos over the weekend for the FIFA Trophy world tour, and he spoke to Complete Sports radio show, Sports Planet anchorman, BATUNDE KOIKI,  in an exclusive interview graciously arranged by the BBC in their Lagos office. 
“African football federations need to give their players all the conducive conditions that can transform them into winners. All you need to do is to observe how the great European and South American teams that have won the
tournament that gave them success and copy that. This is how we were educated in Europe; to copy what successful teams
did and improve on it,” Karembeu begins in the interview with Complete Sports’ Sports Planet.

Karembeu with former Nigeria international, Femi Opabunmi, during the World Cup trophy tour in Lagos

“Africans have won the world Cup before but they did it in the colours of France and Germany. But i hope that one day an
African team can actually win the tournament. You have good players but you need to support them and push them to be
consistent and play at the highest level throughout their career. Its not for them to have one or two good years but as
many years at the top as possible.”
The Super Eagles will contend with Euro 2016 surprise packages Iceland, 1998 FIFA World Cup bronze medallists, Croatia,
and two time world champions, Argentina, in Group D of the 2018 World Cup and if they claim either of the top two spots,
will possibly face 1998 champions France in the Round of 16.
France are favourites to top an easy looking Group C which pits them against Denmark, Australia and Peru. Paul Pogba and a Joseph Yobo own goal helped France beat Nigeria 2-0 in the Recond Round at the 2014 tournament in Brazil, but Karembeu believes if both teams clash again in Russia, his homeland won’t
have it so easy again.
Karembeu,  an European Championship winner with France in 2000 explains:
“France and Nigeria are two great footballing nations with great experience and so it will be a tough game. Didier Deschamps knows his team quite well, but the squad is struggling offensively at the moment. Karim Benzema is not in the team, Olivier Giroud and Alexandre Lacazette are not playing regularly, so Deschamps might be forced to play Antoinne Griezemann and another attacking midfielder upfront. But your team is good offensively and looks complete and Gernot Rohr knows the French team quite well so it will be tough for us.”
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  • Kingmaker 4 years ago

    Visiting Fifa man, Christian Karembue has spoken the minds of positive Nigerians who believe an African Nation, and Nigeria in particular can win the next WC tournament holding in Russia this summer.
    First, the right things must be done.
    On the basis of this we decided to do a statistical evaluation / appraisal of SE front men for a possible 1st Choice Striker to give readers a clear view of ‘How Super Eagles Six (6) front men rate’ today, and put an end to wild ongoing speculations among fans.
    We have based our ratings on club form, using Average Number of Goals Scored per Season, ARGPS as the measuring scale.
    Who is Super Eagles most prolific striker?
    Unarguably, six (6) qualities of a good No.9 striker are as follows:
    * Positioning (Vision)
    * Speed
    * Strength
    * Precision
    * Unpredictability
    * Technical prowess (ability to use head, and both legs effectively).
    Reference: Wikipedia, Transfermarkt.co.uk, ESPN, whoscored.co, etc & clubs profile.
    Who should be TOP 9 for the Super Eagles at Russia ’18? Judge for yourself..

    1) ODION JUDE IGHALO, 28years, 5ft 11in, Right Leg, Forward. Chanchun Yatai, China.
    2014/2016: 55 matches, 18 goals.
    2017: 27 matches, 15 goals.
    2018: 2 Matches, 0 goals.
    ***Average Rate of Goals per Season, ARGPS: (11)
    Nigeria: 15 matches / 4 goals.

    2) AHMED MUSA, 25years, 5ft 7in, Right Leg, Forward. CSKA Moscow.
    2012-2016: 125 matches, 42 goals.
    2016/17: 21 matches, 2 goals.
    2018: CSKA, 2 Matches, 0 goals.
    ***Average rate of goals per season, ARGPS: (8.4)
    Nigeria: 67 Matches / 13 goals.

    3) KELECHI PROMISE IHEANACHO, 21years, 6ft 2in, Left foot. Licester FC, England.
    2015-2017: 46 Matches, 12 goals.
    2017: 15 matches, 1 goal.
    2018: 12 matches, 7 goals, 3 assists.
    ***Average Goals Per Season, ARGPS: (7.7)
    Nigeria: 13 Matches / 8 goals.

    4) ALEX IWOBI, 21years, 5ft 11in, Forward, Right Foot, Arsenal FC, England.
    2015 – 2018: 58 matches, 7 goals.
    2018: 30 matches, 2 goals, 3 assists.
    ***Average Goals Per Season, ARGPS: (3)
    Nigeria: 14 matches / 4 goals.

    5) JUNIOR OLUWAFEMI AJAYI, 23years, 6ft, Forward, Right Foot. Al Ahly, Egypt.
    2015 -2016: 28 matches, 10 goals.
    2016 – 2017: 44 matches, 16 goals.
    2017/18: 26 matches, 8 goals, 9 assists.
    ***ARGPS: (11.3)
    Nigeria: NEW.

    6) NOAH JOEL SARENREN BAZEE, 21years, 5ft 11in, Right Foot, Forward. Hannover 96, Germany.
    2015: 16matches, 6 goals.
    2016: 11 marches, 1 goal.
    ***ARGPS: (3.5)
    Nigeria: NEW..

    7) CYRIEL DESSERS, 23years, 6′ 1in, Both legs, Forward. Utrecht FC, Holland.
    2015 – 2017: 80 Matches, 36 goals.
    2017/18: 29 matches, 12 goals, 5 assists.
    ***ARGPS: (16)
    Nigeria: NEW.
    Nigerian sports administrators & fans can judge by the result presented.
    Who is the best performer for club? Who should lead the Eagles attacking line at Russia 2018?

    • wake up from this your Cyriel dreams. he is sure going to participate in this world cup season as a spectator. if him like, let him be Ronaldo.kapish!!!!

      • Christo36 4 years ago

        @joel, u talk like a child that u are. Thank God u are not the Coach. If gernot rohr now decides to invite Cyril Dessres to his team what will you do? Did u not read that it was the coach that persuaded him to pledge allegiance to Nigeria and move to Nac Breda in the first instance? Your type only read & make unuseful comments to make yourselves happy. Poor!
        Wikipedia says Iheanacho is 6ft 1in. That guy is tall.
        I go for J.Ajayi & C.Dessers to spearhead eagles attack. They are inform & deadly. More rated by the analysis above. Iheancho can come in as supper sub.
        But let Rohr give us the best. No sentiments.
        Thanks again @King maker.
        Good luck.

        • Christo36 i agree i talk like a child. thanks! please an adult like you failed to realize that this coach(and an experienced coach like GR), is not expected to keep tweaking his team from a fresh list after this list? the good thing going for this team is that they are settled. your ‘dressers’is out of the equation for now. GR made it abundantly clear that he will only trim down the list from here henceforth unless something dramatic or super form happening. If we should leave SE for you, you will even advocate for a different set of players to come compete with these ones thus releasing 45 players to camp and then getting distracted. GR is very focussed and his ship has sailed to RUSSIA. Accept it or watch us leave you and your adult dressers abi na dancer behind. UP SE

  • lambert 4 years ago

    Nacho has an amazing record for Naija. Odion has more experience but all about goals.

  • ojo samuel 4 years ago

    As For Me…Iheanacho Is our top man based on current form…ighalo and dessers might fight the position of a sub…ajayi better as a winger

  • ako amadi 4 years ago

    Iheanacho is 6ft 2in???!! Can’t be correct

  • ako amadi 4 years ago

    It’s correct! Kelechi is 6’2″, and I’m glad he’s that tall. He always looks smaller on TV…

    • phillip 4 years ago

      Kelechi of Leicester city is not 6ft plus. I think @Kingmaker got his info from another Nigerian with the data below:

      Personal information
      Full name Kelechi Zeal Iheanacho
      Date of birth 12 July 1981 (age 36)
      Place of birth Aba, Nigeria
      Height 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
      Playing position Forward

      Iheanacho of Leicester city can never be a six footer.

    • he is quite tall.i am 5’10” and when we took a pic together he was quite taller than me

  • lambert 4 years ago

    I have a feeling Ajayi might make the squad. He offers something different.

  • I agree with you @Joel. I know Kingmaker to be a good writer @the_Leave a Reply column but this write-up above is based on Favouritism and a means of canvassing for a player(Cyril Desser). You all can shout as you like,the fact will still remain CYRIL DESSER has no place in the Nigerian Squad for the World Cup. I suggest he wait till AFCON 2019

    • @Chairmanfemi you dey mind them. initially, it was nwakaeme nwakaeme nwakaeme, he was invited, vola!!! he was running like a headless chicken with pregnancy. now the next name is “cloth” dresser. nothing wey person no go see for naija. we are both spectators and coaches. We fail to realize that time for tactics is very limited in national team football so the earlier we accept the players we want to use and then instill the tactics for the mundial, the better for us.

  • Ayphillydegreat 4 years ago

    I sincerely feel the attacking contingent is already settled baring any dramatic circumstances or loss of form. Kelechi, Iwobi, Moses, Simon, Musa and Odion will be our attackers at the Mundial come June. I do not see Junior Ajayi making this team unless if he’s a better player than the likes of Sadiq Umar, Samuel Kalu, Denise Bonaventure and the likes. I don’t even think he’s better than Paul Onuachu. He will only come for the experience. All these Desser, Sarenren Bassey and co will have to wait for their time after the WorldCup. Probably during preparations for AFCON 2019. For now the team is as good as settled with one or two players with immense talents breaking into the team. My ideal Midfielders will Be Mikel, Ndidi, Obi, Etebo, Onazi, Ogu. While my defensive cohorts will be Echiejile, Ebuehi, Balogun, Ekong, Awaziem, Shehu, Omeruo and Idowu/Aina Three goalies Uzoho and two others. I won’t be surprise if Rohr name all the aforementioned 23 in his final squad for the Mundial. Hopefully no one gets any serious injury.

  • D other younger I would have loved to make it was onyekuru,I hope he gets fit on time.as I have said I don’t see dessers as a better option than we had b4,d guys here are just hyping the guy.who will he dispose on that attack.

  • I saw someone say iheanacho will come in as a sub while ajayi and dessers start.i laugh dats even if ajayi will make the list to th world cup.

  • Why does Gernot Rohr always ignore UFA of Russia star Emeka Igbonu who once played as an attacker under Sunday Oliseh. He is a very good striker.

  • Barring any injuries or an unimaginable loss of form, this is our 23 SE list and 2 standby:





    It will take a miracle plus someone’s bad luck for any person to break into this team.

    • Ayphillydegreat 4 years ago

      Your list is close to mine with the exception of Echiejile. If Uwa is fit, he will be on the plane to Russia ahead of either Idowu or Aina. Agreed he plays in Belgium division two. Aina plays in English championship while Idowu plays in the Russian league which to me are not really that much of a difference in the quality of the leagues they all play in. Elderson remains the first choice left back going to the WorldCup. I also feel Awaziem and Ebuehi will be the breakout stars of the SuperEagles defense in Russia. I was happy when I read about how Rohr praised the qualities of Joel Obi. He said Joel will be a valuable asset to the team in Russia and that he’s hoping and praying that he’d be in great physical condition by the time the WorldCup comes around.

  • For me i am not blind and i can think as wel so pple ar talkin about desser even ajayi wil not make the 18 in russia even afcon 19 there ar players dat wil make it ahead of ajayi, desa, bazee,onuahu. de ones dat wil make it ar osimhen onyekuru kalu. Abeg Top 9 iz iheanacho

  • Everest 4 years ago

    The list is ok any oda player to break into de 18 if invited iz osimhen onyekuru and not ajayi or odas de no9 wil be iheanacho

  • Someone even said iheanacho wil be supa sub pple tel me say make i ask u weda u de craze or which of de of de iheanacho u ar talkin about dat devil is a lier iheanacho wil be no9

  • Abdul andah 4 years ago

    Am always surprised anytime I saw kelechi iheanacho’s height via internet. I will accept it that the guy is 6t let alone additional 2inches.
    Is iheanacho in any way close to Mikel in height? Why are both of them reading 6t-2inches?
    Unless e get other things that are unknown measures to me thru which players height are calculated.
    I wish all the super eagles players injury free especially towards the end of this season. Ameen.

  • Iheanacho is 6ft 1″, 185cm. @ Aphilly…Echiejile is as important as Aina and Idowu
    Echiejile: Experience
    Idowu: Interpreter(Russian)
    Aina: Versatility.
    And I’m sure 80% Nigerian will prefer those two to Echiejile.
    Anyway…let’s wait and see

  • Fans, I throw way salute.. Football no be like some people think am. This na world cup oo! This na game of wit & tricks. No good coach go expose his real team 3 months to the world cup event. U must get your Jokers. Read the Coach’s lips. Your opponents are watching and monitoring your team to counter your moves.
    let us face the facts, can we truly boast that our Super eagles, this team is complete to face the world the way it is?
    Na lie o, the team is not. If u listen well to Coach G. Rohr, he told the media that his team is incomplete. Gernot Rohr still leaves the door open for quality players who can break into the team. This list of 28 players have their final chance to impress or ship out. Nwekeama, Onyekuru, Ideye, Agu, and co failed to take their chances. More will join them after Serbia match. Just wait and see.
    Rohr knows what he is doing. I bet you many of you making noise here will be ashamed when you see Ajayi & Dessers in the final list. Bet wit me.
    Then u will start learning the cons about world football.

    • Ayphillydegreat 4 years ago

      LMAO! Ajayi and Desser in the final list? Who will they displace? Iheanacho or Iwobi? Moses or Simon? Musa or Ighalo? Lord have mercy. I can even still make a case for Gabriel Okechukwu the Home Eagles star. If Onyekuru is fit Ajayi will not even come anywhere near our camp. @ Sean. We’ll see how that goes. Eldersons experience can not be underestimated. He’s played in the UEFA champions league, he’s also an AFCON winner. If fit I think he should be our first choice left back. I would’ve love to see Vincent back in this team, even if it’s only for inspiration. However, in young Francis Odinaka Uzoho I think Nigeria might’ve found a goalie for the next 15 to 20 years. Just like we found Vincent in 2002.