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Rohr On Group Opponents: Argentina Have Messi, Croatia Are Technically Good, Iceland Have Great Fans

Rohr On Group Opponents: Argentina Have Messi, Croatia Are Technically Good, Iceland Have Great Fans

By Kayode Ogundare in Moscow:
Super Eagles Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr took out time to share his thoughts about the strengths and weaknesses of Group D opponents Argentina, Croatia and Iceland and also hinted about what Nigeria must do to come out of the group in next year’s World Cup in Russia.
Completesportsnigeria.com brings you excerpts from the Kremlin Palace in here Moscow on Friday at the venue of the World Cup draw…

When we played and beat Argentina 4-2, they did not have Lionel Messi who’s arguably the best player in the world. So when we faced them at the World Cup, they’ll be stronger with him playing. On the other side, we scored four goals and he’s not going to play in defence so if we can score more goals against their defence than he will lead his team to score against us, then we will be fine. We showed that it was possible to win against Argentina but it will be a different ball game and we have to be strong both mentally and physically. It will also be a difficult game for them.

They have a lot of fans who usually act as their number 12 player. I saw them play at the European Championship in 2016 and the supporters were very massive as they got all the way to the quarter-finals. Their fans will be there and it will be like they’re playing at home.

It’s the first game and if we start well we can have a chance to go through. Croatia will be the most important game because they have technical quality and play very good football. I played with Bogdan at Hadjuk Split and I know that Croatian players are quick and technically very strong. At the moment, they are one of the best teams in Europe and beat Greece 4-1 in the play-offs so we have to be prepared and ready for them.

Zenith Ziva

We have a young team and we are going to the World Cup to go and learn. Our team will be the youngest with average age under 25 years. When you’re ranked 50th in the world, you don’t say you’re going to the World Cup to beat everybody. We have to be humble. Difficult group but we will take our chances.

Nigeria’s first game is against Croatia on June 16 in Kaliningrad before facing debutants Iceland in Volgograd on June 22. The last game of the group will be against two-time World champions Argentina at the St Petersburg Stadium on June 26.

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  • At least am very sure that Nigeria will scale through this stage but the super eagles must keep focus and must not take any of the teams for granted

  • Argentina are coming with fire this time around but I dont see them beating Nigeria.


  • we need to focus more in winning Croatia, Iceland, Nigeria with Argentina will qualify frm the group stage

  • we wil do well , we have a good coach who read games and know the best formation to use on every game . kudos to Rohr

  • I binged the spirit of this

  • Lets see Rohr surpass keshi achievement before we label him good coach.He must progress from the group stage like Keshi did, and do better, if not he is a failure like most Nigerians experts tag Keshi team in the last world cup in Brazil

  • No WC team is a walkover. Whether they struggle to qualified or has to go through the playoffs does not matter. The WC is about 6 months away from now and many things can happen to weakened or strengthens a team. For now this group are all equal 25% each. No cutout favorite. It would have been Argentina with Messi but we still remembered how just the whiskers managed to qualify. Nigeria is still searching for a striker that is up to 60% Messi’s goal scoring ability. We are still frantically searching for a ‘world class’ goalkeeper that is up to 70% De Gea’s(Man United) ability. This is no time to talk. Biz time now. Quality friendly matches should be arranged. 3 matches with the likes of England, Serbia and Uruguay should be booked. It won’t be easy but we will take our chances.

  • Nigeria will qqualify from the group if all our players are at there best and they are injury free.

  • Ifeanyi 4 years ago

    Good preparation we need to start now. arrange for grade A friendly matches and make sure we use our best players. No team is unbeatable, we can top that group nothing is impossible. Good luck super eagles.

  • Rohr has said it, They are going to Russia to go and learn. They are not going there to beat Croatia nor Argentina. He is even scared of Iceland fans. The man who knows the strength of his team has spoken.

  • We v 80% chance of topping the GRP based on current form. Nobody v mentioned here dat both Iceland n Croatia came out from d same uefa qualifying GRP wic was regarded as d most weak. Even Croatia came second n qualified thru play off. Others in dat GRP were Kosovo,Ukraine, turkey n Finland.Iceland that top d GRP lost 2matches. For Argentina, as at the last round of matches,they were not sure of making it. This all explain current form n it shows when Argentina played Nigeria last mth. Don’t be deceived by FIFA ranking.we are coming tops. The group is weak IMO.

  • SE of Nigeria will qualify from this group!
    Qualifying from this group will toughen SE!
    SE might top this group if we beat Croatia!
    Argentina might not make this group!
    Mess I might just retire in disappointment like Buffon!
    SE might earn there respect in world stage once and for all!
    Carry go SE

  • In addition, we can all go and analysis the last 8matches of Argentina, Croatia n Iceland before we make comments. Believe me the best Xmas gift God could v given us is this WEAK group.

  • Tony Iloka 4 years ago

    With good preparation, tactical acumen and NFF living up to their responsibilities, Nigeria will scale through. Let’s play friendlies with teams that play similar pattern as our opponents to prepare the team.

  • Wanogho 4 years ago

    Anytime,anyday,if we play our best players on the pitch without sentiments, it will be difficult for any team to beat the super eagles, not even Messi and his Argentina.The NFF should put everything in place for the coach and the players to succeed. Good preparations, no bonus row, and not causing divisions among players. Go Super eagles. Go bring the cup to Africa for the first time. Yes you can. It is not impossible.

  • we must not underrate Croatia and Iceland for any reason. super Eagles, must work hard to beat Argentina and break the Jinx at the World cup level.