The only U-17 football team that has won the Junior world championships more than any other country happens to be the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria. To this regard, we write up this piece of article to enlighten people of the Full Squad and History of Golden Eaglets of Nigeria.
History of Golden Eaglets of Nigeria
The history of Golden Eaglets of Nigeria is one that a fanatic fan should know. The club has become the champion right from the moment it debuted at the first drawing of the World Youth Championship in 1985 in China. Nigeria is the winner of the U-17 1993. That made Wilson Oruma the best goal scorer of the tournament with 8 goals. U-17 Nigerian players were highly recognized after they won the World Cup 2007 in South Korea. This gave rise to controversy among news press that the young footballers and their prospects should be rewarded with cash. They added that many of the winners of past years did not become professional football players and to the end, ended up in poverty and oblivion. In 2007, similar incident occurred when Nigeria won the match by a penalty after the 120th minute and zero scoring. It was in this match that GE scored 3 goals in a shootout and Macauley Chrisantus scored 7 goals in 2017 and then was named the best goal scorer.
Golden Eaglets of Nigeria’s History Continues…
Kelechi Iheanacho made it very close to such title with 6 goals in 2013 but the Sweden Valmir Berisha snatched the honour with 7 goals. The junior world championships has been won five (5) times by the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria more than other teams. It’s been recorded that the 2013 and 2015 consecutive victories is a repetition of the success of Brazil in 1997 and 1999. History has been made that they are the only two countries that have won the championship for 2 consecutive years. The great part of this history is that the now Nigerian president (Muhammadu Buhari) was the Major General and Head of State as at then, and he still ruled again in 2015 as the president of Nigeria. Coincidentally, the final scores for the 1985 and 2015 was 2:0. It’s unbelievable that the same accuracy was repeated after 30 years. This led to the presentation of pairs of golden boot by Victor Osimhen in 2015 to his team as the best goal scorer with 10 goals during 7 matches.
Nigerian team has held the highest record of number of finals played. They played to final in the following years; 1985, 1987, 1993, 2001, 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2015. 5 of 8 games ended in victory and 3 – in defeat. The leadership of Nduka Ugbade in 1985, Wilson Oruma in 1993, Lukman Haruna in 2007, Musa Muhammad in 2013 and Kelechi Nwakali in 2015 led to the important victories achieved that period. This also include the coaches which are; Sebastian Imasuen Bodericks in 1985, Coach Fanny Amun in 1993, Yemi Tella in 2007, Manu Garba in 2013, Emmanuel Amuneke in 2015. These coaches still work with Golden Eaglets till date.
Another history was made in 2015 as the only year that had 2 players return to their homeland with 2 individual awards and Victor Osimhen became the best goal scorer that same year with golden boot and also became the third best player of the tournament. In that speed, Kelechi Nwakali as a captain received a bronze boot and became the best player in the competition. Please note that such a success has not been received by any youth team in history of U-17 football in Golden Eaglets. The Golden Eaglets could not make it to the World Championship in India being the current champion at the moment.
Full Squad of Golden Eaglets of Nigeria
The following list of players were recognized during 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup;
- Goalkeeper: Akpan David Udoh
- Goalkeeper: Chisom Chiaha
- Goalkeeper: Amos Innocent Benjamin
- Defender: Lazarus John
- Defender: Musa Oyemeike Chibogwu
- Defender: Godwin Okachukwu Igwe
- Defender: ASUToMbechukwu Ibe
- Defender: Ejike Ikwu
- Defender: Zakari Lukman Hilaru
- Defender: Uzama Douglas
- Midfielder: Dali Duru
- Midfielder: Michael Dogo Kingsley
- Midfielder: Samuel Chukwueze
- Midfielder: Ikechukwu Okechukwu Leonard
- Midfielder: Chinedu Madueke
- Midfielder: Chukwudi Agor
- Midfielder: Joel Osikel
- Midfielder: Kelechi Nwakali
- Forward: Victor Osimhen
- Forward: Udochukwu Anumudu
- Forward: Funsho Bamgboye
- Forward: Christian Ebere
- Forward: Okoli Anthony Chibuike
- Forward: Orji Okwonkwo